Urban Trail Run 2018
This Sunday, the 18th of February, the third edition of the Urban trail run was held right here in Groningen. If you were in the city on Sunday morning or afternoon, you probably came across a lot of runners. Perhaps you are asking yourself, what is this urban trail run? Well, an urban trail run is not just a regular running event, it is a fairly unique experience that revolves around running through buildings that you may have never visited before. This experience is not timed, so therefore it’s all about having fun and exploring the city of Groningen in a very unique way.
I signed up for this event after New year’s when I decided to try something new and challenge myself in a different kind of way. I have never heard of this event before and was very intrigued when I saw the after movie from the previous year.
I received my bib number and startwave number over email so I knew exactly what time I should be there. They separate the participants into 7 waves since you are running through building and narrow streets. This is made in order to prevent overcrowding and to create a fun experience for all participants.
When I arrived at Vismarkt (the start and finish of the run) I could already feel the energy in the atmosphere. There were people of different ages, families, groups and students. This was something that I did not expect, but was really nice to witness. One thing that I love about the Netherlands is their running community, there uniqueness and sense of togetherness. Seeing so many people at this unique running event, has made me feel part of the culture and part of a small community. No matter how cold it was (it was actually -4?C) everyone had a smile on their face, creating a positive atmosphere for all.
There were two distance options, 5km or 10km, therefore giving the new runners an opportunity to do this running event without feeling the demotivation of a long distance. I was originally planning to run the 5km route since I haven’t run a 10km distance in over 4 years and didn’t feel prepared for it. However, I didn’t even notice that I ran past the 5km point until I was already at the 7.2km distance spot. The purpose of this event is to create a fun rather than competitive experience. Therefore, when you are running through these various buildings, fulfilled with the excitement to reach a new distance point, you don’t even realize that you ran quite a long distance. This has probably been one of the most fulfilling experiences for me since I have returned to Groningen and I will definitely do it again next year. Crossing the finish line after running 10km was by far the best moment of 2018 for me so far, especially without any training or preparation. After this experience I signed myself for the Nacht van Groningen to complete the 10km route.
The Groningen Urban Trail is part of the nationwide Urban Trail Series, so if you have missed the Groningen Urban run, you still have the opportunity to sign up to discover other cities by taking on other Urban Trails throughout the country! Location include Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam etc.
Check out their website for more information on the Urban Trail Run series and sign yourself up for a challenging yet exciting experience. http://www.urbantrailseries.nl/