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donderdag, september 10, 2009

Preview Belgian championship Long Distance

In the men's class, the situation is simple. The only one who can beat Fabien Pasquasy (Hainaut O.C.) is Fabien Pasquasy himself. But that's what we've been writing in both 2008 and 2007. Both times, we were wrong and Pasquasy, the 1999, 2003 and 2005 champion and 6 time WOC long distance finalist did not live up to the expectations. This year might be different. Last year's winner, Thomas van der Kleij (hamok) is currently suffering a viral infection on his vestibular system and was not able to train the last 1,5 months. The 2006 and 2007 champion, Jan Gilot (K.O.L.) is also injured at the moment and is currently focused on his basketball career. He does not participate.

Outsiders for the victory are Michel Bastin (O.L.G. St. Vith "ARDOC"), growing stronger and stronger after his mid-season baby-break. After the relay, he wrote: "Très content de ma course, tant techniquement ... que physiquement, surtout après 19 entrainements/compets en 20 jours." And indeed, the tough terrain in Houterenberg is particularly well suited to Bastin's running style. Another runner who favours tough terrains is Trol's Ken Peeters, training harder than ever before the last months and also showing signs of his good shape at the relay and interclub competitions.

Bastin and Peeters are relatively fresh, having not competed at WOC this year. WOC runners Pieter Hendrickx (K.O.L.) and Jeroen Hoekx (hamok) are also expected to be ready for this championship. Hendrickx ran strong at the World Mountain Running championship. Hoekx spent most of his previous weekend on the couch, due to a start of tonsillitis, only interrupted by the relay championship. The resting period imposed on him was not unneeded on the other hand.

More favourites are the stars of the Relay championship: Omega's finisher Joost Talloen and starter Wouter Leeuws are ready. Talloen, the seasoned runner, is always ready when it really matters. Leeuws is young, but running fast. Then there are the ones out for a revenge: Desmond Franssen was running strong in the forest during his leg and Dries van der Kleij, slightly injured at the relay might be back in his old form. And then, we didn't even mention the eagle of Zoersel, Winston Franssen, focused as always and impressive in the forest at the interclub and relay.

The real outsiders are found in the early minutes of the starting grid. We see Koen Wilssens of Trol start 4 minutes ahead of his club mate Sergey Fedatsenka. Fedatsenka was strong in the same terrain last year. Wilssens was with Hendrickx at the mountaing running championships and is one of the strongest runners in the field. If the will meet in the forest, the two might steam to a very good performance, but Wilssens might also surprise on his own. French runner Johann Tinchant, will most likely set the initial leading time, but foreigners can't win the title.

There is no clear favourite in the women's class. During the relay, Omega was particularly strong. Kim Geypen ran great, but also youngster Elisabeth Henkes performed very well. Last year's winner Miek Fabré has not been training that much this year and it's unsure if she will be able to push hard all race long.

Hamok's Greet Oeyen lives nearby and kept on training hard after her WOC. She was only a bit slower than the leading Omega runners in the relay. This weekend is clearly what she's been aiming at this year. Last year, we had an in depth interview with the other hamok star Sofie Herremans before the long distance championship. She said: "I want to be on the podium, with anything else I'm not satisfied.", and she finished third. We didn't hear these words this time, but rest assured that the goal is the same. Her relay performance confirmed our view.

The women also have their mountain runners: Veerle Tulleneers (omega) won the Belgian championship and she definitely has an advantage in the expected tough terrain.

All in all, the championship is quite open, with many runners at the same level. We already saw exciting competitions at the relay championship. Let's hope the long distance championship brings more of it.


  • At 10/9/09 20:07, Anonymous Desmond said…

    Mooi en uitgebreid artikel, Hoekie. Het enige dat ik nog zou toevoegen is dat Geert Simkens toch als podiumkandidaat gezien mag worden.
    Sterke wedstrijd tijdens BK aflossing (slechts 1 fout van een minuut) en ook op de interclub bewees hij er klaar voor te zijn.

  • At 10/9/09 23:04, Blogger jeroen vdK said…

    geert zal niet lopen zondag.. of toch zeker niet het volledige parcours hij ondervindt nog steeds hinder van zijn blessureen doet het het ifv cism rustig aan.
    Ikzelf doe ook niet mee.. wegens een aanslepende psoasblessure

  • At 11/9/09 16:53, Blogger Heun said…

    Ik zal er ook niet bij zijn. Bij deze succes gewenst aan de deelnemers.

  • At 12/9/09 23:26, Anonymous thomaske said…

    Tis zo stillekes... Iedereen stress? :-)


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