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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Boston Marathon

April 19, 2010

Pre Race

We flew into Boston and met Bill at the airport.  We took the train to our hotels, dropped our luggage, ate some lunch (We ate at the food court in the mall), and headed to the expo for some serious shopping.  It would have to be a rushed trip since I only had 2 1/2 hours!  How could I ever fit it all in?!

I bought a hoodie, T Shirt, jacket, pin & patch.

I tried on numerous shoes…trying desperately to find a pair that leave me with toenails and blisterless.  Since my WONDERFUL Adizero LT shoes were discontinued I have had nothing but trouble!

I am currently running in Puma Complete Roadracers, which I love the way they feel, but they are leaving my feet a mess!

I even considered the Vibrams (even though I think they look funny), but they felt funny between my toes.  I am not sure what I think about the Vibram craze….

I may have narrowed it down to the Green Silence by Brooks for the next shoe to try…even though they are not green?!?

They didn’t have my size, so I will try to find them when I get home.

We shopped until the very last second then picked up our packets.  We got a great long sleeve tech shirt – teal for the girls & blue for the boys.

We met Chuck, Chuck (to be known as Chuck squared in the future) and John out front and headed over to Cheesecake Factory for dinner.  We had a bit of a wait so we headed over to the hotel, dropped our stuff, and hung out at Starbucks (where else) until time to eat.

We headed back over to Cheesecake Factory and I was ready to eat!!  I had sweet corn tamale cakes and jamaican black pepper shrimp…some of my favorite dishes!!

We said good bye and turned in after sorting through our schwag.

We took a taxi to and met the guys at Panificio for breakfast.  I had delicious french toast!  As we were leaving, we met the editor of Runners World.  Very fun!

Now it’s off to spend the day at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum!

Our trek begins!

We took the train and got off at the JFK/U Mass station.  The museum and U Mass must be close!

Even though it was chilly and rainy, it was a beautiful walk to the museum.

We walked through some cool neighborhoods and Callie had the opportunity to get some nice pics.

Okay, the walk was a little further than we expected!

The rain finally stopped and we made a pit stop at the University and then headed to the museum.

We FINALLY arrived at the JFK museum.

It is my goal to visit all of the Presidential Museums…this will make number 4 for Chuck and me…Bill, Kari, & John are behind!

Our official photographer!

We were all very happy to learn that there was a shuttle that would take us back to the train station!

The trip back was a lot faster even if it was not as scenic…

Now the train…

Chuck was showing off his new Boston jacket while we waited!

Callie wasn’t sure that she wanted to be associated with the boys!

They just look like trouble, huh?

We stopped at Starbucks before heading back to our hotels.  Callie and I made one last pass through the expo while Bill headed back to the hotel to do some work.

We met Bill at the hotel then jumped in a cab to go to the pasta feed.

So much for relaxing the day before the race!

We pulled up to the pasta feed just in time to run from the cab to the front of the line to catch the boys who were already going inside…woo-hoo!

The room was decorated with balloons that had videos of past races projected on to them.  Very Cool!!

Geoff Smith…1984 and 1985 winner from Great Britain.

Our meals consisted of salad, rolls, tuna fish pasta salad, pasta marinara with sausage, and mac & cheese.  I stuck with the meatless choices – mac and cheese and salad.  It was very good!

We got a big table inside and a girl from Idaho and her hubby joined us.  The pasta feed at Boston is fun and now I know we can sit inside…we have always been outside in the past and the weather can be chilly.

On the way out they gave out bags of Toblerone and Lindor chocolates, cookies, chips, etc.  Yummy!!

We headed back to the hotel and laid out all of our race stuff and hit the sack!

Race

We were up early and I had my traditional breakfast of a donut and Starbucks bottled frappuccino.

We headed out for our mile + walk to the buses.  We met a super cool guy along the way, Neil from…Idaho!  We talked all the way to the buses and we found out it was his first Boston.  We kind of adopted him into our group as we navigated the crowd to find the guys.  The guys had started talking to a couple of gals…also from Idaho!  I think the whole state of Idaho must be in Boston!

Chuck, the Idaho girls, and Neil…

me and Bill…

and John and Chuck…

enjoyed the long ride in traffic to Hopkinton with great company!

We were dropped off in the Athlete’s Village and wandered around for awhile looking for a warm, comfortable spot out of the wind to stretch out.  All of a sudden, I hear “Cristy!”  It’s Jan from Phoenix!  Wow!  What a small world!!

Here we are!  Look at my crew of guys!!

We finally find a spot on the grassy knoll!

Chuck settles in and has a snack!

I am sooo happy!  I love the experience of Boston!

John is ready to go!!  hehe!  He might be warm but he is still funny!

The buses in the back are our bag drop.

Woo-Hoo!!

Our new super fast friend Neil is ready to run his first Boston!  Yea!!!!

Bill disappeared into the port-a-potty line…Where is he?!  It is time to go!!

John is ready to go…we just don’t want to talk about what he plans to do with the empty bottle…hmmm.

Me and my guys!!

I think we are all psyched and ready to head to the start!

Bill, Neil, and I were in the first wave and headed down 30 minutes before the three musketeers.  We wished Neil luck as he headed up to his corral.

Bill and I started out running together, but after a short while I let Bill go as I wanted to be a bit conservative during the first half.  I had been suffering with some pretty severe back pain all week and just wanted to ensure that I could finish.  I caught back up with Bill after a few miles and introduced him to an Aussie that I met.  He was 72 and shooting for a 3:33.  I kept Bill in sight until I pulled off before Wellesley for a pit stop and to dislodge a pebble from my shoe.

I avoided the kisses and ran through the Wellesley girls on the opposite side of the street, although my ears were still ringing for miles!

I ran down the hill after the Wellesley girls and through the downtown area feeling okay.  I think it was on the next uphill slope that I started having trouble…my back started having spasms so I made the decision to make sure I could finish.  I walked up every uphill from there to the finish.

I made it to the Newton Hills and found orange slice heaven!

There is nothing that tastes better to me during or after a run than oranges!

…and I am pretty sure I ate about five whole oranges on my journey through Newton!

I knew once I made it to the top of Heartbreak that I would finish and just enjoyed the run.  Boston College may even surpass the Wellesley girls for enthusiasm and noise!  As we ran by their party seemed to be just getting started!  I had some stomach issues and ducked into an empty port-a-let.  I think it was empty because you had to weave through a sea of spectators to get there!   I ran past a girl that was struggling…so I decided to run with her for a bit.  She had a hip injury and was suffering.  We talked for a bit and she seemed to start feeling better (or she was very brave).  Off I went to the Citgo sign…one mile to go!

I love Boston because it is 26.2 miles of 500,000 spectators!

I turned the corner to Boylston and reveled in the moment.

I felt mixed emotions…so privileged and proud to be there, but a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to have the day I had hoped for…but as the throngs of people several deep on Boylston cheered…I came to peace with the day…it is Boston…and I finished…loving every minute…what more could I ever ask for!

LIFE IS GOOD!!!!

I looked for Callie as I was running in, but I didn’t see her (she was there waiting for an hour but didn’t see me either…what a trooper!)  Bill was waiting for me at the finish line.  We got our medals and potato wraps and headed for the food tables for cookies and snacks, and then to the buses for our bags.  I still had an upset tummy (which is unusual for me and it lasted for a couple of days…ugh!) and I was starting to get cold!

At the finish, a sea of potato wrapped runners make their way to the buses to pick up their drop bags.

We got our bags, put on some warm clothes, called Callie, and headed to the hotel…stopping by Starbucks to look for Neil…but no sign…it turns out we missed each other.

Post Race

Callie met us at the room, I took a nap while Bill showered, then I took a long soak in a very hot tub. (also unusual for me as I find the thought of hotel tubs icky) but felt a bit better afterward…maybe it was the Pepto?

We took a cab to the North End to meet the guys, and walk to an Italian restaurant…well with some shopping pit stops along the way!

We had a great dinner at La Famiglia Giorgio!

I had a great stuffed eggplant!

Chuck J. had this yummy looking mussel dish.

We finished the evening by getting a Gelati at the Gelatateria, going to Mike’s Pastry for Cannoli, and next door for coffee.

I slept sooo sound!  Bill got up and met the guys at Panificio for breakfast, but Callie and I opted for breakfast at the Pour House and shopping on Newbury Street before we checked out and headed to the airport at noon.

Maybe this would have helped Monday!

Should we go to the airport or Wonderland…maybe the airport.

Results

Valerie Bertinelli ran to support research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute-The Jimmy Fund.  She finished in 5:14…

Bill  3:36.04

Cristy  3:48.19

John  3:58.12

Chuck  4:42.12

Chuck J  5:04.38

Neil  3:58.52