The NN Zevenheuvelenloop, also known as the nation's most beautiful and the world's fastest 15 kilometer race this year.The NN Zevenheuvelenloop has undergone a lot of development in the past 32 years.From a 'walk' with 500 men has grown into an event where almost 40,000 people register for it.This makes it the largest 15km race in the world and with the world record for men also the fastest in the world.
The NN Zevenheuvelenloop, Race Date: 2023-11-19, Distance: 15k
Stefan van den Broek
Rob van de Graaf
Mientje van Haare
1984-1991: The beginning
On the occasion of the first lustrum of student athletics association 't Haasje, the first Zevenheuvelenloop was organized in 1984.The event immediately starts with 500 participants.Start and finish are in the vicinity of the campus until 1992.Dutch toppers such as Klaas Lok, Tonnie Dirks (Emperor of the Seven Hills), Carla Beurskens, Gerard Nijboer and Marti ten Kate prepare the way for international toppers who would make their appearance from 1993 onwards.
In 1992, the organization meets the runners who travel by train and pushes the course to the railway station and with it to the center of Nijmegen.1993 is perhaps the most important year: the first test with the ChampionChip.It was also the year that Olympic champion on the 10,000 meters Khalid Skah was in the snow at the start.From that year on, Jos Hermens' Global Sports Communication ensured that absolute world toppers were at the start every year.In 1994, Haile Gebrselassie (already world record holder and world champion) was on the Groesbeekseweg for the first time.The event experienced a turbulent growth every year.Only two years ago it was tempered, in 1998 and 1999, the years that the event was moved to spring.
2000-2007: First world record
The return to autumn in 2000 was celebrated with a free starting number.With that, the Zevenheuvelenloop was in one fell swoop again on its original growth curve.In 2001 Felix Limo pulverized the world record 15 km to 41:29 in Nijmegen.The following year it was time for a 'topless' edition: no one-time international top was invited.The budget for this was entirely transferred to the Seven Hills talent team of Has van Cuijk with Susan Kuijken as absolute showpiece.
2008: 25th edition
The 25th edition welcomed the 250,000th finisher and thanks to ChampionChip she was immediately put in the flowers!The organization also used this edition to make the event more sustainable, so that everyone can enjoy the most beautiful autumn classic in the Netherlands for the next 25 years.As far as the top field was concerned: in the person of Kenenisa Bekele, this anniversary edition was a crowd-puller.Unfortunately, he was unable to deliver top performance: a slumbering injury prevented a record and even profit. Bekele became third after Ayele Abshiro and Isaac Kiprop.
2009 & 2010: world records
A world record has been running for two consecutive years.Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) reached its first serious road race in 2009 and ran a new world record with 46.28 minutes.Her husband, Sileshi Sihine, previously winner in 2004 and 2007, won the competition with the men after a photo finish.In 2010 it was the men's turn.Nine years after Felix Limo's record race, it was Leonard Komon who, with competition from the same Limo, set a fabulous world record in Nijmegen.After exactly 41 minutes and 13 seconds, Komon returned to the Groesbeekseweg.
In 2011, Haile returned to Nijmegen.This edition is not a world record, but a glorious victory by the (perhaps) greatest road athlete of all time, Haile Gebrselassie.This little big man attracted a lot of public interest, but also more athletes than ever were at the start, 26.087 to be precise.
2012: World record holders
Both the world record holder in the men, Leonard Komon and the women, Tirunesh Dibaba was at the start of the 29th edition.Add to that the women's reigning Olympic champion at the marathon Tiki Gelana and we can speak of the best occupied Zevenheuvelenloop ever.Also quantitatively it was a success, with 26,440 participants a record number was at the start.The competition with the ladies became a resounding victory for record-holder and Olympic champion Dibaba.She referred her compatriot Gelana firmly to the second plan.The race was less successful for Komon.He clearly had to acknowledge his superior in his compatriot Nicholas Kipkembpoi.
2013: 30th edition
The 30th edition was a very memorable one.To give the anniversary an extra shine, on Saturday evening, prior to the Zevenheuvelenloop, there was the "Zevenheuvelennacht", for which about 9,000 runners and runners registered.Walking in the dark turned out to be a great success.Atmospheric lighting (in the form of temporary street lamps powered by cyclists on roller banks) and mysterious music provided the special atmosphere along the way.At the finish it was especially the massively crowded audience that created a supreme mood.
But on Sundays it was also a party.Old winners of the Zevenheuvelenloop were invited to fight one more time.Illustrious names such as Felix Limo, Ingrid Kristiansen, Tirunesh Dibaba, Leonard Komon, Tonnie Dirks and many others liked to come to Nijmegen again.In the battle for the first place, it was eventually Komon who drew the longest end.Among the women, as expected, Tirunesh Dibaba was the one who fully lived up to her reputation.
On the Saturday night for the 15km competition the 2nd edition of the Zevenheuvelennacht took place.This course over 7km was very atmospheric, especially through a piece of "fairytale forest" on the way.With classical music and fairytale lighting it was a special experience for the 7,000 runners.During the 15km on Sunday, it was Abera Kuma and Priscah Jeptoo who took the win away.Jeptoo put an end to the Ethiopian hegemony in the women who had already lasted 9 years.Fastest Dutchman Khalid Choukoud missed the Dutch record with just 5 seconds.With the women Jamie van Lieshout was surprisingly the first Dutch.
The 32nd Zevenheuvelenloop was very successful despite the strong wind and rain.The autumn classic was confronted with difficult weather conditions, which required some adjustments.For example, the second half of the runners was diverted just after the 11 kilometer point around a falling tree.The victory went to Joshua Cheptegei and Yenenesh Tilahun.Cheptegei needed 42.39 min for the 15 kilometers.With the women Tilahun narrowly beat the Dutch Jip Vastenburg in the last meters.
Both scored a time of 50.05 min. The strong wind made for a difficult race for all runners.Impressive was the minute of silence that was held before the victims in Paris.Abdi Nageeye was the fastest Dutchman.The participants of the Seven Hills Night made their rounds in the dark and the rain.Atmospheric lighting,
Just like a year earlier, the 2016 edition was one that was characterized by weather conditions.But despite the strong wind, good performances were delivered.Joshua Cheptegei, who defended his title, ran the tenth time with 42.08 in the Seven Hills Run.Abdi Nageeye, who was the fastest Dutchman, missed his own Dutch Record in 16 seconds.Among the women, the Nijmegen-based Susan Krumins made her debut and immediately succeeded.She ran 49.30 min.
2017: Super time for Joshua Cheptegei
This year there was no measure on Joshua Cheptegei.He approached the world record to three seconds and finished in a phenomenally fast time of 41.16 min. In the ladies there was a fierce battle in which four women competed for the win.Birke Debele went the longest and won in 48.50 min. For the many thousands of holidaymakers the weather conditions for the change were not stormy, but alternately a sun and rain provided beautiful images.
2018: Josuhua Cheptegei sets a new world record clocking in 41:05
Joshua Cheptegei, 22, set a new world record for 15k. The Ugandan distance athlete ran the 15K Sunday morning in 41:05 in Nijmegen, Netherlands at the Seven Hills Run. This is the third men’s world record to fall on the roads in 2018. Eliud Kipchoge clocked 2:01:39 for the marathon world record in Berlin, then Abraham Kiptum’s set the half-marathon world record of 58:18, and now Cheptegei’s 15K world record. Cheptegei took 8 seconds off of the previous mark. The Ugandan runner took the lead from the beginning, tiring his pacers out before the 5K mark, but managed to finish strong on his own. This was the runner’s fourth win at the Seven Hills Run. He closed his race in a solo 2:37 kilometre and averaged 2:44 for the entire run.
About the course
Most beautiful in the Netherlands - fastest in the world
The course of the NN Zevenheuvelenloop has been known for years as the most beautiful in the Netherlands.However, it is also the fastest course in the world.The world record in the men has run on the hills between Nijmegen and Groesbeek in 2010 by Leonard Komon (41.13).Tirunesh Dibaba ran the world record in 2009 (46.28).The course is one round of exactly 15 kilometers.The course is completely paved and traffic free.
Start and finish are on the Groesbeekseweg at the Sumatrastraat.From there it goes on the Nijmegen track, Derdebaan, Zevenheuvelenweg, Meerwijkselaan, Postweg, Molenbosweg, Oude Kleefsebaan, Kwakkenbergweg, Postweg, Gelderselaan and Groesbeekseweg.The first five kilometers are treacherous because of the false flat.The middle section has some spicy hills and runs over the Zevenheuvelenweg,
Below you can see both courses (7 km Zevenheuvelennacht and 15 km NN Zevenheuvelenloop).Click on the image of the course for an enlargement.