NSK Trappenloop – Nijmegen

Parcival on tour: Joined NSK Trappenloop in Nijmegen
Written by Bogdan Tiça

Imagine that someone would ask you: ‘Do you think that running up 20 floors as fast as you can, is a good idea?’. What would you say? Let me suggest an appropriate answer: ‘NO!! IT IS A VERY BAD IDEA, DO NOT DO IT!’. However, if that same person would ask you: ‘Do you think that traveling to a different city with a group of friends, in order to run up 20 floors as fast as you can, is a good idea?’, the appropriate answer may be opposite to the one suggested earlier, but I will let you decide after reading the story of 5 courageous Parcival members, accompanied by two brave volunteers who answered Parcival’s call, which embarked on the exact adventure mentioned above, when they decided to join the NSK Trappenloop 2018 in the city of Nijmegen.

The story begins before running up the stairs though, when most of the members of the group met at the train station to hop on the train to Nijmegen. After about a 50 minute train ride of pleasant conversation and laughter, the group arrived and immediately encountered their first challenge, long before the actual stairs. Initially, the plan was to walk from the station to the Erasmus building, where the contest was going to take place, a presumed walk of 10 minutes. It turned out the building was actually 40 minutes away from the train station, so the Parcival team quickly resorted to the alternative of taking the bus. Sadly, this alternative did not work out quite as smoothly as one would think. The first two busses turned out to be the wrong ones, both drivers telling the group that their bus does not go in the direction of the Erasmus building, leaving the runners to bravely fight the cold on that December day. However, the third bus was the charm in this story, and it took the now nicely chilled runners to the Erasmus building.

There, everyone changed into their running clothes, and after a nice game of Perudo, which has by now become a Parcival tradition, all members were patiently waiting in the line to begin running up the first 20 floors of the Erasmus building. While waiting in line, pizzas were ordered for after the race, perhaps as an extra motivator, and quickly afterwards, the first Parcival member was called to the start line. Encouraged by the friendly hare mascot of the organizers and by all the team members still in line, one after the other, all the runners of this story started their run up the dreadful stairs. Now let me tell you what the run is like. The first few floors, you feel like giving everything and you might actually start thinking ‘This is not that hard after all’. But all that changes shortly. Each floor becomes harder to climb then the last, and strategically placed beginning with approximately the 15th floor, the cheering teams start to appear, exactly when you feel like you cannot do it anymore! After getting to the 20th floor and crossing the finish line your entire body hurts, all your blood seems to have gone to your head and your hurting throat feels extremely dry. If you would have happened to be on the 20th floor that night, you would have seen the entire Parcival group lying on the floor, breathing heavily, each tasting their own blood, and occasionally coughing. Was this healthy? Probably not, but everyone had a smile on their face, and all were happy to be there. The coughing I mentioned got worse, and by the time the group returned to the ground floor, everyone was almost constantly coughing, scaring the 6th Parcival member who was waiting there in order to cheer for them. But they were all laughing and with each passing minute, everyone was feeling better and ever more proud of themselves and of each other. After some welldeserved rest, the headstrong and determined runners formed two teams of 3, each team sharing the same 4th member, a very resilient runner, and joined the beer-chase. Drinking one beer, running up 5 floors and passing the green onion relay-stick to the next team member was ‘a walk in the park’ compared to the 20 floors, but equally exciting and enjoyable.

The races were thus a success, and even though they were not won by a Parcival member or by a Parcival team, the runners went there to find a unique experience, so they got the big prize. In the end of the night, pizzas were enjoyed in the sports centre of Radboud University, followed by beers, juice and hot chocolate in the sports cafe, and, of course, a few rounds of Perudo. The journey back home, was even better than the one getting there, because now, the members had another amazing experience together which strengthened their bond even more. So, if I would ask you: ‘Do you think that traveling to a different city with a group of friends, in order to run up 20 floors as fast as you can, is a good idea?’, what would you say?