Nijmegen, Holland; Chiba, Japan
PRTC has raced in Canada, the British Isles, Italy, Holland, and China. Add Japan to that list. Bart started this round of international racing, competing back at home in the Zevenheuvelenloop 15k. This is an annual 15k race over 7 hills. The first five hills have gradual, continuous climbs, while the remaining hills are shorter. The last 5k of this arduous course thankfully becomes flat and heads back toward the city of Nijmegen. This race is a big one, boasting 30,000 participants! And the race organizers are ambitious, having recruited the likes of Felix Limo (who on this course set the current 15k world record with a time of 41:29) and Geb (who ran 41:46 here in 2005). Paula Radcliffe was also scheduled to compete here in 2005, but canceled at the last minute.
Coming of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, Bart felt that he prepared as best he could, while he knew he would not be 100%. “I should probably have run a few more longer hard tempos to get familiar with the race intensity. But trying to steer clear of injury so soon after the marathon, I kept mileage low and emphasized short-fast and speed work.”
Bart ran the first 5k in 17:10, feeling the effects of the first large hill. But he increased his tempo from there, splitting 16:44 and 16:27 for the subsequent segments. “I treated it as 3 x 5k. In retrospect, i think I should have run the race with a heart rate monitor because then I could have seen that I was taking it too easy in the beginning. At 11k, I finally got into it and started to race. I passed many, but by then it was too late really” he estimated his effort. But Bart showed no ill effects from Chicago. He is healthy and training, so the Fall was certainly a success!
AS FOR RENEE’S RACE, it was truly a big deal for Renee and PRTC, as it is the first time an athlete from the team has competed for a national squad. Renee’s charge was the 10k leg of the relay at the Chiba International Ekiden. Though the women’s team did not finish as highly as the men’s team, they did place 10th overall. That’s not considering they are competing against the rest of the world! Renee has certainly worked extremely hard this year, and her selection to a national squad was the perfect way to cap off 2006. We’re happy for you and proud of you too, Renee!