After two years of online participation, the Batavierenrace could finally occur in real life again. Our Bata committee existed of Stijn, Lisan, Dionne, Luca and Daniël. Together we have organized everything concerning the WUR-team and the Tartlétos team. This included the making of shirts (credits to Dionne and Luca for designing the beautiful logo for the Tartlétos shirts), making LFC schemes (Loper, Fietser, Chauffeur schema’s) and much more. We also organized the training weekend, which was really fun. Staying at Tonnie’s house in Brabant, we had an amazing time. We slept in his living room and kitchen, did a pubquiz and trained till we got injured. Everyone enjoyed the weekend. We even made a real Bata song, inspired by the hit Brabant of Guus Meeuwis.
The 29th and 30th of April, the time had finally come. We hired four beautiful vans, which we filled with much more beautiful athletes. The first runners started off at 10:30 p.m. in Nijmegen. They had to run during the night, in complete darkness. Everything went quite well for both teams during the night, except that afterwards was decided not to include stage 8 in the final standings, because too much people took the wrong route. Also, Dionne experienced a heroic adventure. She had to fix a flat tire, whereafter she needed to be at the change point on time because she had to run after her cycling. Luckily everything went well. The morning shift started in Ulft, after a short night in farmer Rinse’s garden. Special credits to Nick, Tim and Julien, for all running two stages due to unexpected dropouts.
The first we saw when we arrived at the restart in Barchem was Stijn, stumbling like a zombie with a pale face after he finished. About ten minutes later, he was able to speak to us again. I think this is a nice representation of our determination during the Bata: everyone went very deep. In Barchem, the WUR-team was second in the overall university standings. Though, two stages of more than 10 kilometers were about to come. Although we had put two of our fastest runners on these stages, Maarten and Wout, it was inevitable to lose time on Groningen and Nijmegen, who had incredibly fast athletes. In Enschede, the WUR-team was second in the overall university standings, far behind Groningen. Two minutes behind us was the team of Nijmegen. Dagmar and Daniël were the final runners of the WUR-team. Together they had to keep Nijmegen behind them. They managed to do it: by ending in exactly the same time the WUR-team ended one minute in front of Nijmegen, ending on the second place. Though, 2 hours later a miracle (or a disaster) occurred. We got a message that Eindhoven, who initially ended up fourth, suddenly turned out to be second, because their punishment time was withdrawn. We were all a bit disappointed, but still happy with a third place. Monne and Anne-Juul were the last two runners of the Tartlétos team. They both did an amazing job and the Tartlétos team managed to become the fourth team in the general standings!
After the long day it was time for pizza. We had to wait almost two hours, but they tasted delicious. After diner we went to the festival. Stijn, as our chairman, was chosen to be the one to receive our price on the big stage. After half an hour searching for the entrance to the stage, we screamed at the top of our lungs when Stijn entered the stage. The party was amazing, we danced as if we didn’t run 175 kilometers at all. Though, when we woke up the morning after, it was very clear that everyone was exhausted. The perfect day for a competition! With two vans we drove to the competition in Apeldoorn, to uphold the honor of Tartlétos. Actually, everyone was quite happy and performed quite well. It was a lovely day, putting an end to an unforgettable weekend.