After organising a very successful cycling event in October, BEAT Expeditions hosted its second promo event – the BEAT Dune Challenge. A 7.5km or 15km run through the beautiful National Park Zuid-Kennemerland. A group of 23 participants from all over the country joined us for this intense run through the (sand) trails in the dunes near Bloemendaal.

What most participants probably did not know, is that we needed an official permit from the foresters to organise a run through the National Park. Due to the Corona situation this was more difficult which was also why we had to limit the number of participants. However, since BEAT looks for the most beautiful (and challenging) places to host its events, obtaining the permit was a necessity.

At 10:30, after it started to rain a little and the route was properly marked, the first out of six groups started. Most participants arrived well in advance of the start of the race - in order to warm up their bodies or to make early excuses for their bad shape (which was in most cases definitely not true). It was good to see the overall excitement about the route itself, the prospect of suffering and the social aspect of running with friends, something which is rare in these crazy times.

A common comment we received from participants after completing the first 7.5km lap was that the small steep hills in combination with the sand required more technique and strength than expected. The male winner on the 7.5km, averaged an impressive 4:17/km while showing his ability to seriously suffer with a heartbeat over 190 for most of the run. On the women’s side we witnessed an intense battle on the last meters before the finish line with a sprint between two twin sisters.. On the 15km, the winning average was 4.28/km which is very impressive given the severity of the trail. All winners were awarded BEAT branded gloves !

BEAT Expeditions is looking forward to organise another running challenge early 2021. When we hope to be able to welcome more participants.

It was good to hear that all participants were impressed by the beautiful nature so close to Amsterdam, which hopefully helps to increase awareness about nature close to home.

A couple of facts about the day:

  • Did you know that two active members of the Dutch national field hockey team joined us? Despite being in great shape, they were not the fastest but definitely enjoyed their time out in the dunes;

  • There was only one participant who lost track and suspiciously that only happened in the second lap which makes us believe he needed a short break;

  • Weather conditions were perfect for running in terms of temperatures which helped participants to push their own boundaries;

  • Three participants finished in the top 10 of the KOM “leeg ejkuts” which has been completed by 634 Strava members;

  • BEAT owner and organiser Yannick van der Weerden walked the trail with a stroller which is an almost impossible task given the tough conditions of the trail.

Looking forward seeing you at one of the next BEAT events or expeditions!

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