The Rotterdamm Marathon had been postponed three times before actually being held on October 24, 2021. I took a train from Berlin to Amsterdam, then down to Rotterdam, made a discovery tour through the town from the train station all the way to my Airbnb apartment on the east side along the docks, arriving in rain and trying my best to speak in the Dutch that I had absorbed up to that point. Maidie my host was very unique, brewed a kind of syrup/wine from old Christmas trees and such, very into nature and plants, and we had some long talks. The next day I did another discovery tour through the town of wild architecture, seeing a movie and arriving in late afternoon at Delsfhaven where the Pilgrim nutjobs apparently set sail back in the day. I walked all the way back through town along the Rochussenstraat to the evening Marathon mass at a church in which they allowed us runners to place a candle on the map of the marathon, quite meaningful.
The next morning I set out early out in wonderful cool and sunny weather, perfect weather for a marathon, to the starting line and found my place by around 10:00. Our wave finally got going around 10:20 the first couple kilometers over the bridge down south. I kept up a good 30-min/5K pace, was at 10K at 1:01:16 and 20K at 2:01:23, really steady running. I practiced my Chi running much more this marathon than any other and was able to use it to pass groups of runners simply by leaning forward and letting my weight carry me forward.
I felt good all the way to 39/40/41K but powered through and finished strong with a decent 04:34:46 for the flat course. It was nice to see that I could run a 4-30-something again as two years ago in Seville (04:29:43).