Hel van Kasterlee 2018

What an edition of ‘Hel van Kasterlee’, thé multisportevent during winter in Belgium! 
A racecourse that was fast and dry…untill this night. Snow…which turned in to melting snow and meltwater! 
The cause of a race that became a survival!
Already from the start athletes got cold. 
Knowing a couple of our athletes simply can’t stand the cold very well…I knew this day would be tricky! 
Inge was in 2nd position after the first run, before jumping on her beloved mountainbike and chase that 1st position again. But very soon cold entered the body and already early in the race she had to go to the medical service with severe hypothermia! 
This cold was also there for all other athletes. In the male race number 1 and 2 dropped out due to the weather conditions. 
One of our male athletes, Jelle, broke his chain and many more athletes suffered from broken gear.
With never having an athlete starting in Kasterlee to drop out…this was the very first time it happened and already early in the race! 
In the 2nd half of the bikecourse hypothermia was there for Kristof, while Stijn also broke his gears and had to DNF. 
Never seen before….

But the other athletes did survive this race and cold. Only 221athletes/350 starters made it untill the finishline.

Wim was there to defend his title in the masters race. But with 2laps to go on the bike, he couldn’t see well anymore. Falling in the little canals, missing turnings,…it all became worse and worse during these last 2 laps. Losing +/-40′ on his opponents in these last 50K on the bike was pure terror for him. Cold was his master of hi body and later it became clear his retinae were frozen! 
Despite this he managed to do the unbelievable…putting down the 9th overall running time in the last 30K. With his wife next to him litterally guiding him in the right direction. 
Maybe not ‘wise’ but this also shows the sportsmanship these athletes have! Finally Wim finishes 30th, 6th master!

Behind Wim it were Wesley and Bart who were close to eachother untill the very end of the race and finish this race nearly together! 
Bart didn’t get the most easy edition for his first time in Kasterlee but can close his year with a good feeling after an accident with consequences the day before his planned Ironman in Maastricht.
Wesley was afraid before the race that shape wasn’t there because of tough months in September/October but he managed to reinstall shape and go all the way! He did it once again!

Our Romanian athlete Lucian was attrackted by the special format Kasterlee has and wanted to enter this race. His stresslevels went higher the last weeks before the race but on the other side he was never in this shape. Ready to finish the race in normal conditions…but today turned out NOT normal and still he made it all the way! 
Big thumbs up to our athletes entering the race, daring to race but of course most of all to the athletes finishing the race in style 💪

Many athletes sent me messages this weekend that Hel van Kasterlee in these conditions were ‘crazy’. BUT…limits, both mentally and physically are the ones we/you put down on yourselves.

What to say about David, our extreme trailrunner, who was running the ‘Bello-Gallico Trailrun’ . This 160K trailrun started yesterdaymorning and finished this noon for David. During this race in Brabant, Belgium they conquer offroadtrails and hills. Tonight in this region melting snow, under 0°C and real snow were their part. David survived this race well and finished it strongly!!!!

More photos later! They will be worth it 🙂

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