‘Super Marathon Masters a unique initiative’
Cor Terlouw (47) belongs to the Super Marathon
Masters of the ABN AMRO Marathon Rotterdam. The garage
owner from Bergambacht, married to Marloes and father of son
Richard (13), will be running for the 25th time on Sunday April 15,
2012. He has run 81 marathons.
What does it feel like to be a Super Marathon Master in
Cor Terlouw: "I think it's a great idea. It is a
unique initiative. If I finish my 25th Marathon Rotterdam
next year I'll get a free entry for the rest of my life and two
tickets for the grandstand as well. I've never heard of any
other marathon doing the same.''
Twenty five marathons is quite an achievement.
"Well, I'll have to tell you how it all started. It was
1988, the year Belayneh Densamo brought the world record to
Rotterdam in 2.05.50. Without any training I ran 4.33.26. I
took part because of a bet. I played left back with FC Bergambacht
and was always head of the pack when we ran around the field during
training sessions. My team mates said "you should take part
in a marathon. One thing lead to another.''
Were you enthusiastic immediately after the debut?
No, not really. "When I crossed the finish line, my first
thought was: never again will I run a marathon! I couldn't walk
normally for three weeks because of the pain."
"When the pain was gone, I wanted to run a marathon again. You
become addicted to the atmosphere on the Coolsingel. When I
arrived first at the Coolsingel, I heard enthusiastic cheering. I
looked back, saw no one and then realised that the spectators were
cheering me one. This is how you are 'carried' to the finish.
It's very special.
Who would have thought that you would run so many
"After my second marathon in Rotterdam I announced I wanted to
finish twenty five times on the Coolsingel. Many people
thought I was mad at the time, but now I'm nearly there. At
last they take me seriously."
The Marathon Rotterdam is special to you.
"Yes, although I was not born in Rotterdam, it is my city, a
fantastic city. I have a bond with Rotterdam. I'm also mad about
Feyenoord. In 1974 I sat in the terraces in the Kuip for the
first time, with a cousin of mine. That was when Feyenoord beat FC
Twente 3-2 and became national champions. I'll never forget
Do you still play football?
"No, at a certain moment I had to make a choice: either undergo
a meniscus operation on the knee or stop playing football. I
stopped playing football. I am now a member of Avantri
Athletics Club in Schoonhoven. The meniscus doesn't present
any problems during running."
Never have any injuries?
"I have once or twice run in Rotterdam with an injured
foot. I was determined to take part and ran on the side of
the foot. When I crossed the finish line that foot was completely
blue. And in my first marathon I ran with a brace due to a
knee injury, I remember that well. I was even on TV because Densamo
was nearly at the finish and at that moment I was only half
What sort of 'kick' do you get from running a marathon in
"It's the atmosphere in the city that is so fantastic. I
have also run ten marathons in Eindhoven, eight or nine in Leiden,
three times in Amsterdam, twice in Enschede and once in The Hague,
when a marathon was held there. And I've run the Kortrijk to
Brugge another five times and seven times in Monschau. But when it
comes to atmosphere, not one of them equals Rotterdam."
Do you run other distances as well?
I've run roughly 500 half marathons. This year, in
Switzerland, I ran an ultra marathon for the first time: 79
kilometres, from 300 metres at the start to a height of 2700 metres
at the finish. It was extreme. I didn't think I was ever
going to make it, but it was so beautiful. At one point I
even ran through snow."
You like running through nature.
"I have run several 'nature marathons'. That's also
nice, but very different from the marathon in Rotterdam. I ran my
personal best during the 'nature marathon' in Lekkerkerk. It
was cloudy, it rained and there were strong winds and we had to
plod through the fields, but I was at my fastest: 3.30.34. I was
very happy with my time.''
And in Rotterdam?
"My best time in Rotterdam is 3.37.04, which dates from
Do you think you will better that in the coming year?
"That is the plan. Since my second marathon I have been
dreaming of a sub three and a half hours. I've never managed it.
I'm going to consciously train for it. It must eventually be
Next year probably won't be your last marathon.
"As long as I'm healthy, I'll continue to run for a few years
Have you got all your medals from Rotterdam still?
"They are hanging in a frame on the wall at home. They are
very special. It is also nice to know I will be one of the
youngest runners who will be at the start for the twenty fifth time
* * *
Cor Terlouw in the ABN AMRO Marathon Rotterdam
(in order of year, time and placing):
The best time and placing in bold.