The university team for the Batavieren race is as good as complete, and there are a few extremely fast runners among the women in this year’s relay team. Among the men, speeds could do with going up a notch or two.
There were several new faces among the men, while badminton player Ruben de Vries showed that he was still capable of running fast. However, what with some injuries and someone being absent due to family obligations, team captain Mischa Petie did not have as strong a team as he would have wished for. 'I would have liked to be surprised this evening', commented Mischa afterwards. He had hoped that the trials would turn up four more fast men. Anyone who can run five kilometres within nineteen minutes and would still like to join the fastest team from Wageningen for the Batavieren race still has a couple of days to sign up.
Among the women there were two skaters who showed that they were fast runners too. Froukje de Boer and Frida van Megen both ran three kilometres in just over 12 minutes and came second and third, respectively. The fastest woman was Esther Swart. After going through three years of injury problems and then losing lost her boyfriend Jan Roos in an accident in June last year, she is clearly on the way up again now.
The death of Jan Roos is a sad loss for the team too. As a fast runner he was a fixture on the team and for years a leading light in the organization too. 'Jan was not just experienced but had a talent for it too', says Mischa, who worked with Jan for several years. 'He always knew where to find new runners. Jan was always combing race results and would then email people he found there.' Jan also had a talent for motivating people in a nice way, adds Mischa. 'He knew how to trigger something in you that made you enthusiastic.'