Being able to go to Gran Canaria felt like a real treat, after having just survived the work craziness of January & February. Too little sleep, stomach issues, stress-related injuries in my legs, and (so it felt like) little focus on running had finished just in time before Gran Canaria. I was most of all sooo much looking forward to being out in the mountains and seeing some sun again. My goals for the race were to enjoy, to finish within 12 hours, and to enjoy some more.


The day before

I only arrived a day in advance, which turned out to be a day in which nothing went according to plan. The car I hired had lots of body damage and it took a while to leave the airport, then I couldn’t find the AirBNB I was staying at, then I needed to visit a supermarket, and I still needed to collect my race bib. I had emailed the organisers that I would be late, but I don’t think they expected me to turn up at 10.30pm. So when I arrived at race base (Expomeloneras) there was no-one there anymore! Oh oh, I already saw this all turn into one big disaster where I wouldn’t even be able to start the race.. But finally finally finally after about an hour of searching I got hold of the right person. Few! I was actually going to start! When I got home I still needed to pack my bag etc, so I don’t think I got more than half an hour sleep before having to wake up again to get the coach to the start. Oh well, I think I participated in rather more than fewer races that had a similar start with almost no sleep so I wasn’t too worried.

 

I still can’t really believe it. I managed to get myself selected for team NL for the IAU Trail World Championships in Portugal!!

I got injured 3 weeks before the selection race took place, so (trying to look at it from the bright side) I had a very long tapering period.. This wasn’t ideal, but yet I managed to finish this race as the first Dutch lady. This meant I was going to represent my country in Portugal! I hadn’t quite thought about what this would really mean, but one thing was for sure: it was time for a bit of training....

Continue reading here :)

 

We did it!!!! We finished the Raid in France in 5 nights & 5 days. We even managed to finish 14th overall. This was the longest race we ever participated in. Before we started we weren't sure whether we would be physically capable of doing such a race. This would be the first Adventure Racing World Series Race we would participate in, and we were very aware that this is the highest level of adventure racing, a level we have not yet experienced before. From the other hand, looking at the distance, it didn't seem too much. 'Only 450km'. We've done more kilometers before, in a shorter timespan. Harm, who already participated in 2 Raid in Frances before, warned us that the amount of kilometers would be misleading. ‘They’ll send us over very technical terrain, there won’t always be paths, it will involve a lot of bike-carrying, there will be a lot of altimeters, and we might be struggling to meet deadlines’. We couldn’t wait to find out and see.

The start wasn’t great for Arjan. He’d caught a stomach bug just 3 hours before the race start, and only 15 minutes before the start he was still hugging the public toilet in Font-Romeu. I also wasn’t feeling well and still struggling with a cold and high temperatures. We decided to just ‘suck it and see’.

We started with a prologue for which we had 50 minutes. Maarten’s navigational skills are excellent, and we easily managed to find all the CPs within the timeframe. We then got the maps for the first part of the race.

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