Saturday morning in a cool (effing freezing really) morning in Arnhem, I am feeling smug and perky. Smug because despite the temptation to drink Friday night with our friends, I didn’t and was a goody two shoes. Perky, because I didn’t have a hangover…
Shod in my new Brooks trainers and fluoro running tights, I was as wrapped up as I could be. Ouch the cold hurt, so I began my warm up walk towards the parkland. I ran towards the scene of Friday’s night 6 course meal, pre dinner gin and tonics pictured…, with me sporting twangy hair due to the humid conditions. I started my run and passed two people walking, totally forgetting I was in Holland, I said thank you when they let me past. Oh well my “danke je”, could wait until the next overtakee….
At the next turn I was in the parkland proper, the sunlight streaming behind me and I could hear a very loud pounding behind me, and a rather large shadow loomed over me. Fact: The Dutch are the tallest people in the world with a male average of 1.838m – that is a smidgeon over 6ft and female of 1.699m that is about 5ft 7inches. I am 5ft 4, that’s 1.635. I was a little trepidatious to say the least, my heart was pounding more than a little… then I was overtaken by a man who I reckon was just under 2 metres tall. The BFG overtook me and said Hey, so I acted cool and said hey back. Not an axe murderer then…
A fairly gentle run ensued, I passed two women walking who looked very much alike, and yes they were taller than me. In truth I was partially lost, in that where I thought I was going wasn’t actually where I was, so I continued on and found a memorial near the Arnhem cemetery. It’s nice being a Brit in Holland and especially in Arnhem, due to Operation Market Garden. I took a minute to pay my respects and ran back to the parkland; coming towards me one man, fair hair, tall and glasses and his twin running behind him. First twin was Mr Grumpy or maybe he didn’t see me through his misted up glasses, second twin was Mr Happy and smiled and said Hey, so I did too… At this point the Isley Brothers were singing Summer Breeze, and I was feeling a bit of a breeze as my new running tights were slipping a little lower than wanted! An inelegant adjustment later, I was trucking along nicely to Boogie Shoes, and came across the horse stables, were the horses were chowing down, stopped to take a pic and carried on.
At this point I realised I might just be able to manage the 10k, I was quite slow and plodding, but continued on, oh and uphill too. Arnhem I think must have the majority of the hills in Holland. On the home strait, and coming the other way were the slim, tall, bespectacled twins. This time I got grins and hands up from both, a final push down the central runway and back again, and I hit 10.4km. Brilliant, a really happy runner am I. So to the warm down walk and as I crossed the road, I saw another set of twins this time on bikes.
Today was the day I set out as a single, dark haired munchkin runner and was overtaken by many tall blond giants. Oh and I kept on seeing double… is Arnhem the Dutch capital for twins?
This was also my inaugural run with the retro runners Glam Polly 2810 playlist, on Spotify.
My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust
Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro
Metal Guru – T Rex
Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas
Tiger Feet – Mud
D.I.S.C.O. – Ottawan
War – Edwin Starr
Lady Marmalade – Patti Labelle
Gonna Make You A Star – David Essex
See My Baby Jive – Wizzard
Band On The Run – Wings
Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey
Waterloo – Abba
All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople
Sylvia’s Mother – Doctor Hook
Amarillo – Tony Christie
I Feel Love – Donna Summer
Roll Over Beethoven – ELO
December 1963 – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate
Summer Breeze – The Isley Brothers
Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band
Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed
Silver Lady – David Soul
You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me – The New Seekers
Night Fever – Bee Gees
Average Pace 7:44 mins km
Elevation Gain 108 metres (who knew that was even possible!)
Twins – 3 sets