I'm Zhenyu, an IT engineer at DBNL, and I enjoy running in my spare time. I've been a member of the ING running club for almost a year, but my official first participation as an ING runner was marked by this year's Amsterdam half marathon.
I registered quite late this year, so I was initially placed on the waiting list. As the race date approached, I began to doubt whether I'd have the opportunity to participate. Fortunately, just one week before the event, I received an email that I had a chance to join. Due to my last-minute registration, I didn't have enough time to obtain my race bib by post, which presented some challenges in the future.
On the day of the race, I arrived at the sports arena one hour early to collect my race number. To my surprise, the expo was so crowded, and there was some chaos. After waiting in line for a considerable time, I finally reached the help desk. However, the volunteer informed me that I needed to go to Business Square for assistance, which was a kilometer away from the expo. The roads were congested with many runners heading to the race, and after a ten-minute struggle, I finally reached Business Square.
At the square (Due to recent rain, the terrain was quite muddy), I ran into my colleagues who had just taken a group photo (my apologies for not joining them), and I found Marcel, our contact lead for the business team. Then we headed to the tent for help. After explaining the situation, the volunteers informed us they had no race bibs, and we had to return to the expo. With only ten minutes left before the business team's race was set to begin, I was sure that if Marcel went to the expo with me, he would miss the original start time, but he was so kind to help me out even though himself was also late for initiating running. Here, I am immensely thankful to Marcel for supporting me.
Fortunately, even though the expo's help desk closed, the lady in charge of the volunteer team kindly provided me and a few other runners with temporary race bibs. So, at the very last moment, I was able to participate in the race.
Although I started the race late, I was still elated to join. Due to the unfavorable weather conditions that day (drizzling and windy), my performance wasn't as ideal as I had hoped (I completed the race in 2 hours, 9 minutes, and 44 seconds). I appreciate the organizers for their efforts and the enthusiastic support from the citizens of Amsterdam. I could always feel their support, and I really enjoyed the running even though it was tough.
It is a pity that I couldn't join my colleagues this time, but I hope to be a part of the group photo and run together with them next year!