As if parking garages were not scary enough on the best of days, a bunch of people about to drive off found out they were locked in during an Iron Man race happening in Hoorn, North Holland a few days ago.
Parking garage Het Jeudje was closed, but still had people in it when that was decided. In what sounds like a calm manner, one woman said at the time “We can’t get out and we don’t know when we will be able to”. Hoorn residents didn’t know anything and got locked in after they entered.
They had to wait 30 minutes, and everything was fine after that. But imagine if they had needed any help, that would have been bad news. Apparently, residents were partially informed about the accessibility issues of their city centre during the race, but not as well as they should have been. The city claimed it sent letters ‘that did not reach everybody’, as it was not able to inform some people who have a ‘no-no’ sticker on their doors, meaning they refuse to receive any unaddressed mail.
As well, the ‘internationally oriented website’ didn’t make getting online info any easier, which I must decode as, it’s in English or Dunglish and not the info residents were looking for. And then you get locked into a car park.
(Link: waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Westfries Museum, Hoorn by Fnorp, some rights reserved)
Tags: bureaucracy, Hoorn, running
After next weekend, Jaap van den Berg, 60, (not shown here, see details below), from Soest, Utrecht will set quite an impressive personal record: he will be the first Dutchman to run all European marathons. After next weekend, as he needs to run a marathon in Vatican City. “The marathon in Vatican City will be my 55th country in Europe, and then I will have done all European countries and I’m really proud of that,” Van den Berg said.
He started running in 1983 in Amsterdam and after that, the rest was just more running. “The Netherlands is beautiful, but as a boy, I always wanted to see the world, so that’s why.” Van den Berg trains three to four times a week, with his wife, something they have in common.
After Vatican City, he’s off to Palestine, making it the 80th country in the world he’s visited. It’s not about winning marathons for him, it really is about the travel.
(Link: rtvutrecht.nl, photo by Branko Collin of Kenyans Lucas Rotich and John Mwangangi at the Amsterdam marathon of 2014)
Tags: marathon, records, running, Soest
Developed based on her own experience running in Amsterdam, which when it’s dark makes you feel like the frog in the old video game Frogger, Dutch designer Pauline van Dongen has created a phototrope shirt using LEDs and foil, designed to improve safety for runners. It is made from technical jersey embedded with washable strips of the low-energy lights and sections of reflective ‘prismatic’ foil material that curve around the body.
Most runners including myself tend to use flashing bicycle lights or bits of clothing with reflective material, but none of it illuminates anywhere near as well or looks as cool as Van Dongen’s garment. She wanted to create a design that felt more like a garment a runner would wear regardless of the safety aspects, as runners need to be comfortable, and dangling lights or bracelets are not the way to go.
The jersey is still a prototype, but I already want one. Find out more about Van Dongen’s ideas with the use of a cardigan that helps with patient rehabilitation.
(Link and photo: www.dezeen.com)
Tags: light, Pauline van Dongen, running
On Sunday 17 November the 30th edition of the Seven Hills Run in Nijmegen will be held.
About 20 years ago I was a volunteer for the event and I had to guard one of the four starting cages, which taught me a thing or two about human nature.
The Seven Hills Run was and is an immensely popular race along 15 kilometres of undulating roads in and near Nijmegen. Both the global running elite and recreational runners take part. To ensure that the latter would not rob the former of fast finishes—the outdoor world records for 15 kilometre runs have been set at the Seven Hills course for both men and women—the runners were divided into four cages before the start, with the fastest group in the first and the slowest in the last.
At the start of the race, the cages would be opened back and front. The inevitable result was that the slower runners would not pass the starting line until minutes after the start, so that their official time would be composed of their running time and then some. My job at cage three was to make sure that only the people with the right starting number were allowed in and to redirect the others to their cage.
I received threats of violence that day and at one point a runner was so livid that he blocked the entrance to the cage and refused to go away. Thirty runners (my personal count) were sure that the faster cage was their rightful place. I got to redirect exactly one runner to a faster cage—I assumed that she was genuinely mistaken.
Around that time a company was founded by several students of the local university that produced an RFID transponder, the ChampionChip, that would make skewed race times a thing of the past. A computer would register the runners both when they passed the starting line and when they passed the finish line, and immediately spit out the right times. During the 25th anniversary of the race, the organisers even used the ChampionChip transponder (now owned by MYLAPS from Haarlem) to honour the 250,000th runner right after her finish.
I imagine that getting one’s exact time took some of the edge off the aggression and the need to cheat of some runners.
(Photo by Peter van der Sluijs, some rights reserved)
Tags: hills, Nijmegen, Radboud University, running, Seven Hills Run, track and field