Nacht van Groningen
Last Saturday I have completed the night of Groningen 10KM run. If you were out in the city on Saturday evening and saw a bunch of people running in -4 degrees, or were wondering why some of the roads were blocked, well it is due to the night run that happened throughout the evening.
What is Nacht van Groningen? It is one of the most atmospheric and not to be missed running events in the city center and the Noorderplantsoen. All the distances start in the evening and is suitable for all runners with different running levels. There was the 5km distance 10km, 10 English mile and the half marathon (21km) to choose from.
I have completed the 10km distance and two days later I still cannot believe that I managed to leave my house when it was -4 degrees and participate in this event. The 10km distance was due to start at 21:15, and 5 min into leaving my house I was already freezing and shivering. One thought ran through my mind: ‘how will I manage to run 10km in this terrible weather?’
When I received my start number and made way to the start line, all of my negative thoughts about the weather had disappeared. People around me were dancing and jumping in order to keep themselves warm, but regardless of the cold weather and strong wind they were still cheerful and had huge smiles on their faces. Starting was definitely the hardest part since it was dark and I could not see that much around me as people were running past me and the streets were too narrow to overtake the runner. However, 2km in, it started to get better as my body was warm, there was more space to overtake people and it was definitely too late to turn back.
The people around me is what really inspired and motivated me to do my best. Once you are in this kind of environment you really start to feel like a small and comforting community that encourages one other and you know that you are all in this together. One thing that I love about these running events are the people who are just passing by but are still cheering for all the runners despite not even knowing them. Running to the finish line and hearing people cheering for you is what definitely made my event more memorable and unforgettable. It was a one of kind running event in Groningen that I managed to complete in 51min. I’m definitely proud to admit that this is how I have spent my Saturday evening.
If you are looking for something that not only challenges you physically, but also mentally than this is the event for you. No matter how nervous or unmotivated you might feel before a running event, there will always be people who will inspire and motivate you. Groningen has such a wonderful running community that is full of positive and cheerful runners who will get you across that finish line. I definitely recommend you to sign up for this running event next year or even an upcoming one and see for yourself.