The Venlo is unarguably one of the courses known for its beautiful environment. Unmatched in sheer numbers of spectators the Venloop half-marathon is a wonderful experience. I experienced the Venloop for the first time on Sunday the 20th of March and, boy oh boy, it was spectacular!
Martijn Venhuizen had been busy trying to solve his elite field puzzle. He had been anxiously waiting for the event, he could only hope that he had selected the right athletes to set a new course record.
After a busy week, Christine Venhuizen checked in at the Van der Valk hotel in Venlo. The next morning, Martijn and Christine went to the course where she started her preparations. It was D-day and the city was filled with spectators and other competitors. Tension was high among the athletes and excitement dominated the spectator stands.
After a good warm-up Christine was at the frontline, in a pack of around 8000 athletes, ready to start the 10km race.
The starter gun went off and tragedy struck. Christine got pushed aside by another runner leaving her injured and dazed. She recovered fast and it was evident that nothing was stopping her on this beautiful day. The race was decent, the spectators they were amazing and the ambience was simply spectacular. Half an hour after the start, Christine was making the turn into the city for the last kilometer. She was running with the leading pack; leading almost every other participant and in front of all the other ladies. Cheered forward by the thousands and thousands of people in the city Christine finished in first place clocking 37 minutes and 13 seconds!
After the race Christine got to feel even better seeing her husband, Martijn, coach the elite athletes to an astonishing 59.44min at the half marathon making them break the course record, and setting the second best time worldwide.