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How to run a Marathon in 3 hours 50 minutes…

June 24, 2012

run it in a relay (estafette)!!!

After an amazing Pasta Party with great sketches and entertainment, the day dawned not unlike last week. That is raining! Apparently this was the same as 5 years previous for the celebration of  then 15 years and now 20 years anniversary of the Bergse Runners Club.

This time the rain looked as it was not going to budge. Joost & I started the preparation of “eats” for after the run. Our team – Team Sure2Endure –  was 7 people, 3 spectators and Joost as timer. Adrianna called. Would the marathon still go ahead? Its raining!! We assured her that it would.

Nicole arrived without husband and children. They would come later as Thijs had a golf lesson first! She came bearing “borrel brood” plus olive oil and basil for the finishing touch – yum!

Right on time at 12 noon Adriana arrived and very shortly after BiBi, Liezbet and Sofia. We had several “countries” represented – Spain, Germany, the UK, Chille, The Netherlands… we went round the table and shared running experiences and decided number of rounds (each 4.2 km and running order). Everyone prepared with Winrgy and off we went (Steve was to come later).

Preparation for the Estafettemarathon

Preparation for the Estafettemarathon

The atmosphere on the Plein at Nederhorst den Berg was amazing. No rain could dampen our spirits. The race also had a charity element. We were raining funds for Jeugd Sports Fonds. In the Netherlands there is little, if any sport included in the school curriculum. It was incredible to learn in De Brug (local paper) that there are 400 families in our area   – i.e. the FOUR villages, who cannot afford to pay for their children to participate in sport!

I collected our number, contributed additional money to the charity and also included a professional photographer in the package! and passed on the info for the timing to timekeeper, Joost.

Liezbet started! Team Sure2Endure was off! It was a mass of bodies… It was already clear that the rain would not start so Nicole & I went back to our house to collect the garden parasol!!! I added a few union jacks for fun :-) and we had our camp!

START!! Bergse Runners Estafettamarathon

START!! Bergse Runners Estafettamarathon

Liezbet changed with Sofia and was definitely “suffering” from runner’s high – it was her FIRST race ! After about 25 minutes Sofia changed with mum BiBi – NOT competitive at all – she was to run two rounds and was keen to perform better than her daughter! It was a close one and I think she JUST did it as she changed with Nicole. In the meantime Steve had sms’d to say that his car had broken down…

Nicole’s “boys” had arrived – bang on time to see their mother come over the finish line. Boy that was tough! The old trap of starting too fast!! Adriana was off and Steve arrived!! ProXtreme (Protein shake) was “infused” into Nicole. Steve & I had a small debate and decided that of the four rounds left he would run first and then we would switch.

Some confusion as Adriana came in – where were Steve & Joost???!!! She shouted to me. I was totally unprepared. “Run on!” I shouted – in the distance – the other side of the start/finish I could see Steve – phewy!

Off he went. Adriana disappeared home!!!

AT LAST!! I would run ! A very sodden looking Steve  – he had just been drenched in the most tremendous downpour – tumbled over the line! I knew most of the route. So, when we changed, I galloped off. Stuffed my runkeeper into a plastic bag – it apparently stopped immediately :-)  – struggled to put my number on and then was really running after about 300 metres!

Along the Ankeveensepad and to the windmill and along the shingle path that runs along the Spiegelplas. This is a great route in sunny weather – and the sun did start to come out! Only 1 km – that seemed a long time could I keep up this pace – it was certainly different to marathon running – or at least the one I had done last week. Just before 2 km I came across Remco – he was waiting for a teammate and would run with him for a km. He “took” me to the 2 km mark. Coming the other way were several groups of walkers (there is also a rambling club attached to the BRC and they were walking a half marathon in the opposite direction). It was nice to see them as there was little in the way of “public” on the way. I ran almost to our house and then over the road and through the gardens of Kasteel Nederhorst den Berg. At the end was the photographer and I was directed to the church where I was “greeted” by friends directing me down a little path, over a bridge and along the play area – more friends – Super! Then only a few hundred meters to go! I changed numbers with Steve – WOW that was invigorating!!

nederhorst den berg

nederhorst den berg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was impatient to run again. Steve seemed to take AGES. We waited. Some teams were already finishing – all together. Joost rang Adriana – would she like to join us for THE FINISH!!

Steve was in sight! I ran with him the final meters as we struggled with the wretched number! This time runkeeper worked!! I heard her and tried to keep the pace up! It was a challenge and it felt a little shorter than the previous round. There were fewer people on the way round – luckily a group of walkers some of whom I knew. Then people in front of me. They seemed to struggling and walking and jogging was their tactic – yeah!! I overtook!!

I was really enjoying this!! As I rounded the corner lots of cheering – Joost, Steve and Nicole were waiting for me and we ran the last 150 meters together – out of nowhere Adriana appeared to run the FINAL 50 meters with us!!

And that is how you run a marathon in under 3 hours 50 mins – exact time 3 hours, 48 minutes, 48 seconds!!

The Finish - with most most of TEAM SURE2ENDURE!!

The Finish – with most most of TEAM SURE2ENDURE!!

2 Comments leave one →
    • June 25, 2012 9:50 pm

      Thanks Guille – you also have a good blog. How is running in Oz – seems very different to the flat and windy – oh and muddy (after last week) Netherlands!

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