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Zevenheuvelenloop, 2012

Pacemakers in a run are called rabbits but some are turbo-rabbits. They take off like a roadrunner [1]] and finish first.

Route of the zeven heuvelen loop.


Like last year, I was invited to be a pacemaker for the first 10 km of 15 km of the zevenheuvelen run.

The zevenheuvelen run is an event in Nijmegen in the Eastern part of Holland, and organized on the third sunday of November. The main attraction is the zeven hills, a rare feature in Holland.

Elevation map with the seven hills. Four are hard.


The organization is nearly perfect for the some 30000 participants. The recommended access is by train and this can be part of the participants package deal.

Fast and slow runners have different starting times, up to an hour apart, and a sluice is used to prevent bottlenecks after the start. The first 5 km uses the full two lanes of the road.

Change areas

The change areas are very simple and located in very comfortable and warm parking garages. There are even hot drinks, tea and coffee.

The outfit is simple, banquet tables in a large open area but with plenty of space. The areas are only accessible for runners, male and female are mixed, and the allocation is by starting number. This dictates which garage you get. A high starting number gives you the closest garage so you and your running mates may want to sign up late, in September.

The only real thing missing in the areas are showers but a bottle of water for rinsing the face and splashing the upper body is sufficient. This, to remove prickly salt in the eyes and on the face as going home by train will take a few hours so you won't have a sticky feeling. Just past the finish line there is a sink to wash your face.

A full change of clothing is also recommended if you are one of the faster runners and permitted. No one will blink an eye as they are all tired and few runners arrive within 1:05 h.

The run

The start time is at 13:00 hours and we left with a 5 minute delay. My task was to dictate the pace to the schedule of 4:24 to 4:30 minutes per km and passing the 10 km mark in 44 to 45 minutes.

As always, right from the start, the males have the tendency to run too fast, some sort of gladiator feeling as they are jeered by a large crowd.

The rain kept on coming down on us with big drops created puddles on the road. We already abandoned the thought of another personal best, below 1:05:30. It was suppose to clear up around noon, but there was no sign of rain clouds to disappear.

The first 5 km is along the Groesbeekse weg, a two lane tarmac road with plenty of space. There are two slow inclines, or "heuvels", net going up is 50 m over 5 km.

After a few kms I donated my cap to a kid, was too warm, despite the rain coming down in big drops and fogging up my glasses.

We passed the 5 km in a very sharp 21:58, 32 s faster than planned, running on average 13.7 km/h or 4;23 min/km.

5 km, 21:58 minutes

Past 5 km you make a sharp left turn leaving the two lane highway and entering a narrow, one-lane country road.

A sign entering this road tells the slow runners to keep right, but despite repeated calls, nobody payed attention. I had no choice but to swirl around the slower runners.

This part is only 2 km and you may decide to be patient as overtaking runners is annoying by the little space and you may hit each other with the risk of tripping. Our acceleration, however, saved a few seconds for the approaching hills.

At the 7 km mark the first two of four real hills, hills number 3 and 4, are visible in the distance. These are steep, each around 20 m high. Going up is hard on the lungs but going down is hard on the knees.

The weather suddenly cleared and I could finally get a clear view after drying my glasses on my shirt.

I slowed down our pace going up and this worked well, my heart rate varied from 162 going down-hill to 167 going up-hill.

We were running along side a woman of the local hospital with a surprising size L or even XL for her speed. Could be a former hockey girl. I commented that I wouldn't mind having her as my nurse but not as my doctor.

Just before the 10 km mark there is a steep hill down and a camera taking pictures. We made sure to have thumbs up while racing down, see below.

10 km, 43:52 minutes

So far, very good. One minute below our target time.

From 10 to 11 km there are two nasty, slow inclines, hills number 5 and 6, but nothing going down to recover. This is the hardest piece and we slowed down to 12.5 km/h or 4:45 min per km.

Once you are past the 11 km you may decide to go flying. From here, most of the route goes down-hill and there is only one more small hill, the 7th. The last few hundred meters before the finish also go up.

I decided to accellerate, from nearly 14 km/h to around 16 km/h. I lost my customer/running mate in a few seconds, it seemed, creating a lead of 50 m quickly.

I passed a young policewoman and couldn't resist to say: "De politie is in conditie". Took off right away, feeling embarrassed.

I finished with a 160 m lead or 37 sec of my running mate, but still within view. Last two km I did an average of 15.8 km/h with a heart rate going up to 176.


"Who was the rabbit, you or me?", said my running mate.

Data author

Final score position 2049 out of 26408, 7.6%.

In my category M55 position 59 of 1552, 3.8%

Time 1:04:32 over 15.05 km,  14.00 km/u, 4:17 min/km.

Average heart rateg 168, energy 1102 KCal.

Garmin GPS Distance: 15.05 km

Garmin GPS average speed: 14.00 km/h

Heart rate

Net times (difference)       km/h


5 kilometer

21:58 (21:58)       13.66


10 kilometer 

43:52 (21:54) 13.70


15 kilometer

1:04:32 (20:40)    14.52     

GPS moving speed amd heart rate.

Speed and heart rate ( 1km data point is a Garmin error).

Final score position 2049 out of 26408, 7.6%. In my category M55 position 59 of 1552, 3.8%.

Data running mate

Final score position 2293 out of 26408, 8.7%.

In my category M55 position 335 of 2995, 11.2%

Time 1:05:10 over 15.05 km.

Average heart rateg 168, energy 992 KCal.

Data running mate.


10 km.

10 km, thumps up.


Map with the station, start areas and change areas A-E.

Finishing times per age group

Oldest winners:

(e.g. M55 = M55-59)

Winners per Category



Msen 1


Nicholas Kipkemboi


M35 xx


Jeroen Bonnes


M40 1


Huub Maas


M45 1


John Aalbers


M50 1


Peter van Egdom


M55 1


Sjaak Luteijn


M60 1


Cees Stolwijk


M65 1


Bert Streumer


M70 1


Siegfried Kalweit


M75 1


Pet Loverbosch


Vsen 1


Tirunesh Dibaba


V35 1


Renata Haring


V40 1


Jacqueline Rustidge


V45 1


Ingrid Prigge


V50 1


Inge van Schaick


V55 1


Angnetta van 't Wout-Merkx


V60 1


Ria Hoksbergen


V65 1


Joke Toepoel


V70 1


Diny Taag van Norden


V75 1


Joke De Leest