A half marathon in dark Groningen

Our man in the north, John Eising, ran a half marathon during the Night of Groningen. That went pretty well! Of course he walked with the Stryd on his shoe and of course he reports for us.

“Is this your walk-in pace according to Stryd?” asks Lisa, surprised, as she cycles next to me on her typical student bike. “Two hundred and forty-three watts? I think that’s pretty hard,” she says. Lisa herself also walks with a Stryd and with her less than 60 kilograms of course has a completely different Critical Power. So she also runs on different wattages than I do. We are on our way to the start of the Night of Groningen. A running party through the center, which should kick off to a pleasant night out in the city of the d’Olle Grieze. That’s the beauty of a daughter studying in this pleasant city: a nice place to park, change and shower. Very handy!

Ambitious Struggle

It is a pleasant temperature of about 8 degrees. Stryd has ambitious numbers in store for me. If I run 317 Watts consistently, I should be able to get to 1:23:10. With 5 minutes around it, that is. Running a half marathon in such a time sounds like something unattainable to me. Until then, my fastest time was 1:38 during the Bovensmilde half marathon in July last year.


It is already pleasantly busy at the Ossenmarkt. The start of De Halve, among others, will be here in half an hour. A colorful collection of runners of various plumage. At one, the recreational shelf is splashing off, while super fast-looking guests are also warming up. I am recognized by Roel, one of the runners from my running group. Together we warm up for a few laps, around the Spilsluizen. In the meantime I tell him that Stryd has big plans for me, but that I want to start a bit conservatively. That also has to do with the fact that the entire Eising house is in the flu state and I suspect that I got something from that, albeit more in the form of a cold.

Start excuses

Five minutes before the start, I enter the starting area. The well-known scenario of is now playing out there. Running times fly around you, but also the typical ‘subject to reservation’, injuries, flu and so on. Tom Hendrikse and Maarten Hindriks are now also reporting. The fast runners who will probably score high tonight. Despite the fact that it is only one minute before the start, Maarten asks me at length about my experiences with a particular car. Why relaxed?

Kilometer 1

There’s the start! With a bang we are shot away to the first lap that should be about 1.1 kilometers longer than the other 3. Should be indeed… Hang on, I’ll get to it in a minute. Walk first. With a sharp bend we turn left and immediately right again into De Korenstraat, left around the field. Beautiful old houses here. Careful, it’s very busy now, the corners are very sharp. Stryd indicates 323 Watts. That’s too loud. I lower myself slightly, towards 307 Watts. Several runners rush past me. It is still quite a run, the half marathon should not be underestimated.

The Noorderplantsoen – 7:14

At the pond you have a kind of false flat there. You can easily see that with a Stryd, luckily. I also slow down a bit so that I can save my strength. I’ll skip the drinking station for now. It is only two kilometers that we are on our way. We pass the beautifully lit coffee house Zondag. This park looks completely different at night. We walk around the pond, the first part goes down quite a bit. The wattages therefore also drop enormously. But immediately I know how to go back to that 307 Watt and I briefly peak above 320. I reconnect with my group and walk steadily. There is a bit of turning, turning and more turning. Lots of steps up and down. Typical working-class houses here. Fortunately, there are volunteers who give good directions, so that you do not get caught behind a curb.

The Blues at 5:16 – 21:12

Turn right again into the Noorderplantsoen, past the basketball court. It is a kind of gravel here and that runs very well. Desolate lighting. Turn right, direction ‘City’, as the Stadjers say so beautifully. Then turn left again towards Spilsluizen. There is again a large crowd here, while the course turns right over the bridge, around the Noorderhaven. Stryd likes it, I think. This is really a nice corner to make pace. As we round the corner, I hear a blues musician playing a harmonica in the distance. That turns out to be a nice landmark in the following rounds. However, the speed slows down quite a bit, because it is best to walk up at the bridge. Stryd reports 347 Watts. Nice and fast that Next Gen. You immediately see the change in the course in numbers.

The part through the Visstraat, turn right onto De Laan, leads to De Grote Kromme Elleboog. At the end it is very busy at the pub. Loudly everyone encourages the runners. That gives energy! At the end cross the water again, turn right. There is a lot of audience here again, because we have arrived at the start again. Everyone is shouting loudly, everything is beautifully lit here. Lisa I see the camera pointing at me, I give a thumbs up.

Rain! Kilometer 7 – 29:10

It starts to rain lightly. I don’t really like that on these shoes. Tonight I’m running on my super fast Vaporfly’s. They just don’t really like the smooth and narrow streets. When we shoot into the Noorderplantsoen, I slide over my soles to the outside. Luckily I don’t fall. By the way, it runs really smoothly, this pace. Klaas instructed me to start steadily at about 310 watts and then maybe speed up to 317 watts later. I decide to keep running on the 307 Watt. This is not the race where I have to blast. Above all, I have to stay whole for Rotterdam. We’ll see later if there’s more in it.


I look at my Apple Watch. 1:07:17, 10 miles more. We have once again arrived in the Grote Kromme Elleboog. There’s a lot of swinging here at the moment. Now it is quite normal that you wind a lot in this street, after a night out, I can report from my own experience, but today that is because of the slower runners. Not everyone is aware that faster runners pass on the left. This causes unrest because there are many unexpected movements. That also leads to a big crash for Rikjan Bathoorn, who lost his third place to Sören Sprehe.

Well under 1:30

It’s just one more round for us. When I pass the start again, I see that I will be well below 1:30 with this wattage. That gives a nice feeling. One more time through Het Noorderplantsoen, De Noorderhaven, De Hoge der A, of course the Lange Kromme Elleboog and then towards the finish at De Ossenmarkt. Stryd reports that the half marathon is now over. But there is still some way to go. What route? Eight hundred meters later(!) I cross the finish line. With a time of 1:32 I am initially disappointed, because not below 1:30. If I look back again, I had a neatly low 1:29 at 21.1 Kilometers. Proud of my Stryd again. How well he guided me through it again. Maarten Hindriks texts me a picture of the snack stand. A reference to a joke from an interview I had with him. He is literally having a good time. Yes logical! With 1:13:04 he was therefore a little earlier than me.

1st place

Now that I’m writing this piece and checking the results, I only see that I was 1st in my age category. Never thought about it. I had been walking out again for a long time, with Lisa next to me on the bike, surprised again. Now because after a half marathon I ran back to her cozy house.

About admin

Check Also

Players (read defenders) drop Ruud van Nistelrooij hard, decisive players want Fred Rutten to stay

PSV – sc-Heerenveen turned out to be a match that no PSV fan anticipated beforehand. …

Bir cevap yazın

E-posta hesabınız yayımlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir