EDIT: April Fool’s Day – Of course, our race start remains the same and the cut-off is also just fifteen hours!
—-original message, published on April 1—-
A significantly delayed start – two hours to be exact – and a cut-off that is much stricter: athletes participating in this year’s Long Distance of Challenge Almere-Amsterdam will start their race at 10:00 a.m. and will be allowed a maximum of ten hours to complete the race. Both changes are the result of a decision taken to deal with ever-rising energy rates.
This year’s Challenge Almere-Amsterdam Long Distance will not start until 10:00 a.m., making it a few hours later than normal. “That means that we don’t have to turn on the lights yet in the early morning,” Race Director Richard Belderok explains. “Of course, we too have to deal with rising energy costs and are trying to reduce them somewhat this way. Normally the athletes drop in early in the morning to get ready for the race and then we need to lit up the entire event area with huge lights. That’s not longer necessary anymore.”
In addition, instead of the usual 15 hours, athletes will only have 10 hours to complete their race. “So all athletes have to cross the finish line at 8 p.m. at the latest; right before it gets dark again. Then we don’t have to turn on any lights in the evening either. It may not be the most fun, but it is a necessary saving.”
Of course, Belderok understands that because of the new cutoff, not all athletes will be able to cross the finish line. “But anyone who is still on the running course at 8 p.m. will be allowed to complete the final part of their race the next day and still finish. Even then, we will ‘re-start’ the race at 10:00 a.m. However, the athletes who cross the finish line on Saturday will receive a unique medal.”