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Marlene de Boer dicht bij winst in Triathlon van Nieuwkoop na indrukwekkende inhaalrace: ‘Die loopvorm is er gewoon’

Marlene de Boer close to winning the Nieuwkoop Triathlon after an impressive catch-up race: 'That running form is just there'

, by Johan Boef, 6 min reading time

Marlene de Boer was only 33 seconds away from victory in the Nieuwkoop Triathlon after a great running race. Curious about her inspiring journey to success and the tips she shares for improving your triathlon skills? Read the full article now!

Marlene de Boer's second place in the Nieuwkoop Triathlon is a wonderful boost. There is a lot of positive to be gained from the race heading into the European Ironman Championships in Frankfurt, because the distance to winner Els Visser was minimal at the finish. And that offers perspective. “The final conclusion is: I could have won this.”

It is a very busy program that Marlene de Boer completed last month: three half-triathlons in four weeks, under completely different circumstances. From the heat in South Africa to swimming in sea water in Marbella, from sharp, technical descents in Aix en Provence, to pounding in the wind in Nieuwkoop at a National Championship that could not be called a National Championship due to the quality of the swimming water. 

First confrontation with Els Visser 

NK or not, it did not stop Marlene from appearing at the start and competing with the strong Els Visser. It was the first direct confrontation between the two professional ladies and it was a great battle. “I think I had a good race overall,” she reflects. “Els caught up with me after the swim, she has more racing experience and knew she shouldn't fall too far behind in the swim. She tried to keep that gap as small as possible, then started cycling like crazy and soon caught up with me.”

De Boer Wetsuit

Technically better on the racing bike 

Knowing that she can deliver a strong running part, Marlene tried to stay with the unleashed Visser on the bike as long as possible. “She rode strong on the first lap, then she put me at 3 minutes,” Marlene analyzes soberly, although she also believes there was some bluff involved. “That second lap, when she was away from me, I didn't cycle that much slower at all. She was just a little better on a technical part and I couldn't catch up so quickly.”

Race for the win 

For Visser it was very important to make a big gap in the cycling part, because she knows Marlene's running qualities. “This was a race for the win. Not so much winning against Els, but I'm racing there to win myself. I know approximately what I can cycle in a 90 kilometer, I know approximately what I can run in a half marathon, somewhere between 1.20 and 1.25. That depends on the shape of the day, how fast you cycled, how fast you swam and how difficult the course is. At a certain point it was: let go and just walk. Closing the gap.”

Running at the maximum 

Marlene came close, very close, but the gap was just too big to bridge. “It's not all that chic anymore in that last round,” says Marlene, laughing when asked whether she couldn't take it a step further with Visser in the picture. “There's snot coming out of your nose and you're walking for all you're worth. I heard from my supporters that I was catching up, but you are running at a maximum.”

Marlene de Boer Triathlon Nieuwkoop

Increasing trend after three half triathlons

Looking back on the race in Nieuwkoop, the conclusion of a series of three half marathons in four weeks, Marlene is not dissatisfied. “My body is holding up well. I think I learned a lot from racing. The muscle damage is less and less, I was still able to push mentally in the third race in Nieuwkoop and was still fresh. The fact that things are actually getting better gives a lot of confidence. The final conclusion is: I could have won this. 33 seconds on a performance of over 4 hours is simply nothing. But on the other hand, I'm also just proud. I try to pick out the good points. When I look at my swimming time and compare my cycling wattages with the past two races, there is clearly an upward trend. I really cycled much better on my new Cadex than in Aix en Provence and Marbella, which is really a step forward. Could it have been done faster?” she finally wonders out loud. “Maybe so, but I haven't left much behind. I think I can just be satisfied.”

Tips from Marlene de Boer

What can you learn from Marlene's rise to the top? The tips below based on her experiences can help you become a better triathlete.

  1. Go racing , gain experience and try things in a race. A race is always different from training. You can train a lot, but it is always good to race and experience racing dynamics.
  2. Do things outside your comfort zone , that's what I've done now. A cycle course like Aix en Provence with such a wet descent is not something I like. Looking back, it could have been ten times faster. But I didn't crash and in the end I finished such a race. Doing things outside your comfort zone is good for your growth. Not only as a triathlete, but also as a person.
  3. Focus on the things that are going well , the positive things. As athletes we always want better and faster. We want to win. But also try to evaluate points that you are proud of. My coach also sent me a message yesterday: 'Give yourself 100 compliments. There really is an upward trend!'.

Follow Marlene de Boer on 

Marlene will discuss all those experiences, training, tests, preparations and of course the races themselves in the coming months on the TriathlonWorld website. “How can you translate my experiences, what have I learned? It is of course different for everyone, but you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time. In things I do, in rituals I have in a taper week, on competition day and the day before. Or about visualizing. And what do I do with food and drink, with nutrition? What does my packing list look like? My story, my 'why' and my motive behind what I do, I like to pass that on so that others can also benefit from it.” In short, keep a close eye on the site. 


Follow Marlene de Boer on


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Marlene de Boer close to winning the Nieuwkoop Triathlon after an impressive catch-up race: 'That running form is just there'