KLM Urban Trail Eindhoven

By Pascalito on Friday 13 December 2019 12:33 - Comments are closed
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This year was a very good running year for me, I completed a total 7 running races which is an absolute record for me. To close the year on a good note I finished with the Urban Trail in Eindhoven. This is a fun run where you will run around Eindhoven and through some very interesting buildings as well. For photo's and more info, please visit my blog: Pascalandandrea.com

I was a little bit late for the start of my wave at 10:30am, however I made it just in time for the final startwave at 10:50. I had to travel from Nijmegen to Eindhoven, however the Dutch Railroad was having some maintenance on the railroad tracks. Thus I had to travel all the way via Utrecht. This added 1,5 hours extra travel time.

Ready to start
The weather was rainy and windy, however that did’t stop me from warming up and running a bit around. Soon the final group was called to start and after a fun warming up we were unleashed on the track.

The track itself was not blocked off for non-runners. However there were traffic controllers to stop cars where we needed to cross the street.

Racing through a casino
The first building we had to run through was Holland’s casino, we had to run up the stairs. Go around some slot machines and roulette tables and then down the stairs again. Most runners took this change for a photo moment which was completely fine by the casino staff.

After that it stopped raining a little bit, so it was time to run a bit faster. We also ran through 2 pubs however after that there were no buildings to run through for around 2km. This was a bit of a disappointment.

Beer tasting
At around 2,9km we ran through our first (and last if you run 5k) aid station. The aid station was located in a craft beer maker. We could taste 2 different beers but there was also some water for those we did not like beer. This was very unique and a cool aspect of this Urban Trail.

After this you could choose to do the 5k or the 10k route. I did the 5k route so I didn’t see many other buildings from the inside. After the beer tasting we were basically just running towards the finish. But not before we ran through the Mediamarkt. The staff there really enjoyed this event and they were cheering us on with music and high fives.

Next year again!
I really enjoyed this run, even though the weather was very bad, I was proud that I have this run anyway. The medal looks very good as well and this run is a good way to finish the year. Will I do this again next year? Possible! However if I compare this run with the Urban trail I did in Utrect. Utrecht would win. Mostly because there were many more buildings to run through and explore than in Eindhoven.

For photo's and more info, please visit my blog: Pascalandandrea.com

Magical Efteling

By Pascalito on Thursday 5 December 2019 20:22 - Comments (2)
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Last Saturday I decided to visit the Efteling, the Efteling is basically a very large Themepark (One of the largest in Europe actually). Every age group has something to do in this park. And normally one day is not enough. The park also offers a huge fairy tale forest, many shows and fantastic scenery.
For photo's and more info, please visit Pascalandandrea.com.

Getting this most out of it
I would recommend by downloading the Efteling app, Once you are in the park you can see the waiting times so you exactly know how long you have to wait or if the attraction you want to visit is getting less busy. I used it a lot during the day and I walked from the different zones to optimize my time the best.

It would be a waste if you only could do 3 attractions. Some attractions also use a boarding pass system. You can use the app to get the tickets anywhere within in the park and book a time slot. If you plan this well you could line up some attractions to visit in a row and make the most out of your day.

I booked the Boarding pass for the Python before I started my lunch meal, I had one hour to finish my lunch. In the meantime I went on an attraction with a short waiting time and directly after that I went on the python. The waiting time was 10 minutes instead of 40 minutes for people without boarding pass. Talking about saving time!

Symbolica is the newest atraction (build in 2017). So is very popular. Because the attraction is near the entrance. The waiting line at the beginning is already 60 minutes even at slow times. Therefore I would recommend to skip this ride at the beginning of the day and if you can use the single riders line during lunch time. At this time it is less busy and saving some time. Also 30 minutes before the park closes is generally a good time. Most people are watching the show then and most of the crowd already did the ride.

Symbolica is a trackless ride through the castle of Fantasy. It is really incredible and a must do when you are in the Efteling.

Many roller coasters
Fans of rollercoasters have plenty of them to do. If you love wooden coasters, the Efteling has a double one. Joris en de Draak (George and the Dragon). If you love dive coasters, how about Baron 1898, if you love a steel coaster, the Python is for you. They even have a roller coaster in the dark called Vogel Rock (Bird Rock). Which is still one of my favorites (I did it twice). If you like Water they got the Vliegende Hollander (Flying Dutchman) With one of the best themes and sound ever.

The baron is the latest roller coaster, but the Efteling is building a twin powered family coaster called Max and Moritz, this one should be ready in Spring 2020.

More rides
Roller coasters is not all they have, this park loves to bring your dreams to live, and people call it Dutch Disney. You can hear, see, smell that you are in a different world everywhere through the park. The score is amazing. Every attractions feels different and it is hard to pick a favorite.

One of my all time favorite attractions is Villa Volta. This is a Madhouse that literally turns upside down when you are inside.

Winter Efteling
It is good to know that the park is open the year round, during the winter months (November – February), the Efteling is changed into Winter Efteling. There are many new events and shows based on the cold months. Every square has their own bonfire and music to keep you warm. They also open a giant ice skating palace and you can also go Langlaufing on ski’s.

They even change the themes to fit the winter theme. And surprisingly most of the rides are still open and operational.

Thank you for reading! Hope you like this post! For photo's and more info, please visit Pascalandandrea.com.

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).
For more info or other interesting post, please visit Pascalandandrea.com

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!

For more info or other interesting post, please visit Pascalandandrea.com

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!
For the photo's, please visit our blog: Pascal and Andrea.com