Always on the hunt for cool running destinations, Esther van Bochove, from the Netherlands, will return for her third Challenge in 2016, along with her partner Esther Hakvoort. She shares her Cape Wrath story with us.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I live in Zaandam, The Netherlands, together with Esther :-) I work as an editor at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. In my spare time, I like to run (yeah, really!), visit friends & family, cook, read, watch cool Netflix series, drink a good beer (or whisky) and listen to music.
Tell us about your running history. What kind of running do you enjoy most?
I started running somewhere in the 00's and to be honest, I wasn't completely hooked after my first race. In fact, most of the time I felt horrible during and after races – which was my own fault; I thought I could just run a race without training for it! It wasn't until I discovered that training really helps, that I really started to enjoy running. I used to only run road races, but in the last two years, I have grown addicted to trail running - nothing beats a run (whether it’s a training run or a race) through woods, dunes, rocks etc.
How many times have you been to CWC?
2016 will be my third time.
How did you first hear about CWC and what made you come to the event for the first time?
A while back, before I’d even started running, I came on vacation to Durness and I was struck by the friendliness of the village, the remoteness and the beautiful beaches and cliffs. It wasn’t until years later that I started running. Esther and I are always looking for cool vacation destinations where we can do some running, so one day, I just googled “marathon + Durness” and stumbled upon the Cape Wrath Challenge.
Tell us what makes the event special to you? What makes you come back?
The unique combination of challenging runs, the friendliness, the people, the beauty of the village and its surroundings. And the fantastic food - not only during the ceilidh, but I also LOVE the soup and sandwiches after the races. Lots and lots of choice, even for vegetarians like me.
What is your favourite race or run at Durness?
The Around Durness Run, because it combines the best of everything the Cape Wrath Challenge and Durness have to offer: road, off road (including some mud), grassland, golf course, beach (views).
What is your favourite part of the week, or favourite thing to do in the area?
Stroll along Balnakeil Beach and have a cup of coffee and some chocolate at Cocoa Mountain afterwards.
What are you most looking forward to when you return?
The beaches. The runs. The people. Just everything.
Describe Cape Wrath Challenge week in three words
It. Is. Amazing.
Tell us about your all-time favourite run (that's not in Durness!)
I have a couple of favourites, but I think I’ll choose the TexelTrail on the Dutch island of Texel. I love the dunes, the beaches and the relaxed atmosphere of the race. Because it is held in February, you never know what the weather will be like. We’ve had really strong winds, with the sand blowing amazingly fast along the beach, and we also had really mild, spring-like temperatures. Whatever the weather, the course is beautiful.
Is there anything else you want to tell the CWC Community?
Please keep up the fantastic work!