3rd Anglo-Dutch Representative Match The Hague Half Marathon

Sunday 14 March 2010

The Royal Palace, The Hague


A team of seven travelled out to The Hague in March to compete, at the invitation of the Dutch Foreign Ministry, in The Hague Half Marathon. The invitation to the CSAA had been extended from the Minister through Niek Tetteroo when he and 18 colleagues from The Netherlands travelled to Parliament Hill last November to compete in the Civil Service Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill. The invitation was graciously acknowledged by our Chairman, Sir Anthony Battishill at the reception held after the race.


Publicity for the event had been posted on the CSAA website and issued by the CSSC, including an article in Leisure Scene, in an attempt to make the trip accessible to all members of CSSC and not just to our athletes. Although there had been a marked increase in the cost of flights and hotel accommodation, CSAA were delighted to find that six representatives were keen to make the trip who, in turn, were delighted to find that a small subsidy was available from CSSC to offset against their costs.


On the night before the race there was a reception with our Dutch hosts and the CSAA team enjoyed a meal and hospitality at the local Irish (!) bar. The next morning, we reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where their excellent sports facilities were made available for our use including pre-race refreshments, marvellous changing facilities and showers and the services of several sports masseurs. In addition we were all given bright orange representative vests bearing the name and insignia of the Ministry. All this only 5 minutes jog from the starting point.

Conditions on the day of the race were pretty good, although there was a very cold wind blowing. Steve Norris elected to run the 10k and was reasonably pleased with his 38.23 after being held up at the start with the large numbers running. In the Half Marathon, Liz Stavreski delighted our hosts with an excellent 82.05 while Michaela Demspey, ran comfortably for her 1h 40m. Colette Roach and Gerry Trainer flew the flag for joggers, trotting round in just over two hours and Julian Howe ran a creditable 90 minutes. Unfortunately, one of our top male runners, Steve Shanks, after making a good start, had to drop out at 10k with a recurrence of back trouble which has plagued him in recent years.

At the presentation after the race, the representative from the Foreign Ministry thanked the British contingent for their support and expressed his hope that the close ties established between his department and VROM (the Dutch environment agency) and the CSAA/CSSC would continue to grow. He promised that a large group would be making the trip to England in November, once again, to run in the CSAA Cross Country in Birmingham.

Nick Hume


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