Sunday provided Groningers with sun amidst the gloomy October month and with the largest running event in the North being held on the same day, it was a weekend to remember.
Over 21 thousand runners participated in the 36th edition of the Menzis 4 Miles van Groningen, a four-mile charity run that began in Haren and finished at Groningen’s Vismarkt. Thousands of people were cheering the runners on along the city center, as they pushed their bodies to the limit to raise money for the Youth Fund for Sports and Culture.
A grand total of €50,115 was raised according to 112Groningen.nl. The event started with a new race, the Mini 4 Miles, in which children aged between four and 11 ran the final section of the race into Vismarkt before the official charity run kicked off at 1 p.m.
New faces crowned champions
Although the run’s purpose is to raise money for a good cause, it does not stop participants from trying their best to win the four-mile race. The men’s winner this year was 30-year-old Filmon Tesfu from Den Helder, who finished with a time of 18 minutes and 15 seconds.
It was the second title of the year for the Dutch athletics team representative, who also won the half-marathon in Den Helder. Tesfu shot off from the start and took the lead, able to keep his competitors at bay. Nikolaï Saké came in second, a distant nine seconds behind, with Tom Hendrikse closing out the podium.
The women’s race was a much more exciting affair as Swedish Olympian Sarah Lahti picked up the gold medal by a mere second over the Netherlands’ Maureen Koster. The Swedish record-holder for the half-marathon was declared the winner with a time of 19 minutes and 53 seconds.
The champions were awarded their medals by Mayor Koen Schuiling and Alderman Inge Jognman. FC Groningen and Dutch icon Arjen Robben and former Dutch speed skating Olympian Erben Wennemars also took part in the 6,000-meter run.
Photo credits: Menzis 4 Miles van Groningen