Wednesday, September 5, 2012

In the presence of an Olympian & Inspiring Runners

Nike+ Run Club in Amsterdam had their first Wednesday run, and I was lucky to have had the opportunity to be there! 

In this kind of event, I usually meet up with running friends, and tonight was not different.  Amongst "old" running friends, I finally met up in person with running friends, I've met online via Twitter.

Among royalties and inspiring runners! :) Wan and  Anoek were the #kingofvondelpark and  #queenofvondelpark respectively  in Nike+ challenge of  #vondelparkloop. They've ran individually impressive kilometers around Vondelpark.
fellow AMS Running Junkies Joas, a new acquaintance F. and Anoek are all running Berlin Marathon 2012!
While running today, I mentioned to one lovely pacer  of Nike (Thank you Kyara for slowing down to my pace! :)), that in my opinion, it takes a running community to make a runner, to paraphrase an old saying.

Kyara, Physical Education student in Amsterdam, and for this event as one of Nike crew pacers
This applies to me. Even though I've dreamt of being a runner for as long as I can remember, now that I am finally running, I find myself still struggling to keep myself on the track. Having running friends, who have more experience, and are busy fulfilling their running goals are priceless inspiration.

I hope to feature the marathon stories of Wan and Anoek here to spread the inspiring energy both of them exude!

Speaking of inspiring energy - we all had the pleasure of the company of Churandy Martina, an Olympian in London 2012.. He represented the Netherlands in the 100 meters, in this year's Olympics in London.

An excited me, Churandy Martina and Udjen - solesistah, someone I admire and take not only running inspiration from but life inspiration!
It was not only a great run for everyone but fun and entertaining evening all around.

Remco a good friend, also from the AMS Running Junkies group, helping me here to open my energy drink. Thanks to him I got two wonderful pictures, shared here: the group photos with Churandy Martina and  Udjen and the group photo with Wan and Anoek. Dank je wel, Remmie!

Nike Store in Amsterdam, Kalverstraat 185

For a change, I was not only on time but much earlier than I usually am. Again, thanks to the support of my family, specially the girl's adopted Omi B, beloved P's mom, and my soulmum.

We were asked to register, and got a free Nike dri-fit WE RUN AMS T-shirt, when we finished filling out the registration form.

I was able to catch up with friends Udjen and Remco, heard running anecdotes from Wan, and  learned about the marathons that Anoek have ran as well. 

When I got parched after all manic talking (mostly the manic part was mine :D), I got some bottle of water from the generous refreshment table Nike team laid out.  I got a tap on the shoulder, and saw a familiar and welcoming face of Ryan, another running inspiration.  I chatted a bit about Berlin with Ryan, the man who is the heart of Amsterdam Running Junkies.  He is like a father, brother, running buddy, nurturer, challenger, inspiration and unfailing advocate of: "Run on Tuesday!"  It was empowering to hear the concern and the support.

Ryan watching the "guest of honour" of the evening, descends from the stairs.
Churandy Martina
 It was a lot fun listening to Eurosport reporter asks Churandy Martina, the best questions chosen, which were sent to Nike Running Netherland through their FB Page, and Twitter account.  Churandy Martina was smart, clever, funny, witty with his answers - most of all positively inspiring.

 Finally at the end of the interview, the actual run!  First an invigourating warm-up, and then the pacers were introduced. I of course joined the "beginners".

Churandy Martina with the Advanced pacer

here are the lovely pacers for Beginners
Churandy Martina sounding of the starting horn for the last group of runners: Beginners

All groups of runners, Advance: 5K in 25 min, Intermediate 5K in 30 min and Beginners: 5K in  35 min ran through Kalverstraat, then a round of Vondelpark, and back to the Nike store for more celebration of this first Wednesday run.

If you are interested to join the runs, join the Nike+ Run Club on FB for schedules and updates.

Nike+ Run Club meets once a week Wednesdays @ 18:00, Nike Store Kalverstraat 185 Amsterdam


  1. Nice blog and pics Joanna :)

  2. Hi Joanna from Australia!

    Thought I'd share our tale of woe.

    We were in Amsterdam a week ago and hoped to take part in the Nike Run Club as we've run in the Sydney one down here in Australia!

    Unfortunately, our visit to your wonderful country started on Thursday and ended on Monday! So we missed the Wednesday run! Oh no!!! We were hoping to be able to get the "We Run Ams" t-shirt on our run, but we weren't in Amsterdam on a Wednesday. This was certainly bad luck!

    We called into the Amsterdam store to ask if we could possibly buy two of the t-shirts, and one of the staff said we should contact the organisers directly through Facebook. But we had no luck there either!

    My girlfriend and I would love to get a Medium and Large of the We Run Ams t-shirts, if possible. We are more than happy to pay for them, and for postage to Australia. We even ran the 10km route on the map on the Friday... we just wish it had been the Wednesday!

    Anyway, please let us know if there's ANY WAY you can help us secure a medium and large of these fabulous t-shirts as we would proudly wear them on runs down here in Melbourne.

    Hope to hear from you soon,

    Steve & Megan in Melbourne, Australia

    1. Hi, Steve!

      Thank you for sharing your experience with me here on my blog.

      I'm going to try and pass this message on to running friends connected to the Nike Run Club, who might be able to work something out. Not promising anything!!! I don't want to unnecessarily disappoint you. But I will try my best.

      They are very strict with the rule of only giving the t-shirts to those who personally come for a Wednesday run because the t-shirts are given away for free.

      Kind Regards,



If I can run, so can you: big dreams are reached with baby steps!