Who? Marlou Bijlsma, student of Nutrition and Health
What? Athlete with Tartlétos, won the short cross-country race (3.4km) at the Dutch National Students' Championship
''The start was uphill, so I started slowly. But after the first one or two hundred metres I couldn't see a single woman ahead of me, just a few men who started at the same time. Along the way someone called out something about a head start and then in the last round I started overtaking men, running from the one to the other, each time focussing on the next one.'
Did Bennekom put you at an advantage?
'There were other Wageningen participants and some familiar faces and there were more supporters. And the day before I had got to know the track, which you can otherwise only do on the day of the competition. It was nice to know in advance that there were good paths and no obstacles along the route. You sleep better knowing that.'
Had you worked towards this? Did you want to peak here?
'This was my first race in six months. I have been in Sweden for four months and didn't see an athletics track there. So I had no idea what form I was on, but my trainer Tonnie said, stop jabbering and run. In retrospect perhaps this was the best way. I even enjoyed the run, the spectators, hearing my name called out, the sunshine; I am totally happy.'