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Hotel Director Bert Completes 50-Mile Solo Marathon

Due to the excessive heat warning being escalated to elevations below 6000′ (formerly 4000′), the organizers were forced out of every possible venue to hold the Running with the Devil race near Las Vegas, Nevada, June 29th.

After a very disappointing day of not running, the organization offered several ways of compensation. One of them was that those who signed up for the 50-mile race would have the chance to still run it in order to receive the medallion. Since the race was cancelled by the local authorities, the organization could not be involved in any way. In other words, they could not supply us with any refreshments whatsoever since any involvement would jeopardize their future permit…

In short: yes we could run, but, forget about any assistance.

After I dropped Jenn at the airport, I drove to the place where the race was supposed to take place. Made a plan, did some organizing and decided to give it a try on Sunday.



I left at 4.30 am as it takes 45 minutes to get there. Once there, I dropped several Igloo’s (coolboxes) at strategic locations, drove the car back and started the 50 most difficult miles I’ve ever done. Not because of the heat, that doesn’t bother me. Tonight at 7pm, the thermometer still showed 119F and really, it’s not that hot to run. No, what made it difficult was that I was running alone. Just me and nature….and of course my GPS and my watch so I can prove that I actually did it.


I even managed to finish on wooden shoes, as I promised the race director to do this as it’s Dutch tradition. I managed to do the run in 9 hours 9 minutes.

Finishing on wooden shoes.

Finishing on wooden shoes.

The well-deserved 50-mile medal.

The well-deserved 50-mile medal.

Bert van Mackelenbergh is Veendam’s hotel director (currently on vacation).

  • Patricia B

    Congratulations! What endurance! Certainly makes for a great Hotel Director. Thanks so much for posting the videos, too.

  • Reinier

    HI Bert well done on “Klompen”

  • Theo

    Bert, wat een megaprestratie!

  • Bert

    Thanks – the next ultimate challenge will be the 150mile/250k race in the Sahara desert in Egypt.
    I’m now training for this race – need to carry everything yourself – food, water, clothing, everything.
    Wish me luck 🙂

    the race is in Feb 2014 so I still have enough time to get ready

  • Patricia B

    Wow! 150 miles! Hope you will write about your prep, as we would look forward to that and hearing about the race itself!

  • Bert

    Hi Patricia

    Yes, we will keep you updated.
    Under “we” I mean hotel director Jessica and myself.
    Due to our schedules, we are not able to do to same race, however, Jessica has just signed up for a similar 150 mile race in the Gobi desert in China.
    Gotta love the torture….Jessica and I are thinking about getting a separate blog for it

    here is the link to the race that we’re doing


  • alcatrazjoe


    You are one crazy son of a _____!!!

    Congratulations. Question: Do we have a choice of fried or baked Bert-ass???

    Alcatraz Joe

  • Patricia B

    Hello, Bert

    Since we’ve sailed with both you and Jessica and want to do so again, we have a vested interest in how you both do: we want you both back on board in one piece!

    Thanks for the website: have read through some of it and it is truly interesting! What an itinerary!
    A separate blog sounds like a great idea. We vote for that!! Either way, though, we look forward to hearing all about these races.

    My husband adds his thanks for this post and notes that we will lead the 5 Star Mariners cheering section for you and Jessica!

  • Bert

    Guys, meet Joe Oakes – one of our HAL guests and MY hero.
    He will definitely be in one of my blogs soon, so I can explain to you why this man is my hero…


  • Christel

    Ouwe gek! Je hebt het gewoon gedaan!
    KLASSE, en een hele diepe buiging vanuit, your hometown ;-), Breda.

  • Dj Super Mario

    Burt my old friend, if there was anyone I would believe would have accomplished this it would be you. AMAZING. Proud to say I know you, and shall brag that “I know a man that” haha. Cheers and hope to see you soon.

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