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zaterdag, november 28, 2009

Ken Peeters wins Mass Start by Night

Four runners: Tom Herremans, Alexander Lubina, Ken Peeters and Dries van der Kleij were announced together at the radio control, with just 500m left to run around the tricky old motocross track in Lommel-Balendijk.

It was Ken Peeters who finished first, right in front of Tom Herremans. Dries van der Kleij secured the third place, while Alexander Lubina fell down on stony ground and had to be satisfied with a fourth place.

The Belgian orienteering year has been full of exciting finishes in relays and it was no surprise that several runners would fight for the victory in the Mass Start by Night, a format which pretty much guarantees excitement until the very end.

Even though the entry field suffered quite a bit on the last moment, with Yannick Michiels and Wannes Hendrickx not being allowed to participate by their coach and women's class podium certitude An Frederickx also not making it to Lommel, a lot of good night-o runners were present at the start line in the fast sand dune terrain.

With a forking to the first control, temporary groups were formed in the forest, until one of the members made a mistake and lost his group. Runners suffering that fate included night owl Jan Oeyen and night raven Winston Franssen, almost ten minutes behind the leading pack at the map exchange halfway.

It was Joost Talloen who was the first one to enter the arena, where the speaker's comments motivated the runners to push even harder. He was tailed by Alexander Lubina, Desmond Franssen, Tom Herremans and Ken Peeters, with Dries van der Kleij right behind. Franssen and Talloen lost touch with the pack due to mistakes. Lubina and Peeters also made mistakes, but without severe consequences. Herremans ran a strong race, keep in control all of the time. This lead to the situation outlined at the start of this article, with Peeters going home with the gold medal.

Herremans, Peeters and van der Kleij

Not many women participated in the race. Both had some difficulties around the "Eikesberg" and in the green areas. Greet Oeyen was leading at the map exchange, not that much in front of Miek Fabré. Eventually, it was Oeyen who won, in a 12th position overall, with Fabré finishing 17th, 2 minutes behind.

Oeyen and Fabré

Map 1.1 Map 1.2
Map Ken Peeters: part 1 part 2 story
Map Desmond Franssen: part 1 part 2 story


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