27th and 28th out of 175 company teams. That’s the verdict after last Saturday’s Ekiden. One we we can all by pretty proud of. Especially since we made two teams that are more or less equal instead of trying to make a good and bad team. Fun over results, always!

Since one of my colleagues fell a bit ill and another one literally fell the night before, I had to run 3 times. And since I really wanted to do a good 10k, I wanted to do that one first, which kind of limited the options for the last 2 runs to… well… the last to parts, 5k and 7.2k.

But let’s not get ahead of things. So first it was Guus for team 1 and Jayme for team 2. Guus did a splendid 22’52” over his 5k. Eveline took over for the next 10k. About 4 minutes later, Jayme also arrived. Not as fast as the previous time he participated. Parcs in London apparently close at sunset, which kind of limited his running options for the last 6 months. Either way, Jayme’s arrival was my call, so I made way. I caught up with Eveline and steamed onwards. i’d do my 10k in 38’30”, which I was more than satisfied with.

Jente’s turn now for his 5k! And about 10 minutes later Eveline Arrived and Ser was on his way as well. Ser would catch up a bit with Jente (Ser & Jente needed respectively 22’50” and 25’29”), but team 2 was still in the lead with about 7.5 minutes. Jeroen took the next 10k for his account for team 2, while Pieter had to chase him in team 1.

At that point, it was obvious that team 2 would still be in the lead after that 10k, so we decided to switch the teams around a bit: I’d run the last 2 parts in team 1 and try to catch up with Laurens & Wout who switched to team 2. Just to make things more interesting. Jeroen came in in 49’55”, Pieter needed 51’34”, which gave Laurens a 9 minute head start. I took off, not going flat out since I had to do another 7.2k after that 5k part.

Laurens came in after 25’44”, a lot faster than he anticipated. However, I did it in 20’05”, closing the gap to about 3’30”. And then it was time for the final chase. I had the advantage that I knew how far I was behind. Still, Wout’s a pretty good runner and I was getting tired. After about 1.5k, I could see him running at the other side of the water. Still quite a bit ahead. I sped up and finally caught up with him at about 2k to the finish line. I stayed with him for a bit, catching my breath. Once my heart rate had dropped a bit, I sped up and left Wout behind and finish in 3h19’49”. Not far though: Wout would finish within a minute after me, in 3h20’33”. Good stuff and sensation right up to the end of the race!

But what counts is that 10 people had a lot of fun (well, I hope so) and we were both pretty close. And I motivated some people to run, which is probably what I’m most proud of. Although I’m quite proud of my 38th time on the 10k in the men as well 😉

Next up: Antwerp marathon. This time alone, not in a relay :-). No big goals there except guiding my buddy Greg to a time below 3h30′. But first the Twoo team event: snowboarding, partying and hopefully some mountain running too! Run the planet!

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