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Jan Knippenberg Memorial 100 Mile Race 2012

By Abichal @Multidays

Jan Knippenberg Memorial 100 Mile Race 2012Jan Knippenberg – The Dutch Barefoot Runner

What is the Jan Knippenberg Memorial?

A 100 mile run from Hook of Holland to Den Helder or a 50 mile run IJmuiden to Den Helder both along the Dutch beaches.

The race has been set up as a memorial for Jan Knippenberg.
It is now in his tenth edition. In 2012 the 100 miles will start 06 April (Good Friday) and the 50 miles will start 07 April.

For British runners, it’s a different challenge, and it’s only a boat ride (Harwich-Hook of Holland) away.

Who was Jan Knippenberg?
Jan died in 1995 at the age of 47. Jan was 12 when he started running along the Dutch beaches where he grew up, inspired by a British soldier stationed near Hook of Holland, just after the second world war. Jan was a runner who taught history at school. His background as a teacher is clearly visible in his book, it’s more a scientific history book about running in its purest form than that it is a popular novel.
But it was not only running that captures Jans heart and imagination. He was a “back to nature” person. In 1985 he spend two months in Spitsbergen, with a friend and a canoe, traveling around the island.

His book – is called De Mens als Duurloper (Man as Endurance Runner).
At this moment in time his book is only available in the Dutch language. It was first printed in 1987. It is interesting to read about the Tarahumara Indians in his book.
The book is not about Jan, yes some of his achievements and events are in the book, but it’s a history of ultra-running.
According to Jan, ultra-running is the oldest form of travel. You only have to think about Pheidippides (original marathon) or the original inhabitants of what is now the Americas or in Africa, where it still is one of the most import ways of traveling.
To eat you had to work. Travel comes from the word travaille (which means work in French).

Some of his Achievements
1973 – Running through The Lairig Ghru Pass in Scotland, setting the first ever record. In 1974 vice versa. Aviemore – Braemar – Aviemore.
1974 – 18 days from Hook of Holland to Stockholm. 1600 kilometers.
1976 (during the heatwave) and 1979 400 kilometer around the IJsselmeer in less than 44 hours.
1979 – Crystal Palace 24 hours track run – 89 miles
1994 – Belfast – Dublin Cooperation Peace Run – 106 miles
Various fell running races and events across the Great British Isles and around the world.

What was his philosophy
Running is not a sport, but a means of travel, by which body and mind are constantly on the move. Therefor running is an art and not a cure for modern ailments. (translated from De mens als duurloper).

Details about the 100 mile race in April 2012 can be found at:Jan Knippenberg Memorial.nl

Mikel Knippenberg
Michiel Hoefsmit

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