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Marathon Cup Skating Tournament Begins and Ends in North – Northern Times

Geert Jan Maskens, the newly appointed Tournament Director, said, announced On 17 July it was announced that the first stage would take place on 21 October 2023 at the Sportscentrum Kardinge and the competition would end on 3 March 2024 at Elfsteddenhall in Leeuwarden.

This comes as a shock to fans of the sport, as competitions often start at Amsterdam’s Jaap Edenbahn, the oldest artificial ice rink in Holland.

Groningen was chosen as the starting point due to ongoing renovations at the Amsterdam rink, which may not be completed by the start gun on 21 October.

Leeuwarden was initially seen as an ideal destination to start the skating competition, but the Friesland capital wanted to record the final race. The North Holland city of Hoorn was also considered, but event organizers chose to stick with the previously scheduled November date as Marathon Cup-related activities were planned around that date.

Groningen has achieved its dream of hosting two races: In addition to the opening of the Marathon Cup on October 21st, the skaters will also return to the Sportcentrum Caldinge on December 23rd. The tournament will also take place twice in Heerenveen, the first on 4 November and the second on 13 January 2024.

(Photo credit: KNSB)

What is Marathon Cup?

The tournament consists of 15 stages held all over the country. Each stage has a winner, the one who crosses the finish line first, but the winner of the overall tournament is not the one who wins the most stages. The champion is the competitor who completes all 15 races in the shortest total time.

Known as the “general classification,” it judges the fastest skaters throughout the competition, with endurance, grit and speed being the most important skills to win the famous Marathon Cup.

The five-month-long event is now an annual winter sporting staple in the Netherlands (canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic). Initially, only boys were allowed to participate, but it was expanded to the women’s division, the men’s division under the age of 23, and from 2019 the division for women under the age of 23.

Champions in this category tend not to succeed at Olympic level like the Dutch, speed skateThe North of Holland can claim to have the best marathon skaters in the country at the moment.

Defending champion Harm Fisser, 22, was born in De Westerin in the province of Friesland. Heerenveen’s Jeroen Janisen joined the podium, with fellow Heerenveen’s Luc Ter Haar finishing fourth.

Groningen is not without a name to be proud of. Robert Post won the final stage last season and finished fifth overall, while up-and-coming talent Dan Gering also calls Groningen home.

The women’s division is similarly dominated by players from the north of the country. Defending champion Maike Ferwey hails from Roden, canton Drenthe. The 21-year-old hopes to win two titles in this fashion, but it won’t be easy. Third place Merrell Bosma from Heerenveen is looking to push the young skater to the limit this season.

Friesland and ice skating: a relationship stuck in time

Despite the fact that the Marathon Cup was the first endurance skating event in the Netherlands, the event Elfstedenthit. A historic race through 11 cities in Friesland (hence the translation ’11 cities’). elfstedentcht It was held for the first time in 1909.

Holland and ice skating have a long history. Depicting Dutch people socializing on ice is a long-standing tradition in the country, with the famous Dutch Golden Age painter Hendrik Averkamp portraying the intimacy between people and ice.

Man-made ice rinks are popping up all over the country as climate change erodes the potential of natural ice rinks. in fact, twenty two Ice rinks are in full swing across the country.

As more artificial ice rinks opened, it was only a matter of time before competition began there as well. The first Marathon Cup was held in 1973 and was won by Bernie van der Weilde.

The center of long-distance skating is now the Marathon Cup, elfstedentcht It is still considered one of the oldest races in skating around the world.

Organized by journalist Pim Mourier, the race follows a circular route of frozen canals that begins and ends in Leeuwarden, covering 200 kilometers and being completed in one day. De Brenmoren, A windmill that is a landmark of the city.

The 200 km endurance race has become a symbol of Dutch folklore. The 1963 race was particularly memorable, now known as ‘His 63 Minutes in Hell’ due to the extremely low temperatures. On a day of minus 18 degrees Celsius with a mix of powder snow and strong winds, only 69 of the 10,000 participants finished the race. Champion Reynier Parpin was blinded by the snow until the finish line, but he and the race became legends in Dutch history.

Despite being highly acclaimed, the race has only been held 15 times so far due to the fact that virtually all of Friesland must be frozen. For this event to take place, the ice would need to be at least 15 centimeters thick, but unfortunately this hasn’t happened since 1997 and has only happened three times in the last 50 years.

This drought is the longest in the history of the sport, and as climate change continues to affect weather around the world, elfstedentcht It is critically endangered. As the race approached, year 2012, Unfortunately, it was canceled for safety reasons.

For more information, elfstedentcht History of Friesland and skating. For historic race coverage, click here.

Stay tuned to The Northern Times for more details on the 2023-24 Marathon Cup.

https://northerntimes.nl/marathon-cup-skating-competition-to-start-and-end-in-the-north/ Marathon Cup Skating Tournament Begins and Ends in North – Northern Times

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