The Zandvoort Circuit Run

By Elie - 6:00 PM

When I first made my resolution list for 2022, "run around an F1 circuit" definitely didn't make the cut because I never knew it was possible. While scrolling through my Facebook news feed one night, however, I came across an ad for a Zandvoort Circuit Run and got so curious over what it may have been so I did the next best thing possible...

I signed up for the Zandvoort Circuit Run 2022

As weird as it may sound, participating in fun runs and random marathons have seemed to become a minor hobby for me. Having ticked off major runs like the Nike WeRunKL 21k, annual runs like the Standard Chartered half marathon as well as the super popular Milo Run back in Malaysia, I figured that signing up for one in the Netherlands made perfect sense. 

The cutest "train" ever.

Held at the Zandvoort Circuit in the little town of Zandvoort (yes, the same one that my other half and I visited when we went to the Zandvoort Beach), runners were to go 1 lap around the iconic F1 circuit - the very same where you'll see F1 cars zipping through if you're into the sport. On the day of, I was lucky enough to have caught the specially-arranged Hup On Hup Off transport that took participants from the Zandvoort train station to the circuit itself. 

Of course, if you've already known me for a while, then you would know that the words exercise and I are as foreign to each other as I am to the words "diet" and "eat clean" or "drink less boba tea". Simply put, I'm the least fit person you could find in town. But then again this was the Dutch F1 circuit and you didn't just get to look at the track this time, you got to run on it. 

And so I did. 

I ran like my life depended on it.

Okay, that part of the caption was a bit of a lie because I really didn't run that fast because I wanted to soak up the feels as much as possible. Having forked out €16 for my registration, I decided to take my own sweet time on the track while enjoying the random blasts of music they planted across the circuit. In short, the vibes around the run was amazing, with DJs popping out of nowhere to play Dutch songs to hype runners up and supportive people cheering us on across various stages of the track. 

These vibes, I'd recommend it a million times. 

In the end, I took nearly 37 minutes to go around that 1 lap - nothing groundbreaking, but I definitely wasn't the last either. Of course, I'd seen how some people finished their run in 20 minutes or so since the track only measured 4 kilometres but the joy I experienced when I hit that finish mark was sufficient for me. After all, 37 minutes was still a better time than anyone who didn't make it to the run.

Would recommend feeling this happy too.

Every participant received a bottle of isotonic drink at the finish line, along with our medals and a sort of traditional spiced cake called the ontbijtkoek. The latter was my least favourite part of the goodies we received, but I was way too hungry at the end of the run anyway and happily chowed it down with the drink. In comparison to the runs held in Malaysia, I found the Zandvoort Circuit Run to be way better organized since they had baggage drop offs and even lockers for rent. 

Ah, sustenance.

The surroundings of the circuit was also almost-festival like, with food trucks lining the carpark areas and music that just seemed to come from every direction. I especially thought it was nice that they had special runs for differently abled people, as well as pacers for runners who were hard of hearing in case they needed directions on when to start and what not. 

Overall, I did think the experience was nice and I didn't regret having to wake up at 8AM on a Sunday just to make my way to Zandvoort. Of course, my eyes would disagree since it really was very early, but the rare, beautiful sunny Dutch weather made up for it - unlike the random April snow we had. I came home a really proud person that afternoon after the run, and I may or may not have convinced my other half to join me next year having babbled about it non-stop.

Oh right, I do plan to join the run again next year. Have I not mentioned that yet? Well now I have, and hopefully in less then 37 minutes. We'll see.

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