Last weekend it was time again for the biggest student running relay in the world, the Batavierenrace. For Tartlétos this is always a highlight every year, as we participate in this with two teams: the Tartlétos team which takes part in the general classification, and the WUR team for the university classification. In this final classification, Dutch universities use their best runners to compete to win the coveted podium places.
The results during the campus run already suggested that this would be a beautiful Bata. The WUR team limit for the women was the sharpest ever, with 19 min 50 sec on the 5 km. Men also had to do their best with a limit of 17 min 40 sec. The high expectations were soon realized: already when we came out of the night, the WUR team was in second place behind Nijmegen, and that led to a well-deserved silver medal for a team that has been missing a podium place for 5 years. The average speed of 16.61 km/h was also nice and high. No less than 5 stages were won by WURtjes: by (inter) national toppers Kristel van den Berg, Ynte Biemans, Jasmijn Bakker and Ellen van der Kolk, not to mention Tim van Rooij, our own team captain.
The Tartlétos team did nothing less than the uni team. Because this year women had to have around European level to be allowed to wear the blue-green WUR-shirts, there were many fast ladies who went to fight for Cheetos. Our power ladies did a great job, like Csilla Vamos, who just finished 17th on a men’s stage. Chapeau! We also owe a lot to our 6 men, since they have taken on all the long stages. With all the effort and conviviality, the Tartlétos team finally came in 16th place out of 322 teams in the general classification, with an average speed of 13.4 km/h.
After 175 km and crossing through a night everyone was ready for a spectacular end, and this was achieved by the 4 final runners. First Ellen came in for the WUR team together with the runner from Groningen. Upon entering the stadium it seemed exciting who would win, but then our Ellen started her final sprint and in this home match she managed to leave the Groningen behind. From that moment on, Guus Heijnen had around 4 minutes margin on his Groningen opponent to really take the second place. It was fighting for him and waiting with tension for the rest of the team, because with a 28 second difference he crossed the finish line. Tartlétos veteran Lotta van Leeuwen and BataCie chair Laura Schumacher then walked onto the track with the red-black flag and beamed all competitors into the shadow.
All in all, it was a Bata to remember. In the evening, first into the party tent, and then into the tent with a medal, heavy legs and a big smile. Thank you all runners, thanks organization, and until next year Enschede!