‘Super Marathon Masters a unique initiative’

Cor Terlouw (47) belongs to the Super Marathon Masters of the ABN AMRO Marathon Rotterdam.   The garage owner from Bergambacht, married to Marloes and father of son Richard (13), will be running for the 25th time on Sunday April 15, 2012.  He has run 81 marathons.

What does it feel like to be a Super Marathon Master in Rotterdam?

Cor Terlouw:  "I think it's a great idea.  It is a unique initiative.  If I finish my 25th Marathon Rotterdam next year I'll get a free entry for the rest of my life and two tickets for the grandstand as well.  I've never heard of any other marathon doing the same.''

Twenty five marathons is quite an achievement.

 "Well, I'll have to tell you how it all started. It was 1988, the year Belayneh Densamo brought the world record to Rotterdam in 2.05.50.  Without any training I ran 4.33.26. I took part because of a bet. I played left back with FC Bergambacht and was always head of the pack when we ran around the field during training sessions.  My team mates said "you should take part in a marathon. One thing lead to another.''

Were you enthusiastic immediately after the debut?

No, not really. "When I crossed the finish line, my first thought was: never again will I run a marathon! I couldn't walk normally for three weeks because of the pain."
But …
"When the pain was gone, I wanted to run a marathon again. You become addicted to the atmosphere on the Coolsingel.  When I arrived first at the Coolsingel, I heard enthusiastic cheering. I looked back, saw no one and then realised that the spectators were cheering me one.  This is how you are 'carried' to the finish. It's very special.

Who would have thought that you would run so many marathons.

"After my second marathon in Rotterdam I announced I wanted to finish twenty five times on the Coolsingel.  Many people thought I was mad at the time, but now I'm nearly there.  At last they take me seriously."

The Marathon Rotterdam is special to you.

"Yes, although I was not born in Rotterdam, it is my city, a fantastic city. I have a bond with Rotterdam. I'm also mad about Feyenoord.  In 1974 I sat in the terraces in the Kuip for the first time, with a cousin of mine. That was when Feyenoord beat FC Twente 3-2 and became national champions.  I'll never forget that."

Do you still play football?

"No, at a certain moment I had to make a choice: either undergo a meniscus operation on the knee or stop playing football.  I stopped playing football.  I am now a member of Avantri Athletics Club in Schoonhoven.  The meniscus doesn't present any problems during running."

Never have any injuries?

"I have once or twice run in Rotterdam with an injured foot.  I was determined to take part and ran on the side of the foot. When I crossed the finish line that foot was completely blue.  And in my first marathon I ran with a brace due to a knee injury, I remember that well. I was even on TV because Densamo was nearly at the finish and at that moment I was only half way.''

What sort of 'kick' do you get from running a marathon in Rotterdam?

"It's the atmosphere in the city that is so fantastic.  I have also run ten marathons in Eindhoven, eight or nine in Leiden, three times in Amsterdam, twice in Enschede and once in The Hague, when a marathon was held there.  And I've run the Kortrijk to Brugge another five times and seven times in Monschau. But when it comes to atmosphere, not one of them equals Rotterdam."

Do you run other distances as well?

I've run roughly 500 half marathons.  This year, in Switzerland,  I ran an ultra marathon for the first time: 79 kilometres, from 300 metres at the start to a height of 2700 metres at the finish.  It was extreme. I didn't think I was ever going to make it, but it was so beautiful.  At one point I even ran through snow."

You like running through nature.

 "I have run several 'nature marathons'.  That's also nice, but very different from the marathon in Rotterdam. I ran my personal best during the 'nature marathon' in Lekkerkerk.  It was cloudy, it rained and there were strong winds and we had to plod through the fields, but I was at my fastest: 3.30.34. I was very happy with my time.''

And in Rotterdam?

"My best time in Rotterdam is 3.37.04, which dates from 1995.''

Do you think you will better that in the coming year?

 "That is the plan. Since my second marathon I have been dreaming of a sub three and a half hours. I've never managed it. I'm going to consciously train for it.  It must eventually be possible.''

Next year probably won't be your last marathon.

"As long as I'm healthy, I'll continue to run for a few years yet."

Have you got all your medals from Rotterdam still?

"They are hanging in a frame on the wall at home.  They are very special.  It is also nice to know I will be one of the youngest runners who will be at the start for the twenty fifth time in Rotterdam."

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Cor Terlouw met oorkondes

Cor Terlouw in the ABN AMRO Marathon Rotterdam

(in order of year, time and placing):

2011 3.58.18 3493rd
2010 3.50.25 3465th
2009 4.04.24 3493rd
2008 3.55.07 3177th
2007 4.20.30 2589th
2006 4.09.49 4753rd
2005 3.53.57 5044th
2004 4.06.04 5560th
2003 4.07.13 4231st
2002 4.25.47 6166th
2001 3.50.38 3727th
2000 4.06.09 5888th
1999 3.57.39 5218th
1998 4.00.00 5781st
1997 3.56.38 5363rd
1996 3.51.27 3907th
1995 3.37.04 3475th
1994 3.39.03 4097th
1993 4.43.23 8288th
1992 4.20.38 6961st
1991 4.28.28 6377th
1990 4.22.33 5860th
1989 3.48.42 4459th
1988 4.33.26 3618th

The best time and placing in bold.

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