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First marathon race 2018 won by Phidippides


First marathon race 2018 won by Phidippides

Phidippides wins 1st marathon race 2018

July 2018 (E)

It is already July. For every pigeon fancier this is the time of the year that matters most.

For us it is no different. Sunday June 10th we races the second one day long distance race and a week earlier we had the traditional Marathon kick-off, from Limoges.

I like to inform you about the Limoges race, 861 km to Ermerveen. It was raced on exactly the same date as in 2017 - the 2nd of June to be precisely.

The cockbird ‘Phidippides' NL2015-1230917 arrived at 08.38 with an average speed of 1188 meters/minute and 5 minutes later our ‘Vitalis' NL2015-4767369 was clocked, he is also a cock.

They won 1st and 2nd prize not only in our prov./combine 10, but also in the sector (IV) - the 3 most Northern provinces against 2,183 birds

More about the winner than. Like said above it a cock of mealy colour and born in 2015 as son of ‘Noël’ 1st Interprov. acebird N.F.C. (Northern LD Club)
His mother is ‘Miss Anke’, half sister to ‘Miss Nellie’ who is breeder of the famous ‘Miss Maniwan’ 1st Nat. St. Vincent in 2007.

That makes our first clocked pigeon directly half brother to ‘Leonidas’ 1st Nat. acebird marathon in 2014 WHZB/TBOTB; as ‘Leonidas’ is a son to ‘Miss Anke’.

The first time ‘Phidippides’ showed exceptional skills was on the race from Ruffec (888 km) when he arrived at 02.43 a.m.(!) to win 5th prize from 1,448 b. (prov./combine 10). For sure a fine performance, but on August 5th of the same year (2017) he really convinced me winning 3rd prize from Cahors (km) against 769 b. (prov./combine 10) with a velocity of just below 1200 meters/minute.
For me, this made him one of the top 3 favourites for the 2018 season.

The 2nd prize winner ‘Vitalis’ is bred directly from ‘Leonidas’.

All together the 2nd generation offspring to ‘Red Bullens’ again showed to be of outstanding quality.

Less coincidence
For now my conclusion is there’s less coincidence in marathon racing than there is in short distance racing. I want to formulate this statement carefully because I have been racing short distance all my life and marathon is much more ‘new’ to me. An example for my words is the 1st pigeon from Limoges, ‘Phidippides’ - as said before last year he arrived June 23rd on Ruffec (888 km) at 02.43 a.m. An awkward experience for me, I never clocked a pigeon in complete darkness before! From a short/middle distance point of view it is easy to conclude this might have been a coincidental success that probably would not be repeated.

In marathon racing - I carefully conclude - this just might be different. Perhaps the distance and the circumstances are that more decisive that the factor luck/coincidence is reduced to a minimum.

Neither fish nor fowl
Quite often my colleague pigeon fanciers ask me: ‘Will you cross your marathon pigeons with your own strain one day racers?” On base of what I see and on base of what I read or heard from other marathon fanciers, I must conclude the results of these kinds of crosses are not often successful. It is neither fish nor fowl. The descendants are not ‘hard’ enough to survive marathon races when circumstances get really heavy and not fast enough when the race is fast. Therefore I will not cross the 2 components of my premises.

Besides, I am very happy the offspring of ‘Red Bullens’ is very allround. They can win 1st prizes from Ruffec (888 km) up to St. Vincent (1176 km). The condition - that is fast or slow velocities - is of no effect to their performances.

Strange story
The breeder and racer of ‘Red Bullens’ (Jan Bullens) told me a pretty strange story.
In 1998 he won the 1st prize from Bergerac. That was not very special as Jan won many top prizes. However the pigeon that won was entered from pure frustration, nothing else. Jan said this pigeon and his brothers were true fighters , they always caused riots and Jan took them out of the loft and out them in the aviary. For 6 or 7 weeks he did not let them out. However they kept on causing trouble and fought all the time so Jan thought: ‘I will get you for that’. As punishment one of the brothers was entered on Bergerac. Probably you can guess what happened; this cockbird won the 1st prize from Bergerac with a 53 minutes lead! He arrived shortly after 6.30 in Oirschot.

‘Red Bullens’ still descends from the lines of this ‘Bergerac’

At the end lets present the features of this first marathon race

Result prov./combine 10
Birdage: 825
Result: 1-2-6-7 etc.

Entered pigeons: 24
Prize cards best 25%: 16

Good luck to everywone!

Kind regards,

Gerard & Team

For the interested reader, the name ‘Phidippides’ is of the Greek messenger who brought the good news about the victory in the battle at Marathon. Later this classic distance of 42 km and 195 meters was called the marathon.