Eindhoven Marathon took grit : ‘My children helped me across the finish line’

Marathon: Crossing the finish line Photo credit: Studio040/Alain Heeren

With faces flushed and hair moist with sweat, thousands of runners crossed the finish line on Vestdijk. They had run 5, 21 or 42 kilometres.

The first to cross the finish line, thereby improving his own record, was Kenyan Pius Karanja. His run took 2.06,55 hrs. His compatriot Paskalia Chepkosgei was the first woman to finish after 2.22,47 hrs.

Amateur runners had a variety of goals. To extend boundaries,  meet a personal challenge, or donate money to  a charity. One athlete said: “I had long wanted to run the marathon. See where my boundary is. Now I know”.


The entire route was lined with friends, family and fellow Eindhoven residents to encourage the runners. Banners were unfurled and  hands clapped to get the runners through those tough moments.  Bikers with megaphones followed along the route to support their loved ones in their final kilometres. “We are waiting for our friend. She is running for her deceased baby. We want to be there for her these last few metres”, siad a spectator.

Support was more than welcome in the afternoon sun. At the end of the route the consumption of water, energy drink and bananas accelerated to give that necessary boost. At the finish line people embraced, shed a tear or two and everyone who had rurn their intended distance received a well-earned medal.


The marathon’s chosen charity this year was the KWF Dutch Cancer Society. Natasja ran the 42+ kilometres to  raise money for the relatives and friends who are dealing with the disease. Together with her team she raised more than eight thousand euros for research into unknown cancer types.

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