Despite having grown 13 years older since last year's 4 Mijl van Groningen, according to my classification (fill in the number 6104), I have shaved a minute and a half off my previous record by net time, finishing in 28:52.4 this year. Or have I? This time around, the explanation of what gross vs. net finishing times mean is incomprehensible and self-contradictory, but considering that I passed the starting line something like half a minute after the signal, I think I should use the net. If not, I still ran 29:37.7, which is almost a minute off last year's result. And I beat my boss this year, even though he improved his personal record too.
As usual at the 4 Mijl van Groningen, I had all sorts of agues and pains at the start, needed to go to the bathroom when the signal was given, didn't feel my right shoe was tight enough after the first 500 meters, had to duck and weave past other runners, bumping into at least one (sorry!) and got another runner's hand in my face at about 5 km. But I still felt great once I was done with it. The weather was once again great and seeing all those other people run was very motivational. There's nothing like passing runners with a much lower start number than you, who started several minutes before you.
I did catch a glimpse of winner Eliud Kipchoge (start number 1), who was apparently born in 1900 according to the event's database, shoeing up with two other very skinny African guys. Kipchoge, who also won last year, is impressive to watch, making me look obese in comparison. He finished in 17:30, not improving his personal record - I don't think I'll ever bridge that gap though.