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Mark van den Berg (IJsselmuiden, NL) can already look back on a splendid career in marathon racing

Mark van den Berg grew to become one of the biggest stars in marathon racing in The Netherlands in a very short period of time. Mark excelled in the Olympiad with his Olympic Zara, besides winning three national flights and several national top 10 prizes.

After six magnificent years in the marathon competition Mark decided to find a new challenge in the one day long distance. Mark was in a combination with his father Gerard and his brother Henri under the name of Gerard van den Bergen & sons until 2007. They did particularly well in the one day long distance and their best result was a victory in the sector in the national race from Le Mans. They used to focus on the program races back then. It seems that Mark shares his drive to be the best with his family, because his father Gerard and his brother Henri have been quite successful fanciers as well. He has only started focusing on the overnight long distance, his favourite discipline, since he moved to his current home in 2007. It was there that he managed to develop into a great marathon champion in no time.

We give you an overview of his very best results in national, international and NPO races over the past five years:

1e  Nat. Bergerac Sector 3     946 km  13,218 p.
    and 1st international              17,238 p.            
1e  Nat. Montauban Sector 3    990 km   5,413 p.
    and 1st international               8,005 p.
1e  NPO Orange (O) Distr. 8    946 km   2,058 p.
2e  NPO Brive      Distr. 8    886 km   5,319 p.
3e  NPO Orleans    Distr. 8    590 km   8,500 p.
3e  NPO Blois      Distr. 8    644 km   2,261 p.
3e  NPO Perigueux  Distr. 8    905 km   6,330 p.
4e  NPO Aurillac   Distr. 8    888 km   3,661 p.
5e  NPO Perigueux  Distr. 8    905 km   6,330 p.

Click here for a complete overview of all top 50 finishes from 2007 to 2013 at that level.

These are achievements some can only dream of so and were eager to know more about the pigeons that have won these impressive prizes.

Stock pair

His success is founded on his invaluable stock pair Brive 2 (First Prize Pigeons) x Het Wonder van Drijber (Koop Kiekebelt), a pair that has bred an impressive number of successful youngsters and grandchildren.

The youngsters of stock pair Brive 2 x het Wonder van Drijber have won the following prizes for Mark v.d. Berg:

1st   Nat. Montauban                 989 km       5,413 p.
      and first international against             8,005 p.
2nd   NPO Brive                      886 km       5,097 p. 
3rd   NPO Perigueux                  905 km       6,330 p. 
3rd   N.U. Aurillac                  886 km       4,955 p.
5th   NPO Perigueux                  905 km       6,330 p. 
14th  Nat. Cahors                    990 km      11,054 p. 
20th  N.U. Perigueux                 905 km       6,493 p. 
47th  N.U. Bergerac ochtendlossing   946 km       4,379 p. 
49th  Nat. Bergerac                  946 km      13,051 p. 
55th  N.U. Bergerac                  946 km       7,304 p. 
81st  Nat. Cahors                    990 km      11,054 p. 
94th  Nat. Limoges                   815 km      13,196 p. 
95th  N.U. Bergerac ochtendlossing   946 km       4,379 p. 
101th Nat. Bordeaux                  977 km       8,058 p. 

Judging by the results, this seems to be the number one breeding pair for Mark van den Berg. Their most renowned youngster is of course Olympic Zara, 2nd Olympiad Pigeon Marathon 2011 and 3rd Europe Cup Marathon 2010.

Another first class pigeon from this pair is NL08-2080164 Anna, a hen that has won nine top prizes in nine marathon races, a unique feat. These are her best results:

3rd   NPO Perigueux        2009 –  6,330 p.
3rd   I.prov. NU Aurillac  2012 –  4,955 p.
47th  I.prov. NU Bergerac  2011 –  4,379 p.
49th  Nat. Bergerac        2009 – 13,051 p.
81st  Nat. Cahors          2010 – 11,054 p.

The following prizes have been won by grandchildren of his stock pair:

9th   Nat. Cahors                         2013 against  6,542 p. (989 km) (for Henri v.d. Berg)
11th  NPO  Perigueux Ochtendl.            2013 against  3,599 p. (905 km) (for Henri v.d. Berg)
24th  Nat. Montpellier                    2011 against  7,856 p. (1006 km)
25th  Bordeaux ZLU Jaarl.                 2012 against  4,226 p. (for Rik Ros)
33rd  NPO Bordeaux Ochtendl. Afd. Brabant 2012 against  4,479 p. (for Comb. Vromans)
35th  NPO Perigueux Ochtendl. Afd. 8 GOU  2012 against  3,773 p. (for Henri v.d. Berg)
36th  Nationaal Albi                      2012 against  5,949 p. (990 km)
36th  NPO Cahors                          2013 against  2,584 p. (for Arjan Beens)
59th  NPO Albi                            2012 against  2,471 p.
89th  National Cahors                     2012 against 10,178 p. (for Henri v.d. Berg)


One of the best pigeons in this breed is the amazing hen NL10-1144953 Christy. 2012 was a splendid season for her with a 27th national prize in sector III from the classic of St. Vincent, four weeks before winning a first prize NPO Orange. The pigeons were released at 8 o'clock in the morning from Orange and Christy was clocked just before dark at 22:04, completing 941km in 14 hours and just over 4 minutes.


Quite a number of other fanciers have been successful with the pigeons of Mark van den Berg as well, just take a look at the following top 25 prizes at national and NPO level:

1st  NPO  Tarbes        2,538 p. 2013  Frank Zwiers, Breda (direct pigeon)
8th  Nat. Cahors        9,369 p. 2011  A.J. Kok, IJsselmuiden (50% M. van den Berg)
9th  Nat. Cahors        6,542 p. 2013  H. van den Berg, IJsselmuiden (direct pigeon)
9th  Nat. Bergerac      5,101 p. 2012  Verweij-Castricum, Mijdrecht (direct pigeon)
10th Nat. Montpellier   7,864 p. 2011  A.J. Kok, IJsselmuiden (50% M. van den Berg)
11th NPO  Perigueux (O) 3,599 p. 2013  H. van den Berg, IJsselmuiden (direct pigeon)
14th Nat. Bergerac     15,490 p. 2007  R. van Rees, IJsselmuiden (50% M. van den Berg)
21st Nat. Tarbes        4,102 p. 2009  Verweij-Castricum, Mijdrecht (direct pigeon)
25th ZLU  Bordeaux      4,226 p. 2012  Rik Ros, Lekkerkerk (50% M. van den Berg)

Click here for an overview of references with top 100 results at national and NPO level.

No easy way

I think we all know that there is no easy way to become successful. Mark van den Berg has worked hard, especially when it comes to caretaking and training. For instance, his pigeons have to get up early for their in-season training flights. During the season, Mark gets up at 4:45 am to release his pigeons at 5 o’clock, before going to work at 6:15. Besides, Mark has always been searching for high quality pigeons from fanciers that have performed at a top level for many years. His successful approach, combined with his youthful enthusiasm, has made him an excellent overnight long distance fancier. We look forward to his first achievements in the one day long distance, where we expect him to become equally strong. We wish him good luck!