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Telescooploop 2016

Submitter: Ger van Diepen
Description: On November 10th the Personeelsvereniging organised the 3rd Telescooploop, a run or walk from the telescope in Westerbork to the telescope in Dwingeloo, a distance of 24.3 km. People who thought 24.3 km a bit too much, could step in later and do 15.3 or 8.5 km.
This year a new element was added: from the Superterp of the LOFAR telescope via the WSRT to Dwingeloo, a distance of 48 km.

About 16 people took part in the event, a bit less than at previous events as business trips and injuries prevented some keen people from taking part. Several brave men and women did the full 24.3 km: three runners and two walkers. The young and energetic Bram Veenboer set a new record: 1 hour and 50 minutes. Two people ran 15.3 km and six did the 8.5 km. Three diehards, including the almost-71-year-old Arie Doorduin, walked all the way from LOFAR to Dwingeloo. Breaks included, it took them a bit more than 9 hours.

The circumstances were pretty good: no rain and only a very light wind from the NE, but it was cold (a maximum of 3 degrees) without hardly any sunshine. Gloves were definitely necessary!
The landscape was very nice and varying. Through the woods of Westerbork, the fields around Zwiggelte, the beautiful heath and lakes of the Terhorsterzand and the familiar woods of Dwingeloo. The leaves of many trees had turned yellow making the woods very colourful.
For the 24km run, the last third through the Dwingelderveld is always the toughest - you're tired and it feels familiar, like you should be almost done, but there's still quite a distance to go. It was very enjoyable despite the aching muscles towards the end.

The stretch from LOFAR to WSRT was great as well. The start was before 7 o'clock in the pitch dark at the Superterp. Vaguely a HBA field next to the road could be seen. Without a GPS it would have been hard to find the way. But soon it became lighter, so walking in the woods below Borger was very pleasant. The stretch from Schoonloo to WSRT went through the woods over a beautiful, old cobblestone path. Telescope C and D could be spotted before Wim Brouw and Jan Pieter de Reijer gave a hearty welcome at the WSRT office with coffee and some pieces of applecake. Between Zwiggelte and Terhorst the walkers took a slightly different route to have a tea break in Beilen.

The Personeelsvereniging has done another wonderful job. It was very well organized with plenty of drinks and food along the way and in the canteen at the end. Nobody got lost, so the signs were certainly clear enough. Many thanks to the organisers, Eric Kooistra and Sjouke Zwier, and the volunteers, Monique Sluiman and Pieter Jager.
Copyright: Ger van Diepen, Eric Kooistra, Betsey Adams
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