The 16th edition of the Zwarte Dennen Cross provided no fewer than 5 course records on Saturday afternoon. Although the temperature was around freezing, more than 500 runners took part in this athletics competition in the state forests near Staphorst. Speaker Roel Poolman from Bos Bedden Loopgroep AG’85 briefed the audience on the course of the competition and encouraged participants to achieve unprecedented performance.
Three talented athletes have chosen the 5km Zwarte Dennen Cross in preparation for the NK Cross, which takes place in Tilburg next weekend. 17-year-old Nils Larosse from Oosterhout became European champion this year in the under-18 age group, in both the 1500 and 3000 metres. 20-year-old Robin van Riel from Tilburg has already become Dutch indoor 1500m champion twice (in 2020 and 2021) and his brother Rick van Riel, who is two years his junior, won the U20 national title in the 800m last year and was second at the European Championships under 20 years at 1500 metres.
This trio from Brabant was still conservative during the first part of the Zwarte Dennen Cross, allowing regional caps such as William van Eeken (ACO van Elderen) and Maarten Vierhout from Nunspeet to continue. Halfway through, the trio pulled the throttle, leaving the rest dazed. Nils Larousse finished in 15.49 minutes and beat Nick Marsmann’s record by two seconds. Right behind him, Robin narrowly won the race from brother Rick Van Riel. Both set a time of 15.52.
Aline Kootstra of Zwolle was fastest for the fourth time in the women’s race. ACO van Elderen improved her track record by 14 seconds to 18.05. Her clubmate Nora Asink of Bergentheim was second, with a time of 19.30. AV Heerenveen’s Kyra Brouwer from Ameland finished third with a time of 20.11.
Also over the 10km there were very fast guys at the start. Running for Groningen Athletics, Job IJtsma from Groningen was by far the strongest. Born Huguefiner broke Tom Hendrix’s record with 32 seconds, to 30.44. Start ’78 member Tuk’s Eric Boulding finished second in a time of 33.29. Third place was taken by Martijn Dijkstra from Hardenberg. This Spurt’88 athlete clocked a time of 35.42.
With the women, Witharen’s Yvonne Meijer showed she made a full comeback after an injury. ACO van Elderen was fastest, with a time of 40.52. Corien Jansen of Nijeveen, AV De Sprinter member of Meppel, crossed the finish line in second place: she posted a time of 42.44. Third place was taken by Rachel Snyder from Haaksbergen. De Gemzen athlete finished in 43.13.
Young people can also take part in competitions within the framework of the Zwarte Dennen Cross on Saturdays. Children up to 7 years old ran a race over 900 metres. Noud Duiven of Ruinerwold was fastest, with a time of 3.54. With the girls, Staphorst’s Yara Smit crossed the line first, in 4.11.
Children between the ages of 8 and 15 ran a 1,250-metre course. Among the boys aged between 8 and 9, AV Rijssen’s Noud Overbeek was the first to cross the line. He ran 4.54. Sarah Slappbekorn was the fastest of the girls with 5.08. Chris Nijsink from Riesen was the fastest of the 10- and 12-year-olds. Came at 4:10. Fellow townswoman Sophie Willems was the top girl in this age group with a time of 4.28 and also improved her course record by two seconds. Lars Hansmann from Kampen was the fastest boy among the 13- to 15-year-olds. He recorded a time of 4.00, breaking Runar Slinkman’s record by one second. Nora Keijzer from Heerenveen was the fastest girl: she stopped the clock after 4.46.
Boss Bedden Loopgroep AG’85 Regulator looks like a successful version. Many volunteers have been involved to make sure everything runs smoothly. The contribution of the sponsors and the Boswachterij Staphorst was also indispensable. A portion of the proceeds from the Zwarte Dennen Cross is earmarked for the renewal of the trial trail in the state forests. In addition, participants can donate an amount during online registration. The total amount will be announced soon.
The Zwarte Dennen Cross was the second running of the Vechtdal Cross competition after the Lemelerbergloop. The next race is the Zandstuve Bosloop in Vroomshoop, on January 14, 2023. This will be followed by the ACO van Elderen Crossloop in Ommen on March 4 and the Oldemeijer Cross in Hardenberg on March 18.