Ranking my medals so far

By Pascalito on Sunday 24 November 2019 16:09 - Comments (2)
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2019 was quite an active running year for me, I broke some Personal bests and enjoyed a lot of races in the Netherlands, in this post I want to rank the medals I have earned so far in terms of overall beauty and on how much I have enjoyed the race myself.
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1. Zandvoort Circuit Run
I think this is one of the most prettiest and most fun run I have done in 2019, running on a real race track and especially because Formula 1 is coming there next year was a treat.

2. Tilburg Kermis Run
Combining two of my favorite things: Running and attractions, how cool is this one? Okay is not an official timed event but it is not about that. This run is about having fun. I think it took me around 1 hour to complete a 8k track but together with lots of fair attractions that we could enter for free. This run was a lot of fun. The medal is really gorgeous as well!

3. Utrecht Urban Trail run
The detail in this medal is very amazing. This was also my first Urban trail run and I enjoyed it a lot. I have never seen so many hidden gems in Utrecht before and it was very well organised. The KLM Urban trail series are now well known and this run offers a very fun way of getting to know a city better. Also not with an official timing but that doesn’t matter.

4. Mariken Loop Men’s Edition
For the first time this year the Marikenloop was opened for men, so of course I had to join this classic one. The run itself was through a park and the organisation expanded it with a trail run as well. Maybe that’s something for next year. The medal is very unique and crafted very well.

5. Stevensloop (2019)
This year I ran the Stevensloop for the second time, it was exactly the same as I remember from back when I ran in 2015. The medal is quite unique as it is more of a puzzle. The Stevensloop has a 5k, 10k and a half marathon distance and the goal of completing this puzzle is to complete all distances in the next 3 years.

6. Zevenheuvelenloop (2014)
In 2013 I already ran the 15k of the Zevenheuvelenloop, back then they gave like a mini bronze statue. Sadly I have lost this mini statue. So hence I put this medal on the 6th place in my ranking. It’s a beautiful small medal and it basically started off my running career.

7. Stevensloop (2015)
Back in 2015 I ran the Stevensloop for the first time, the medal is tiny but very good looking. It is very simple and was a worthy reward. I already planned to run the Stevensloop for the 3rd time in 2020.

8. Groesbeek centrum run
This was a very local run, which I had a lot of fun with. Too bad there was not a lot of people competing. Anyway I got third place anyway! The medal is very simple. But of course the budget of the run was very low too. I hope they can grow it and offer more things next year. Local runs are very cool too.

9. Zevenheuvelenloop (2019)
Nothing wrong with the race itself, that was excellent. But I expected more of the medal. Not just a piece of wood with some image anyone could make in their garage. If the medal would be much better I could have given this a higher ranking for sure. I have no problem with a wooden medal. But this feels cheap and looks even cheaper. Too bad.

This collection is just the beginning, I am looking forward to 2020 where I have set high goals for myself already. Maybe I can double my medal collection by the end of 2020! If you have any ideas about some runs I should do in 2020, please let me know in the comments!

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Zevenheuvelen nacht (2019)

By Pascalito on Thursday 21 November 2019 09:29 - Comments (5)
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Last Saturday I ran the 7km of the Zevenheuvelen nacht in my home town of Nijmegen. This is a two event race that has a night run of 7km on the Saturday and a main run of 15km on the Sunday. I didn’t train much at all. But after the race I found back the love of running again. So now I am back in training mode for my next race in March, the Stevensloop (also in Nijmegen). In this short post I will tell you how I experienced this run. (This is my third time I ran this race).
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This year they allowed around 8100 people on the track, which is a record. Back when I ran in 2014 they only allowed around 2000-3000 people. So the event for the night has grown a lot. For the 15k they have around 20,000 people now. However everyone is divided into special start sections. So it was not too busy on the track itself. Slower people will walk more on the right side (even though some people still were catching me on my left side).

The weather was quite good too. It was around 5 degrees celcius, but once I warmed up, I was sweating a bit. The first 3km were uphill and I was going a bit too fast. After the 3km the remaining 4km were mostly downhill. Which gave me a lot of energy. Last time I ran the 7k in 2014 I finished in 47:41, back then I did not have any condition at all. This time I ran it in 46:17. Which is quite good but I know I can do more. If I trained more I would have made it in the 30 minutes for sure. Here is the Strava link: Strava.

I enjoyed the run very much, however the medal this year was made out of wood and quite ugly. The machine that is used to imprint the time was also not working. (Apparently they didn’t test it). So that was quite bad. As side from that I enjoyed it a lot. And now I am giving it everything to break 25 minutes on my next 5k run in March 2020!

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A weekend in Brussels

By Pascalito on Tuesday 19 November 2019 12:57 - Comments (1)
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During the final weekend of Andrea’s visit to the Netherlands, we decided to visit Brussels in Belgium. Andrea always wanted to visit this city, try some of their famous waffles and visit manneke Pis. So we went by train via Rotterdam (because there was an accident we couldn’t go directly). And arrived on Saturday in the Afternoon.
For the photo's, please visit our blog: Pascal and Andrea.com

Hotel in the middle of the city
Andrea had booked the hotel prior her arival, NH Arendsberg hotel, which was located 200 meters away from Brussels central station. Talking about a good location. The room was fine and we both had a shower and bath. However the view not good at all. We had a view of some sort of parking lot. Anyway you can’t get anything you want.

We walked around the city center and explored a bit, we went to the grand square and later we had the best meal of our lives at the Hardrock cafè. The food and the drinks were incredible good. I would go back there anytime just for their burgers. We also visited the world famous Manneke Pis, which was close to the grand place. This place was really crowded.

What I didn’t know was that Brussels is also known for it’s Delirium village, this is an entire street devoted to over 3000 kinds of beer, and quite affordable too. In the evening we had a few beers and tasted the atmosphere, it was crowded, in the first Delirium basement we had to wait ages to get helped and a lot of people were skipping the line. The bartender was even rude towards us. Anyway after some time we got our beers and we went to the rooftop. Here was some kind of beer garden.

After that we went back for the hotel for a good night of sleep.

The next day we went to a very good waffle’s place, it’s located in the art hall near the main square, here you can find lot’s of fancy shops but also very good chocolate and waffle places.

We explored Brussels a bit more and also visited the royal quarter, here you can find lots of museums and other huge buildings. It was very impressive. After that we went back to shopping again and Andrea wanted to buy chocolates. Near Manneke Pis was a chocolate truffle shop, we found some very good truffles here for her to take back to Mexico. They even gave us a bag to keep them cool in

Heading home
Sadly it was almost time to go back to Nijmegen, but before that we decided to taste some more beer. We ordered one tray with six different beers. It was amazing and we both got a bit tipsy after that!

On Monday it was also time for Andrea to go back home to Mexico, the last 2,5 weeks were incredible and I think it bought us even more closer than we were before. We made clear plans of the future now and it’s upto us together to make these work. I can’t wait for the future were we will be closing the distance!
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Glow Festival Eindhoven (2019)

By Pascalito on Friday 15 November 2019 08:25 - Comments (3)
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Last weekend, I decided to go one of the largest (if not largest) lights festival in The Netherlands; Glow Eindhoven. Eindhoven is already known for being high tech city with companies like Phillips starting here, but also the university of Eindhoven (TU/E) and companies like ASML are bringing in a lot high tech companies and students towards the city. Making it very logical to have a lights art festival here.
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Projections and (light)art
This year a lot of buildings are brought alive with projections on their facades, however there are also a lot of smaller artist that are showcasing their art. There is only one rule as far as I am aware. It needs something to do with light. Some projects were very amazing to look at, some (I counted 3 projects) were not working or not finished on time.

On the Glow website you could see a map with all the projects, however most of them had very artistic names, I couldn’t even figure out what they meant. For example “PING” (Which was more of a rollercoaster made out of light) and Triptich (Maybe the creators were tripping?).

An entire street projected
There were around 30 projects, and some of them where really cool. There was even a full street being fully projected with all sorts of colorful artworks, this really impressed me.

There was also a mosque that was brought to live with all sorts of colorful art. It is really cool to see buildings in a different light. One you don’t normally see. However the festival bought a lot of people. Maybe it was because of the opening night. But at some places to it was just too busy. I remember being almost squashed on in a small street because people were rushing to the see next project.

One show that impressed me that most was the Symphony of lights show. This was also a live projection which will take around 5 minutes to watch. It is project on a building people in Eindhoven know as the “Witte Dame” (White lady). Please watch the video down here!

Busy but great
Adding up everything, I had a great time. It was busy but controllable (for most of it). I think Glow Eindhoven is only getting bigger and bigger each year. I wonder what will come next year.

Exploring Rotterdam

By Pascalito on Wednesday 13 November 2019 09:34 - Comments (4)
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Andrea wanted to see more of the Netherlands this time around, so we decided to go with my mother, Andrea and I to Rotterdam. Rotterdam is very important to the Netherlands, since most of the shipfreight comes through the Port of Rotterdam. From there on it goes on trucks and freight trains to the rest of Europe.
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Rotterdam has an excellent public transport system (Train, Subway, Busses and even trams). The city is very easy to navigate and there are lots of things to do. I think you need 3 days to explore Rotterdam and the Hague at it’s fullest. 5 days would be even better.

Markthall and Cubic houses
Rotterdam was totally destroyed during the second world war, therefore most of the buildings are pretty new, for that reason you can find more high rise buildings than in the rest of country. Andrea and I visited the Markthall (Market hall), where we tasted a lot of different food. Andrea loves Poffertjes, so of course we had to try some here as well.

Later on we went to visit the Cubic houses, which are just behind the Markthall, the cubic houses were made in 1977, for that time it is really impressive that building something abstract like this was possible. There is a small house you can visit as well (for 3 euro per person). Honestly, I wouldn’t want to live in a house like this.

Spido Boat tour
After we walked around a bit close the river, we had a lunch close the Erasmusbridge. Underneath the Erasmusbridge the Spido Boat tours are docking and leaving. Before we left I booked 3 tickets for a tour of 2 hours so we could cruise a long the rivers and see Rotterdam from a different perspective. The information that the automatic voice is also very interesting. Even though it was quite cold that day Andrea liked Rotterdam very much.

After the tour it was getting late already, so we decided to walk back towards the Markthall and eat Sushi at Sumo. It was my first time trying sushi and too bad I didn’t like the raw fish with seaweed. However I like the meat and I even tried duck!

It was very nice to be able to Show Andrea a different part of the Netherlands. She never visited Rotterdam before. But I am sure she will remember it.
For pictures and more info, please visit our website: Pascalandandrea.com