Continental Centurions WandelWeekend
14-15 May 2016
Report from Kathy Crilley, C933 Centurions Captain:
The bar is raised yet again!
What an amazing result for RWV and the Continental Centurions.
Also, it was an amazing result for race walkers from the Isle of Man who literally walked off with most of the honours.
This year's WandelWeekend took place in the beautiful Princess Beatrix Park in Schiedam - a suburb a few kilometres west of of Rotterdam.
Also, this year it was a truly international event with walkers from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Isle of Man, England and, of course, Hollland. The flags of all participating nations flew proudly along the course.
The high standard of walking resulted in 32 new Continental Centurions - a brilliant result. Other honours and national/world records were also recorded throughout the weekend.
Sadly, we actually experienced very English weather throughout the whole weekend!!!
From 23 degree heat on Friday, Saturday descended into 10 degrees dropping even further to 8 degrees overnight with rain and a very strong cold wind... not quite what we have been used to over the years. Generally, we (well, me) suffer from heat stroke - not hyperthermia. But then I guess even RWV can't control the weather!
The race programme
The Continental Centurions Wandelweekend is a very inclusive event. It offers races at various distances: 50km. 50 English miles (EM), 100km, 100 EM and 24 hours. RWV also put on separate strolls around the park and Schiedam with 5km, 10km and 20km routes.
The start time varies according to the distance: the 100 EM/24 hours and the 50km start at the same time (12 noon); 100km at 18:00 the 50EM at 20:00.
Our UK contingent (Isle of Man and English) walkers were representative in all but the 100km races. And took honours in most! And, each race had a fair sprinkling of (British) Centurions competing
The team of lap recorders were very vigilant in recording our laps. No chip timing or leader board but they didn't mind anyone asking how many laps had been completed. Although the original information about distances of the first short lap (to accommodate 100 miles) and subsequent lap distances did differ to the final distances on the day which was rather confusing.
1 Richard McChesney Hutt Valley 183.587 24.05.18 (Centurion)
2 Frank van der Gulik LAT 181.605 24.01.41 (Centurion)
3 Sandra Brown (f) Surrey WC 177.669 24.06.16 (Centurion) 1st Lady
(all British Centurions)
1 Vinny Lynch IoM VAC 160.934 18.48.36 428
2 Michael Bonney 160.934 19.52.45 429
3 Robbie Callister IOM Vets 160.934 20.16.10 430
4 Jantinus Meints RWV 160.934 20.28.12 388
5 Janette Morgan (f) IOMVAC 160.934 20.36.56 431 1st Lady
6 Frank van der Gulik LAT 160.934 20.46.52 343
7 Richard McChesney Hutt Valley 160.934 20.58.27 432
8 Sandra Brown (f) Surrey WC 160.934 21.08.28 131
the other races 50km/50Em/100km
1. Caroline Mestdagh (f) GAC 13.28.35 (Centurion)
1. Stewart Jones Manx Harr. 80.467 09.47.18
1. Matthew Haddock Manx Harriers 05.44.02
2 Anne van Andel (f) DAK 05.55.07 Nederlands Record (Centurion)
9 David Hoben Surrey WC 07.16.02
- 24hours/100m miles
- 50km/50 EM/100km
- Race splits
View from the back of the pack (ie my view!)
Judging from the entry list, I knew it was going to be a great race!
Before the start, Vinny Lynch told me that he wanted to get under19 hours, so I wasn't surprised (well, yes I was) when he lapped me after a mere 3 laps into the race! Quickly followed by loads more...
Then there were Manx walkers Michael Bonney, Robbie Callister and Andrew Titley hot on Vinny's heels. Soon followed by New Zealander Richard McChesney who was out to take the NZ record and get under 21 hours. If that was not enough, stalwart Centurion Frank van der Gulik (NL) who is such a consistant 24 hour walker soon passed me by.....
In the ladies race, we had our very own Sandra Brown (Surrey WC) pitted against Isle of Man walker Janette Morgan (also a Centurion). Two walkers at the top of their game. But in different races...
Given the entry process of declaring a 100 miles or 24 hours race in advance - it was difficult on race day to determine as to who had elected to race 100 miles or the 24 hours. Hopefully, the result sheet is explanatory!
So whilst Janette won the 100 miles (well done!!) Sandra won the 24 hour race (well done!!)
Somehow it didn't seem to matter as to what race you had entered... just when you stopped walking....
Some walkers entered the 100 EM/24H race based solely on the start time because they really didn't want to hang around all day (in the cold as it happened) until the official start time of the 50EM/100km races in the evening. I confess that I was one of these. In 2015 I did get very cold waiting for the 100km start so this year I thought that entering the 24 hour race with a 12 noon start would be preferable. This is fine if you are not too fussed about a "result" (whihc I wasn't) and you just want to do a distance (which I did).
In the 50km race Matt Haddock from the Isle of Man (Manx Harriers) came first followed by Dutch walker Anne van Andel. Congratulations to Centurion Anne (qualified in Castletown 2015) who created a new Dutch record for 50km.
The support team
No 100 mies/24 hour race is complete without the support team. The 2016 Wandelweekend was no exception.
Centurion Suzanne Beardsmore, husband Jim Hansen along with friend Kerry Martin went to support Centurions Sarah Lightman, Richard MacChesney and would be Centurions Lee Corkhill and Suzannah Corkhill and ended up with a whole lot more of us. Thank you!!!
On the Isle of Man side, Emma, Mo Cox and others (sorry I don't know your names!) were there to look after the Isle of Man walkers. But, as ever, everyone pulled together and looked after all the strays and waifs - namely, myself, Sandra, Victoria, John Kilmartin and nameless others....
So a very BIG thank you to you all.
I have also to thank the Dutch RWV crew on the feeding station - Veronica, Tamara and friends for their hard work and great sense of humour. You were wonderful!
Not to mention other crew at the "half way" feeding station, the lap recorders, the organisers and everyone who made this race so very memorable.