NACHT VAN WEST-VLAANDEREN

The night marathon

Night of Flanders Marathon

June 18th 2010 at 8.00 pm for the marathon and 100K…8:15 for the 10K

Start 8pm

Time limit: 6 hours

Transportation & Lodging

We flew into Brussels from JFK on Thursday morning and decided to take the train to Torhout Friday afternoon.  We reserved a room at the Hotel De Beiaard in the town center. It was a lovely hotel!  It was very nice and convenient.

Pre Race

Entries and pick up of documents on Friday, June 18h between 5.00 and 7.30 p.m. at the city sports centre.

We checked in and headed to the sports center to pick up our packets.  It was a bit of a walk to the sports center and it seemed we were walking away from the town but after asking directions several times we were able to find it.  The packet pick up was very easy and we headed back to the hotel to get something to eat and rest before the race.  I asked Bill if there was a pasta feed before I realized that we were getting ready to run.  It is strange to prepare for an evening race!

We returned to the hotel and got some croissants (chocolate for me!) and drinks in the town center…and then returned for another serving!!


I loved these signs!!  Let the fun begin!!

I decided this would be my only chance to stand on the awards podium…so I better take advantage!!

Course

A very flat course consisting of 2 loops to the neighbouring village of Lichtervelde and back to Torhout. 
The finish is situated in the city centre (Town hall) amidst a big crowd of spectators who are enjoying a local musical show programme.


The distance were indicated every 5 km.

The roads were well lit for the most part and  free of traffic.

Catering every 5 to 6 km with water, coca-cola, sports drink, fruit and light energy-snacks.

The race ran through very scenic country roads!  The sun did not set until somewhere around 10:30 so we didn’t run in the dark very long.  The race did a complete loop through the town center just past the halfway point.  There were carnival rides, a band, and LOTS of bratwurst, sauerkraut, beer, dried fish, (icky)and cheering people!!

The Race


We rested and then got dressed and headed out to the sports center for the start.  It was difficult to decide what to wear because I anticipated it getting cooler as the night went on, and I didn’t want to be cold waiting for the start, and I didn’t want to drop a bag.  I settled on shorts, singlet, and long sleeve. (which I ended up tying around my waist very early on)

When we left our room, the girl next door started talking to us…she was American too!  We walked to the start together and visited.

We started the race running a four hour pace.

We decided to run together and I was just enjoying the whole experience and beautiful country.  I started visiting with a girl, Mia, running in a pack.  We hit it off right away and became fast friends.  She introduced us to her running crew and her friend Patrick, who was running his first marathon.

Bill and I running with my new friend Mia and her running friends.

Patrick in the blue shorts and black hat in the back left of the photo.

We talked about the Zermatt Marathon that she was preparing to run in July.  She told me that she was only running 30K of the race.

At some point she stopped at a camper to use the toilet that belonged to her friend and I thought she was stopping the race, so I kept going.  We ran with Patrick and eventually met another friend Willhem (who had run ALOT of marathons).  There evidently was some kind of roller skating race going on at the same time as they passed us a couple of times.  We all ran together and had a fantastic time!  What a beautiful country and people!!

We finished in just under four hours and met Patricks wife.  We ran into the city center to finish in the dark with people everywhere!!

The aroma of beer, brats, and fish filled the air!

The experience was priceless!

We were so happy for Patrick, to have met Mia and Willhem, and to have experienced Belgium!

We exchanged emails and hurried back to the hotel to get some warm clothes and head over to the sports center to pick up our T-Shirts.

Post Race

Prize rewarding ceremony on Saturday, June 19th at 1 am on the stage in the city centre. (town hall) before arrival of the 100K

Dressing rooms and showers available at the city sports centre.

We missed the ceremony…couldn’t really figure out where it was…but later saw people carrying very nice trophy cups.

We walked to the sports center to pick up our TShirts…only available in large and extra large.

I checked with the results table and they gave me an envelope with some cash…WOO-Hoo I won a prize!  I’m not sure what prize…but I won!

There was some food–I saw fries–and beer and lots of people in the center, but we decided to head back to the city center for dinner (at 1am) and only found one place still open…the sign said snacks…kebabs and pizza.  An interesting combo!

We went in and they turned the pizza oven back on for us.  We ordered pizza and french fries and it was delicious!!  And Sunkist soda!  Yummy!!

Exhausted…we went to bed!  We woke up the next morning, had some coffee and pastries and headed back to Brussels to begin our holiday!

Results

Prize money according to the place in the overall result and finishing time.

The finish for the 10 km city-run is situated at the starting zone.

All the results of the races will be put on the internet: www.nvv.be

Me  357.14

Bill 3:57.14

Patrick 3:57.16   1st Marathon!!

Willhem ?

Mia…ran 20 miles for training for Zermatt!

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