The press conference at Strandhotel Golfzang in Egmond aan Zee today looked ahead to the 22nd edition of the GP Groot Egmond-Pier-Egmond and the 48th NN Egmond Half Marathon. Ivar Slik and Tessa Neefjes told how they stand for tomorrow’s beach race and Khalid Choukoud, Björn Koreman and Nienke Brinkman expressed their expectations for Sunday’s half marathon.

For next weekend, weather conditions will again play an important role for the thousands of cyclists and runners. Quite a bit of wind is predicted. On Saturday wind force 4 to 5 from the south and Sunday winds will be a bit stronger with gusts up to wind force 7 and slightly wetter. All the ingredients for an exciting race and a wonderful battle against the elements.

NN Egmond Half Marathon
A day later, the starting gun of the NN Egmond Half Marathon, with a total of 15,000 runners participating, will sound at 12:16 p.m. The women kicked off the race with a lead of 9 minutes and 17 seconds over the men. The difference between the men’s and women’s course records. The man or woman who crosses the finish line first on Boulevard North will win an additional prize.

The biggest contender to stay ahead of the men is Nienke Brinkman, the Dutch record holder in the marathon. Regarded as the running sensation of the moment, Brinkman will be at the start in Egmond for the first time this weekend: “I heard all the stories about the beach and the wind, so I wasn’t planning on ramming into the lead.” Experienced “Egmond” runners Khalid Choukoud and Björn Koreman know better than anyone that this is the best strategy. Choukoud: “This is one of the most fun races to run, you don’t really focus on a time, but on a good ranking. The battle with the beach and the dunes, which is very different from running a fast race.” Koreman is curious to see how his form is at the beginning of this new year: Last Saturday I ran another 10 km in Madrid as a test for next Sunday. The form is good enough to compete at the head of the race.”

Brinkman faces competition for the women’s podium from Jill Holterman, Bo Ummels and Andrea Deelstra. For the men’s field, organizer Le Champion has further recorded Stan Niesten, Ronald Schröer, Gianluca Assorgia and Lucas Nieuweboer. From Belgium, brothers Soufiane and Lahsene Bouchikhi will be in action.

Live to follow
The NN Egmond Half Marathon will be televised live Sunday from 12:00 to 2:30 p.m. via NH Sport. Both events can also be followed live on radio and TV through regional station RTV 80. Finally, on Sunday evening a summary of the NN Egmond Half Marathon can be seen on NOS Studio Sport.
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