After almost ten hours train I had arrived Den Helder at Saturday afternoon. Now I had to take the bus to get to the ferry for Texel. When I went of the ferry I went to the bus station. Suddenly I heard my name. As luck would have it Martien Baars, the organizator of the race, was there to pick up his daughter. Because of him I got into this race. Shure I had heard before about it, but never found the time to go there. When he wrote and invited me at the beginning of this year I could not resist anymore. Martien brought me to the hotel. It is placed next to the start of the 120km and the finish of all courses. Before I went to dinner I had to do some shopping of refreshments for the course. The 120km runners had only support by a biker during the first half of the course. So every runner had to give his drinks and snacks to his biker.
At Sunday I got visited the island. Udo Wegmann from my running club showed me some parts of the course. He is at the island for family vacation since years. So he knows the island and the course quiet well. At Sunday evening we received our running numbers at the Stayok. Infront of the youth hostel was also the finish. As an add-on every runner got a functional shirt of the race. I also met Nelleke Koop. She had contacted several runners to assist her for a report about Ultrarunning. We should get a microphone. During the race she was passing with here camera team to collect enough film material. After the pasta party I met Gabriele and Volker Grohmann to have a beer together. They also took this race to combine it with some vacation on the island. Because Gabriele is still not fit enough to do the 120km, Volker wanted to try the 60km.
The 120km start was already at 4:35. Because of that the hotel wanted to make a breakfast packet. But it did not really work. Luckily I got some reserves with me, which I can use for breakfast. About 4am I went to the start. I met my supporter and gave him my refreshments. Also I received the microphone, which I should carry during the race. Only 26 of the pre signed 35 runners showed up. There were only two women. All the others had to cancel. There are two reasons for the low amount of runners at the long distance. One is the tough qualification time. The second is that every runner has a biker for supporting. So the field already doubles. The first half of the 120km was backwards of the 60km course. The 60km started at the turning around point of the 120km. The course was from Den Burg to the coast. From there it was always besides the cost to the ferry harbour. Most of the course was on street or biking ways. Between there were some sandy ways through the dune. The highlight were the two beach parts. During the first 60km there was low water. Also we passed the beach early on the day. So the sun did not dry out the sand. So the sand was wet and hard. So it was more or less easy to run on it. Still the eleven kilometres took a lot of energy. The supporter did not get down to the beach. It was understandable, because they would have it much more difficult to get trough the sand. End the end of the sand part they waited for you. At the turn around point the supporter changed. So there was a second one for the second half of the course. When the 60km started at 10:35am most of the 120km runners already passed the turning point. On the way back the sand was more loosen. So people got the choice between running on the loosen sand and having dry shoes or getting wet shoes from the waves and running on the hard sand. This two parts cost most of the runners a lot of energy and time. So it was not easy to make the cut off time of 13 hours for the 120km respectivly seven hours for the 60km. On the way back I met another friend. He was at Texel for training with his running club. Not long after that also I got problems when I went trough the dunes. Besides the difficult ground conditions it was a very nice, but warm spring day. It almost seamed to be a summer day, compared on the temperatures. Because Eastern was very late this year, also the race took place late. It was great, because the whole island bloomed. All over there are fields with tulips, bellflowers and blooming trees. Also all of the birds are back. But it was still to cold for having a bath at the ocean. At least in my opinion! Well, back to the race. The winner of last year Jan-Albert Lantink wanted to break the course record of 9:23:30h. Also for the 60km there was a call of breaking the course record at the media. Both won their discipline, but failed the record. When Jan-Albrecht arrived at the turning point he was going for a nine hour finishing time. But he lost about 45 minutes on the second half of the course. At the end all runners met at the Stayok. People sit together and enjoyed the nice afternoon.
At this event a very great thanks belongs to the bikers (especially to my supporters Gerard Timmerman and Furu Mienis). They had accompanied and supported the 120km runners. The race had a very nice flair. Spectaculars stayed at the course and cheered the runners. Definitely an untypical situation for an Ultra race, but still nice. And people can not get the qualification for the 120km still can do the 60km. Here the limit of runners is at 350. Also the 60km has aid stations (also the 120km on the back way). While most of the runners left after the race, I stayed one night longer.
|2||Palmans||Peter||10:49:55||2||van den Haak||Léonie||12:30:35|
Results of the organisation
Report at UltraNED 04/08/2011
Report at Hardloopnieuws 04/20/2011
Report at Hardloopnieuws 04/27/2011
Report and results Texel
Homepage of the organisation
Photos at Flickr
Video of Nelleke
Report LG Würzburg