Pike didn’t want to be alone on the track, which is why she migrated

Pike didn’t want to be alone on the track, which is why she migrated

Bieke Schipperen (19) from Raamsdonksveer was the fastest A-junior during the Warandeloop in Tilburg, thus qualifying for the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday, December 10. One of the reasons for her good growth is because she moved to America. “Here I am in a group of more than fifty athletes and every day I can train with others. In the Netherlands I was often alone on the track.

No wonder Pike chose to run as a little girl. “I come from a real running background. When my parents competed, my brother Stan and I went along. We often signed up for kids’ runs. Running doesn’t sound very appealing to kids, but I don’t know any better, and I enjoy doing it.

At the Scorpio Athletic Club in Oosterhout, Bieke became known as a great talent. But to take even bigger steps as an athlete, he decided to go to America in 2022. Initially, a year at Florida State University was planned, but he has decided to complete his four-year course there. “The combination of great sport and study is perfect here.”

“Going off the schedule is not really allowed in America.”

America’s approach is different from that of its old athletic club. “In the Netherlands, I had the freedom to occasionally deviate from the training schedule in consultation with my coach. This is not really possible in America. You get a program there and you stick to it. Not that it’s a big deal because I’m used to it. This adventure in America gives me the opportunity to see what I can get in the field of great sports.

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In addition to hard training in the U.S., there’s something else that brings success to the bike: a book. “Every day I write down not only how my training went, but also how I feel. I hand the book over to my coach every week so I can see how things are going, what we need to work on and tailor the training accordingly.

“Sometimes the nerves take over the feeling of excitement.”

The booklet is not just for updating his coach. “I’m always excited for competitions, but sometimes nerves take over that feeling. When I’m facing a tough competition, when I read in my book about really tough training, it gives me confidence that I can do it. The excitement takes over later.”

On December 10 he will be at the start of the European Cross Country Championships in Brussels. She wants to perform as well as possible there. However, her heart is in track running. “I need the cross to perform on the track. You can’t simulate a competitive effort in training. The cross also has an advantage because you are completely concerned with your position in the field. You can see the time on the board every lap on the track.

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