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!

Viborg, South Dakota

June 13, 2010

6:00 AM Start

Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5.3 Mile Run

Lodging and Transportation

We drove in from Storm Lake and checked in to the Swan Lake Christian Camp Lodge.  A very nice lady gave us a tour and showed us to our room.

It was a room with two sets of bunk beds and a double bed…all with very uncomfortable mattresses, but more than enough room for the three of us!  And a bargain at 25 dollars a piece!  There were no locks on the doors (it is a Christian camp after all) but she assured us everything was fine.

There were community bathrooms down the hall.

It was a beautiful area with views of the lake.

Pre-Race

Packet Pick Up was at the lodge from 2pm until 6pm June 12th, and 5:15am until race time on June 13th.
A spaghetti dinner was available for $8 from 5:0-6:30.

We arrived at the lodge after our drive from Storm Lake, checked in, picked up our packet, and went into the cafeteria for the pasta dinner.  We found many of our same friends from earlier at Storm Lake and others that had run the Sandhills Marathon in Nebraska as well.

We unpacked and readied our things for the race and then went to the worship service.  We then went to bed early as I think we were all tired.

Course

The course was altered because they too had experienced the storms and part of the course was flooded.  They decided the marathon would run the half marathon course twice…two loops.  I really like loop courses so it sounded great to me!  We talked with Erin and Cindy at the start and they decided to run with us…they were at the IA race as well.

We ran past farms (even a smelly sheep farm with very muddy sheep), country roads, and a little bit of main road as we ran through the town of Viborg.

We had alot of fun with our new friends!

Somewhere around 17 miles (or so) we came upon a 15 year old boy running his first marathon.  Connor’s brother had run a marathon when he was 15, so Connor was carrying on the tradition, and couldn’t stop to walk because he would have to shave his head (a bet with the brother).  We  all ran together for awhile and then Bill, Connor, and I finally pulled ahead (remember we couldn’t walk) towards the end and Kari stayed with our new friends.

We came upon the finish and we all started sprinting in when Bill stepped in a huge mud puddle and splashed mud all over me!  I had managed to stay relatively clean until the last .1 mile!

We finished and followed the tradition of ringing the camp bell!

Post Race

Showers and free massages were available at the camp after the race.  A free (donations were accepted to help fund camper’s scholarships) post race meal was also served in the lodge after the race.
I went straight up the stairs, took my shoes and socks off at the front door, and went straight to the shower.

The shoes and socks were then thrown away!!

Bill and Kari went straight to the cafeteria to get some chow!

I joined Dave and crew at the table and enjoyed some delicious cheesy potatoes while Bill and Kari cleaned up.

Dave with the Bell!!

Then it was off to Des Moines for our flight home!!

Medals & T-Shirts

They gave us a short sleeve tech shirt and a medal for finishing…ribbons for age group prizes.

Results

Bill 5:17.54

Cristy 5:17.55 2nd AG

Connor 5:17.55 2nd AG

Dave 5:18.53

Kari 5:20.05 4th AG

Erin 5:20.05 2nd AG

Cindy 5:20.06