The longest Beach Marathon in the world
Hoek van Holland - Den Helder 130 km of sand and salt.
Sunday 4 november
Somewhat cold beginning of the day . Have to scratch the car windows in the early morning ,no rain, wind SE 4, expected Z 6-7.
A dull start, just a ribbon at the beach, no surprises. After the start at 09:00 oclock, there is forming a long ribbon of about 800 bikers, A pretty sight.
The first 30 km is wet sand so heavy biking, On some pieces we have to walk through soft sand, the legs are already tired and we have stil 100km to go .
Lateron the sand gets harder and begins the group formations and the speed goes increases around 29 km / h with gusts to 33 km / h. Not cold or hot, so I have the right clothes on. No sun today cloudy all day.
After a 7km came again walking trough soft At Scheveningen we leave the beach for a short detour around the harbor drive, then entering the beach and biking under the Pier . Looking out for walkers, dogs and dug pits, fishermen, seagulls etc.
At IJmuiden (65 km)is the second ime we leave the beach A short stop at the first post-treatment, bottle filling, Then over the locks and on the beach again. Seeing many people with bad luck, puncture tires etc.
You do not know how many shells, glass and stones we bike through The whole coast is mobilized into pieces of 20 km, where lifeguards are active, they can help you to eat drink, and worse.
Occasionally waved spontaneously by people on the beach. Which beach we are passing, I do not know they are al look alike . Unloaded from a large group (30), it is just 1 km / h too fast for mee and you need a lot of attention riding in a larg group. Biking a hundred meter behind the group for the next 20 km is relaxed riding..
Occasionally pieces of loose sand so powerbiking.
.At 110km we encounter bazaltrocks, At full speed we manage to get over it. gaining applause from some people After a few km pavement we enter the beach again .
The second and final post-treatment is there I do not stop , having enough food and .
The wind is not turned to the South as predicted this morning.
Back on the beach for the last 30 miles, Everyone is now tired. and having endurance is getting important .There is now a small group of 6-people , and itś better riding than a large group.
No biking trhough some large cahnnels of deep water We can maintain a speed of
29 km / h and overtaking some people from the large group in front of us
It now starts to rain softly. The last 10 km to the small group falls apart. behind me.
Must now bike alone, and focus myself on a few 29-ers to overtake
Leaving the beach at Dark dunes, we now ride on gravel and wet grass (beware many crashes with the smooth beach tires I hear later) towards the finish 14:09 h .at an old sport-field. The board gives 5:09 hours. (Sorry just not within the 5-hour).
The ceremony is still going on, which is usually a good sign that you're still pretty in front ended, average 25.2 km / h. 205th place.
One watersray for over 800 bikers is not much.and the showers in the canteen are hardly warm.
But with a satisfied feeling I go on my way home
Around 17:00 we arrive backhome an experience and T-shirt I DID IT richer.
Sand and salt seems to have done little damage to the bike.
Monday, I can feel the muscle .
Briefly: Nice, soft sand, firm sand, water channels, fishermen, dogs, no punctures, no equipment failure, heavy enough condition, nice to have done, but is not an annual event for me, a little too boring.