With her 38 years, Mieke Gorissen will soon become one of the oldest debutants at the Games in Tokyo. It seems like a fairy tale that happens to her, but the Diepenbeek late bloomer remains calm under it. After all, there were more important things in recent weeks: the exams of her students.
She would like to run a decent marathon, she said after the BK cross country running, where she won the Belgian title. “The form felt very good and I wanted to see what I could do with it in a marathon,” says Gorissen.
With success because at the beginning of April she actually qualified for the Olympic Games during the Enschede marathon. “There were also hares during that marathon. That’s why you had to indicate a target time on a list.”
“The lowest was the Olympic limit. I chose that, even though I really just came to see how far I can go
in a marathon. Apparently I could go even faster (she ran 2:28:31″), so I was very satisfied.”
An internship? I don’t have time for that. I first want to help my students as best as possible at the end of the school year.
Only 3 years a trainer
For example, Mieke Gorissen can make her 38th debut on the highest stage. And that while she has only been running under the guidance of a coach for 3 years.
“Until 3 years ago, I ran the same 10-kilometer course a few times a week. But thanks to Gilbert (Simal) I was able to adjust both the quality and quantity of those training sessions.” Due to that more professional approach, Gorissen suddenly made a lot of progress, something her trainer had predicted.
“I saw her running well, but you saw that progress was still possible,” says Simal. “Mieke and I then sat together to work out a schedule that is feasible for her. From that moment on it went better and better.”
That progression has brought her to Tokyo, although she will not stay there long. Because of the high temperatures in the Japanese capital, the marathon will be run in Sapporo.
“In Tokyo it can get around 40 degrees, in Sapporo only 25. Yet the humidity is very high there too. That will certainly have an influence on the performance during the marathon,” says her trainer.
Gorissen will soon be training at the Bakala Institute to prepare her for those circumstances. “They have a room there where you can imitate the climate in Japan. That way you are a bit prepared.”
Many athletes also plan an internship, but the Diepenbeekse ignores that. “I don’t have time for that at all. I first want to help my students as best as possible at the end of the school year. That is my priority. And in the middle of July I will leave for Japan to acclimatize.”
“Job as a teacher is my outlet”
This is all very new to the physics and mathematics teacher. At 38 she will be an ‘oldie’ at the Games. Gorissen is very grateful that she can still experience this.
“This is once in a lifetime for me . Three years ago I would never have dreamed that I would be able to represent my country at the Olympics.”
She doesn’t have to think long about whether she will work even more professionally after the Games: “No, I already have a job as a teacher and I love it very much. For me, walking should remain an outlet. I’m already very satisfied.”
There is therefore no great ambition for the Olympic marathon on August 7. “It will only be the third marathon that I run. I don’t know what to expect at all, especially with the weather there. I don’t really have a target time in my head either. I want to enjoy the experience above all. see where the ship runs aground.”