Theo Peters, accepted to answer my 9 questions to present the Spark Spijkenisse Marathon. Theo is fifty and has been living in Spijkenisse since 1983. He ran the Spark Marathon Spijkenisse in 2006 and 2007. And now has joined the organisation.
1) Hello Theo, on December 7th, you’ll be organizing the Spark Marathon Spijkenisse. Can you tell us where it is located?
The marathon is located in the city Spijkenisse, 12 km west of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The start and finish are at the athletics court of Spark.
2) How old is the marathon? Why was it created in the first place? It’s a rather new marathon. It was first organised in December 2006 as part of the celebration of the 40-year anniversary of the athletic club Spark. Because of the enthusiastic comments after the first edition, Spark decided to keep the marathon on the calendar.
3) What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
The route is one round through the polder land around Spijkenisse, with the last 10 kilometres through Spijkenisse itself. The landscape is diverse and almost free of traffic. It takes you alongside the water of the Bernisse and there is a nice view over the river ‘Oude Maas’.
4) How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract? We expect some 800 runners on the different distances. About 200 will run the marathon. Many of the runners are ultra-runners and masters. We don’t invite athletes for a fee, but there are money prizes for the winners in a variety of categories.
5) Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?
The club organizes different races, especially in the months before the Rotterdam Marathon that takes place in April. On the fifth of October there’s a run over 5, 10 and 15 km and on the 16th of November a run over 5 and 10 km and 10 miles. In June there is Rondje Voorne, a beautiful race over 50 km with start and finish in de historical city of Brielle and organised by our neighbour athletics club Voorne (www.rondjevoorne.nl).
6) At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
In the first edition there was a lot of wind and a temperature of about 7°C (45°F) and a some rain. In the second it was again a bit windy with a temperature of 8°C (46°F), but now it was dry. In spite of the wind many of the runners did run their fastest race of the year in Spijkenisse!
7) Have you planned festivities around the marathon?
There are no festivities around the marathon.
8 ) The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Spijkenisse before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?
The Maasboulevard is a nice place: it’s the 36th kilometer of the marathon. You have a view over the busy river the Oude Maas. This river is an important connection of the Rotterdam Harbour with the European hinterland. You can eat in the Chinese Indonesian Restaurant Angkasapuri which is located there. In the centre of Spijkenisse there are several other restaurants. I particularly enjoy dining at café Merz.
9) In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of 42k195 to make them register for the Spark Marathon Spijkenisse ?
If you want to complete your races of 2008 with a well organised marathon with a beautiful track, then Spijkenisse is a good choice!
Thank you Teo.