|The Kleintje Pils|
Thankfully I was able to watch most of the races live, but it was also bittersweet. I had hoped to have raced in the TP today, but with my injuries and ups/downs all year, I was not chosen to be on the team and so watching and wishing I was there hurt. Let it be fuel for the fire...
|Got to love this guy :)|
From the start, Bob goes out slower, but steady...keeping a pace a couple tenths slower each lap than Jorrit and for a while, the seconds kept adding up to where around lap 15, Bob was upwards of 4 seconds slower. To those who knew Bob, if there is a World Title at stake, at this point, he was no where near his potential...it was about lap 15 where Bob started kicking it into 4th gear. Slowly but surely he was gaining ground, but the question was, would he do it in time to beat Jorrit? Haha, I laugh because how can we doubt Bob's ability? He's done this over and over...with 4 laps to go, Bob was exactly 2 seconds behind...now at this point in a race, a typical skater is burning, numb, drooling, becoming delirious (honestly, I don't know and cannot say much, I've never raced a 10k, YET...), but Bob has just begun to burn his last fuel in his reserve engines. 3 laps to go, he is +.49seconds...everyone is on the edge of their seats...poor Jorrit has to watch this whole race to see if he wins the title or Bob defeats him. 2 laps and Bob pulls ahead... -1.27 seconds...and to show how amazing Bob is, his last lap was a negative split meaning he went faster on his last lap than the one before, amazing especially after already racing 24 laps. Finishing with a 12:53...3.80 seconds faster than Jorrit and skating a 29.9 second last lap, Bob is an athlete like no other. For any of you who would like to watch this race, I highly recommend it! Yes, it is a long race so if you want to fast forward to minute 6:50...watch it from that point on...click here to view. At the finish, it also reveals how amazing the fans at Thialf are with their love for their native schaatsen sport...we speedskaters love you all! :)
|Bob de Jong and I in 2010, credit thanks to Meijco van Velzen|