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Newsletter 2, February 2001

 

A new course for the Mergelland Marathon 2001

 

4th Mergelland Marathon

Sunday 9 September 2001, 13.00 hours in Meerssen


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After having used the same very popular route for 3 years, this year's marathon will be run a new course. Busy traffic in Valkenburg and the quest from the public for more opportunities to see the runners led to some changes.

 

The new course has a large round of  23 km and a smaller one of 19 km.  The second round party overlaps the first. Many beautiful scenes and sights are still included and new spectacular scenery is added. The runners will pass the Markt in Meerssen twice, to allow their supporters to enjoy the sportive spectacle and the great atmosphere of the many terraces.

 

The new course

 

Like in past years the start will be at the Markt at the foot of the ancient Basilica, followed by a slightly undulating round (3,5 km) through Meerssen. Then, first gradually, but in the last 600 meters more steeply climbing to the top of the Biesenberg in Schietecoven, +110 m NAP, (5 km). From there, with view on the airport, via the Nieuwe Vliekerweg passing the beautiful Estate Huize de Vliek, then descending in the direction of Meerssen until the left-turn to Waterval, +70 m NAP. The panoramic road leads through the forest to the hamlet Waterval and then through an open landscape and a spectacular climb to Ulestraten, +120 NAP, (10 km).

 

After climbing some more meters in Ulestraten the route goes slightly undulating in the direction of Schimmert/Haasdal, (15 km), where at  +140 m NAP the highest point is reached.

 

Haasdal is followed by a beautiful descent of the Kleverberg along the forest Ravensbos, in the direction of the motorway, +70m NAP, (17,7 km).

 

 

Here the route continues on a country road parallel to the motorway, soon climbing to  +110m NAP. Then a descent is followed by a left turn under the fly-over and then via the outskirts of  Houthem  towards the rail-station in Houthem  (20km). From here the railroad is followed west- wards until the Hermitageweg. The next 3 km are almost flat and lead us along  the Kluis and the  Eijsendaalweg to the Markt in Meerssen, (23,3km).

 

Here the second round starts by taking a short-cut to the Biesenberg (25 km), then Waterval, then  Ulestraten, (30 km), Schimmert/Haasdal, (35 km). From Haasdal the Trichterweg is followed over the slightly undulating high-plateau of  the  Raarberg. Via the Lange Raarberg and the last water-and refreshments-post at 40 km, it goes back to Meerssen. First  the descent of Raar, +130 m NAP, then via the Kuileinderstraat, where a final last round with some unexpected steep little climbs leads to the Gerbega/Synagogeplantsoen, and finally to the Markt , +60 m.

 

Here every runners awaits a festive welcome with music and the famous Limburgse vlaai!! Well deserved after 350 climbing-meters and over  42 km !

 

For more information and subscription form please see:  http://run.to/mergel