Frank Vreugdenhil can’t wait for the first race on natural ice

Frank Vreugdenhil (in green) was the winner of the Alternative Elfstedentocht on the Weissensee in Austria in 2019 and 2020.
By: Léon de Kort
Source: De Telegraaf
Photo: ANP/HH

AMSTERDAM – Marathon toppers can’t wait for the first race on natural ice: ‘they feel as if they’re in love again’. Whether there is ice or not, and the ice floor may have been ruined by a thick layer of snow, the marathon men are eager to show their tricks. We are waiting for the green light from the government, but the knives are being sharpened literally and figuratively for the first game on natural ice. Corona robbery, of course.

Who could shine this time?
Frank Vreugdenhil (C XI aj.2) perhaps, the 36-year-old born in De Lier who’s known as a lover of natural ice pur sang. The grower – originally from the Westland, but moving to the north – has to think about when he actually last put on his skates. Due to corona, the peloton of the men-of-the-long-breath was chained all winter, gnashing their teeth.

“Gosh, that was in December, just before the lockdown. So I can’t say I’m well prepared, haha. Of course it makes no sense anymore to train hard, because you can’t be fit in a week. Fortunately, that is not so important when you skate on natural ice; you have to be mentally ready for it, and you have to make sure your equipment is in order,” says Vreugdenhil, who won the Alternative Elfstedentocht in 2019 and 2020.

“If you are fit and healthy, you can come a long way”, says the ‘plant farmer’ who runs a successful company in the green sector in Eldersloo in Drenthe. “Perhaps that is the main concern for me,” he thinks aloud. “See if I can leave my work behind. That will apply to more boys, if there is a longer period of ice waiting and we get permission to skate competitions. For the time being I am not too concerned about that.”