Exact 10 km (or 5 km) run

Sometimes, things get out of control.  Always. At least in my life. During a training run, I had a more or less random thought. It let to running event that will take place the 9th of October. So far more than 80 colleagues have signed up.  And than the questions came…

Why did you organize this event?
It all started after one of my pre-lunch training runs this winter. I stopped my GPS watch and noticed that I had run a 9.94 kilometre: “Wow that is almost exactly 10 kilometre. That could be a nice race course.” I decided to give it a go, and thanks to a lot of positive comments, and support for others, it went off.

What are your experiences with organizing this event?
It started small, but (also because of the massive response) ended quiet big. I have some experience organizing (bigger) sporting events, which helped me a lot, and it is a nice way to cooperate with colleagues I don’t work with on a daily basis. The only thing not yet arranged is nice running weather, so fingers crossed for that, for the rest I can’t wait.

What kind of reactions do you get?
In general, everybody was enthusiastic. For some people it was the trigger to de-couch-potato themselves, buy a pair of shoes, and get out to run. For others – like myself – it is a nice way to meet some colleagues during an activity they like to do. And fortunately, there are also some colleagues that don’t care much about running themselves, but like to help out as volunteers. Without them, we would not have the Exact 10 km (and 5 km) run!

Why did you start running?
At some point in my cycling ‘career’, I thought it would be nice to participate in a triathlon (not the full length, but only 500 meter of swimming, 20 km of cycling in 5 km of running). Participating in such an event requires proper training, so I bought some running shoes and started. My results during running test events where promising – the swimming was bad, so no continuation on that part – and from there I got worse: I spend more time running than cycling nowadays.

Why is running your passion? What do you like so much about it?
As mentioned, I both run and cycle. Both have their own up- and downsides. But in general: breathing fresh air, being out there, on your own, feeling your body working its way through, challenging the elements, and the excitement of the speed.

What’s especially nice about running, is that it is so easy to get your ass out. Just change gear, and go. Only a pair of shoes, shorts and a shirt is.  The downside is it’s not a proper alternative for travelling. I live 25 km from the office which can easily be done by bike. I run it sometimes as well , but then others have to take my laptop, clothes and stuff and as a one-way-trip it still takes two hours.

Pleasure is also in the small things. Cycling home through the rain, passing a traffic jam, knowing that you will be home earlier, with a hot shower waiting, or overtaking a (slow) cyclist while running, and seeing the surprised face of the cyclist.

What is your best running achievement? What are you most proud of?
That’s a tough one. But I think that my second place (out of 78) during the Avantri Dijkloop (half marathon) in a new personal record of 1:25:50 (14.75 km/h) is my best achievement (so far). I’m not sure if I’m proud of any running achievement in particular. I have a certain level which allows me to have nice results, but the truth is that on a world scale I’m not special. The world record on the half marathon is 58:23 (21.68 km/h), which is 47 percent faster than my p.b.

What does your running scheme look like? How do you train?
It varies, which should be a good thing. As my main goal for autumn is setting a nice p.b. in a Marathon (I’ll participate at Maratón Valencia, 15 November), the main focus is getting the distance. In practice, with training durations of at least one hour. To improve on pace and technique, I attend track training weekly.  And –because it is fun and proper training – I run some test events, both on the track and on the road.

What are your tips & tricks for our colleagues?
Run as fast as you can, but not faster. That is less trivial than you might think. Finding out what your maximum speed is (for a certain distance) takes time and experience. Most (inexperienced) runners, start way to fast, which is killing for the kilometres to come. Test yourself sometimes during training, and/or use sites like www.corniel.nl/runs to predict your potential based on times at other distances.

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