Egmond 2020: A True Fight Against The Elements

Hel van Egmond medal
14 januari 2020

BF Holding Company’s main board memberSunday 12 January 2020

Last Sunday the 48th edition of the semi-marathon of Egmond took place. The Dutch’s toughest half marathon with the nickname “Hell of Egmond”. The weather predictions were not prosperous before the start of the marathon. On the day before the Egmond semi-marathon, the mountain bike race Egmond-Pier-Egmond is traditionally run over the beach from Egmond to IJmuiden and back. On Saturday, there was already a strong SSW wind which meant that the course speeds on the way up did not quickly exceed 25 km/h and on the way back speeds of over 50 km/h were reached. Especially on the way up it was a heroic battle in a dry atmosphere under the bright blue sky where Ward Koster and Job van der Wal drove half a minute away from the rest. With strong tailwind Sebastian Langeveld opened the hunt for the leading couple and when he had caught up with them, he went on and over them. Ockeloen tried to stick with the cyclist of EF Education First, but had to give. After previous victories in 2009 and 2014, Langeveld again finished first. Tessa Neefjes won the women’s race. See the full results here.

In comparison with the cyclists on Saturday it looked a lot worse for the runners on Sunday. Where the cyclists could enjoy the advantage of the tailwind for the second part of the course, the runners had to cover the first course of 7 km right against the wind over the beach where the wind force was tight 7 and the gusts of wind reached a force of 9. Because the runners walked their way back after the beach route in the shelter behind the dunes where there is almost no wind and the wind chill increases by 8 degrees, the runners did not have the advantage on Sunday, the cyclists on Saturday did have. The conditions on the beach were exhausting and the 18,000 runners really had to battle the elements, as the organisation Le Champion rightly uses this slogan for this event.

With the men, the victory went to the Belgian Bashir Abdi. Abdi crossed the finish line about half a minute earlier than Kenyan Allan Biwott, who came in second at 1.08.49. Mohammed Ali was the best Dutchman in third place in 1.08.59. Noah Schutte, specialist on the 3000-meter steeplechase, deservingly finished fourth in 1.09.09. The Ethiopian Tsehay Gemechu won among the women in 1.20.29. Linet Masai from Kenya arrived secondly on the boulevard of Egmond (1.21.17). Tadelech Bekele from Ethiopia was the third woman in 1.23.00. Bo Ummels was the best Dutchwoman in fourth place in 1.24.01. She kept Jill Holterman just behind her. See the complete result here.

One of Best Friends main board members ran his 8th Hell of Egmond in a personal course record of 1:43:32 as part of his training course towards the IRONMAN 70.3 Multisports Festival WF 2020. After debuting in 2019 on the IM OD 5150 with a time of 2:22.54, this year he will be training for the IM 70.3 on upcoming 28 June. The start of his training season was kicked off in Egmond. After this there is a monthly half marathon on the program: 9 February Groet, 22 March Lisbon, 26 April Madrid and 23 May Luxembourg. We will continue to inform our Best Friends here on our site in the coming months about the progress of our board member’s skills.

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