Students from Nijmegen and Enschede organised the 44th Batavierenrace. More than 8,500 students took part in the relay race between the two cities with the starting shot given at midnight on Friday.

The Nijmegen-based RU/HAN University team won the University Competition, beating out Amsterdam and Groningen. Team S.N.O.T. from Delft were the winners in the general classification of the competition with Team Cifla (Nijmegen) and Team Eindhoven finishing second and third respectively.

Good company

Five teams from Rotterdam participated in the race including student running club EUR-Roadrunners. For president Rosanne Baars, the good company and socialising during the event were just as important as their athletic performance (34th in the overall competition). “We didn’t really have a sporting objective. This event is mainly a good opportunity to work on teambuilding within your own club or group. All of us took part in the event. Even though I had a deadline for my study on Sunday, I still showed up and participated.”

Cold and tired

Ellen van Schie, activities officer with the swimming and water polo club Ragnar, had a tough time of it. “I ran on Friday night/Saturday morning starting at four a.m. I was still tired and just wanted to go to bed, and I was chilled to the bone. The race organisers had issued official warnings but it’s always colder than you think it will be. These difficult conditions for the race are good though, because everyone participating has to deal with it.”

No EUR team

The Batavierenrace is the largest sporting event for students in the Netherlands. The total distance covered in the race is approximately 175 kilometres, divided into 25 legs (sixteen for men and nine for women). Each team consists of 25 runners. Every runner runs one leg of the race accompanied by a cyclist and a minibus with the rest of the team members. Moreover, each team is divided into runners who will take part by running in either the night, morning or afternoon part of the race.

The race is divided into two competitions. In the University Competition, universities send their own team. In the general classification, it’s literally every team for itself and even students in teams from the same university compete against each other. This year, there was no EUR university team, something that Van Schie found disappointing. “At Erasmus Sport, they’re always saying they encourage elite sport. If that’s the case, they should have assembled a team for this year.”