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60 van Texel

22-Apr-2019 Den Burg, Texel, Noord Holland, Netherlands

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Trail Race Race Terrain
120KM / 75Miles
1 Day

Alternate Distances: 60KM/37M 15KM/9M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Expert  

Entry From €55 EUR

The "60 van Texel" (The sixty of Texel) is organised every other year on Easter Monday since 1991 on the Dutch island of Texel. There are main 2 distances, the 60km (37 miles) which is a clockwise loop around the entire island and the 120km (75 miles, since 1993), an anit-clockwise and clockwise loop around the island. The 60km distance can also be run as a relay team of 4. 

The 60k loop around Texel takes you along nature reserves, dunes, stretches of beach, trails and long straight roads along dikes. A very flat race with a "killer climb" at the end when you'll have to conquer the Hoge Berg (Dutch for high mountain), a staggering 16 meters high. Only 12km of the route are on the beach, which makes this in essence a road race. 

Some barefoot runners managed in the past to complete the 60K without any foot protection but there are some stretches with nasty underground (see slides 240 and 321) There are a total of 11 aid stations, with the addition that at the start location it is possible to hand over to the organization private stuff like special drinks, clothes or shoes to transfer to posts 3 (16,9 km), 6 (29,7 km) and 9 (45,2 km).

Most runners stay over on the island the night before, during which the organisation give final race information and provides a seminar. The start is in the southeast corner of the island (near the ferry terminal) and the route then goes west towards the 1st beach section starting at ~5.5km till 13, followed by a road section through the forrest and another 4.5km long beach section, then a packed trail through the dunes, a bike path up to the lighthouse, the turning point and the east coast of the island along the dike, via the villages of Oosterend and Oudeschild, to the final hill and a finish in the town of Den Burg.

Subscription for the 2017 event (17th of April) is full, but here is a link (in Dutch) to a forum where people exchange racenumbers (starting proof or "startbewijs" in Dutch).

Some videos from previous years:

Read the 2017 event review by Cees van der Land here.

RUNULTRA_60-van-Texel_Netherlands

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Event Organiser
Martien Baars

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Beginner

Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.

Intermediate

Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Advanced

Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Expert

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Brutal

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

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martien.baars@gmail.com

08:41 04-04-17

Around Texel 120K and 60K: an interview with the founding race director

On Easter Monday 17 April 2017 one of the foremost ultraraces in The Netherlands will happen again. ‘De Zestig van Texel’ is an ultrarun of 60K around the island of Texel and includes a 4x15K relay as well. Top of the bill is the 120K race: first a round of 60K anti-clockwise followed by the ‘normal’ clockwise round of 60K. The inaugural race was on Easter Monday 1 April 1991 and was initiated by Jan Knippenberg, the Dutch ultra-pioneer that lived on Texel from 1984 till his death in 1995. This year the race will have its 14th edition as the race is biannual: only in the odd years. The race around Texel has evolved into the most popular ultramarathon of The Netherlands. It was twinned with the Jan Knippenberg Memorial, 100 miles along the beaches of Holland, on Easter Saturday of the even years but that race had its 12th and final edition in 2016.

This is an interview with Martien Baars, the founding race director of ‘De Zestig van Texel’. The text stems originally from the website Run Abroad (2011) but is here modified and updated.

#1 Tell us something about the race we cannot find on the homepage [ www.dezestigvantexel.nl ] of the event.

The Wadden island Texel is often called ‘mini-Nederland’ as it has (nearly) all the landscapes and habitats you may found in our low country. Thus a running tour of 60K around the island gives you a fair overview of the Netherlands in general, with beach, dunes, woods, polders, mudflats, dikes, mills, authentic villages, fishing harbour and finally a hilly area which is called the ‘High Mountain’ (altitude only 15 metres ;-). A very special habitat is the large sandflat Hors, where the runners meet desert-like conditions for two miles before they reach the beach coastline.

#2 Do you have a favourite mile? Have you run the race yourself in the past?

My favourite mile would be the one but last as this carries over prehistoric grounds, the boulder clay area of the High Mountain. This hill was formed already more than 100 000 years ago during the Saale ice age, and has been inhabited by Neanderthaler and Cro Magnon people as shown by the stone tools that experts here found. It is holy ground to present day runners if you imagine that these predecessors were excellent hunters by chasing wild animals to death. Also, Jan Knippenberg, the initiator of the Texel race, is buried here at a small cemetery, so his remembrance accompanies many runners during the last stretch to the finish. Among older British runners, Knippenberg is known for his participation in the 24 hours at Crystal Palace during the seventies - where he raced with Don Ritchie and Joss Naylor among others - and his visits to Scotland where he loved fell running and became known as the “Flying Dutchman’, conquering in a record time of four hours, nine minutes through the Lairig Ghru.
Three years after ‘Knip’ died of cancer in November 1995, I ran the Texel 60K privately, in honour of Jan and as demonstration that every modal runner could manage this distance beyond the marathon. It took me 7 hrs (the present day cutoff) but it was the highlight of my own running career.

#3 Apart from a pair of shoes and a smile, what would you like runners to bring to the race?

From a mental view point: to start with realistic expectations and with the intention to enjoy the run, atmosphere and environment, instead of chasing a finish time. A lot of runners make their ultra début in the Texel race and we tell them that the loop is not 60K but 70K if they like to predict their Texel finish time by extrapolating their marathon times. Several editions we organized an introductory meeting and a training weekend to explain prospective participants that anybody who can run a 4hr15min marathon, can also participate in this ultrarun and finish within the cutoff. We would like Texel debutants to return and/or continue ultrarunning in other races as well. In the first 20K there are two stretches of beach, totaling 12K, that make the race tough for the top runners. The debutants need to do these parts relaxed and easy to preserve energy for the second half with only paved cycle tracks and roads. ‘De Zestig’ is clearly not a trail race, but a road race with a special first part.

#4 Some numbers: how many people are involved in the organization of the event?

The organizing committee of 11 persons is still very happy with the biannual frequency as arranging a race over a long point to point course of 60K remains a very time consuming hobby. On race day we are assisted by a loyal corps of volunteers of about 170 in total. The loop of 60K itself requires only 30 road posts as most parts are prohibited for cars. The other volunteers vary from the people of the 11 refreshment posts (every 5K) to a number of local cyclists who guide and take care the about thirty runners of the 120K. They start at 04:35 am in the dark and during the first loop there are no road posts and the refreshment posts are yet not open. For the larger numbers of participants on the 60K and the 4x15K, the chip in the start number makes time registration - also underway on the relay points - nowadays much less time consuming than in the past. A team at the finish still registers the first arrivals in each category by hand, however, to be sure that power failure will not interfere with the prize ceremonies. The 60K starts 10:35, the fun relay at 11:05 and the race relay at 11:35, all near the ferry harbour - and just behind the ferry departures at 10:30, 11:00, etc. The finish registration for all categories closes in the capital Den Burg at 17:35 so the cut off for 120K is 13 hours.

#5 How many runners do you expect for the next edition? How many from abroad?

About 1200 participants in total, with 500 ultra runners – 75 from abroad - and 700 relay runners, will start on 17 April 2017. Most ultra runners are from the Netherlands, but there are 31 Belgian and 34 German runners, and another 10 from 7 other countries. The start field of the 60K will amount to close to 500, whereas only 33 runners will start in the 120K. Runners from abroad are often puzzled by the prerequisites for participation in the 120K, with a 100K result < 9.30 or a 24 hours with 200 km or more. This is because of the sharp cut off so a certain proven pace is warranted for successful participation - and in most editions even then only twothirds will reach the finish line within 13 hours. There are limited funds to invite some runners from abroad and cover their travel costs. By this strategy, we got some excellent British participants as well. Sharon Gayter won the 120K in the warm edition (25oC) of 2011 and in 2015 the Scot Paul Giblin won the 120K and missed the course record with less than a minute. Their race reports are
http://www.dezestigvantexel.nl/index.php/columns/187-from-one-ferry-to-another (by Sharon Gayter) and https://pyllon.com/2015/04/16/de-zestig-van-texel-120k-2015-race-report/ (by Paul Giblin)

#6 What is your own favourite race?

My own ultrarunning was abandoned when my left ankle turned out to suffer arthrosis, but running moderate distances on soft Texel bottom is still allowed. As spectator (and reporter on www.ultraned.org ), I yearly visit the RUN Winschoten, the 100K race on a loop of 10K in the streets of a town in the north of the Netherlands. The RUN is well known for its fast course, and for a whole series of World and European Championships. The WC edition of 2015 had 374 runners from 38 countries, and the winners were Jonas Buud (SWE) in 6.22.44 and Camille Heron (USA) in 7.08.35. The atmosphere in Winschoten is special, part of the runners lodge with guest families (resulting in international friendships) and most streets are decorated and populated with enthusiastic inhabitants.
Abroad, I would like to visit the South-African ultraruns with by far the largest fields worldwide, the Comrades Marathon with its long history and the Two Oceans Marathon with its beautiful route along both the Indian and the Atlantic Ocean. Professionally, I have studied plankton in both oceans so there is definitely the wish to fly in the Easter period of an even year to Cape Town ….

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