Corona and virtual challenges

Although it is a very tough situation during the Corona pandemic, it is also a period of challenges. Virtual challenges to be more specific. And it is a way to turn something negative into something positive!

Medals virtual challengesThat is the reason why I started to walk after working at home.

Since the last couple of monthes I achieved 3 challenges:

  1. I started with a beautiful Inca trail in Mexico (26,2 miles / 42 k.)
  2. followed by a great tour through the southern part of New Zealand (180 miles / 290 k.)
  3. and due to the fact that the Olympic Games would have take place in Tokyo, a Tokyo run (10 k.)

Also my ‘own’ organization has some amazing virtual challenges. Please take a look at Le Champion in the Netherlands.

Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 –> 2021

It was inevitable and the best decision that could have been made and at the same time it is so very disappointing: the Olympic Games in Tokyo are postponed to 2021. Of course, due to Corona. The creative people amongst us, immediately changed the Japanese Olympic logo from 2020 to 202ONE:

Logo 202ONE

Hackaton: sports data challenge

All organisations have to deal with (a lot of) data: what kind of data is collected (aware and unaware) and which are allowed to use (due to GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation)?

Today a group of students and (young) professionals are challenged to answer these questions for Le Champion during a so called hackaton. It is a collaboration between Amsterdam Data Science, Sport Data Valley and Running 20/20. As a board member of Le Champion I am priviliged to be one of the judges.

20191115_152334The group consists of data anaylists and sports professionals. A perfect combination for this challenge! And I am really surprised by the effort and the commitment of all the participants! From the beginning till the end they are all focussed on their assignment and they also prepared a presentation.

IMG_4616The group that was able to visiualise the bottle necks of the Amsterdam Marathon and that was able to pinpoint the essential parts of the marathon where the athletes need more support in order to improve their personal records, won.

Thanks to the organisers and participants!

Goodbye Scompany & Hello Invictus Games

A special day today, at least for me. It will be a day with a tear for goodbye and a laugh for hello!

I start with the tear. After 15 years it is time for me to say goodbye to Scompany. Scompany is part of the Communication study at the Hogeschool Utrecht Scompany 12 nov 2019 - 08and gives students the opportunity to work for a client in their third year. I am / was one of the Board Members who judged the assignements of the students. Most of the times it was a joy and pleasure to do this. And beside that it keeps me updated for the latest developments in the field of communication education.

At the end of the day Anuska Derks, manager of Scompany, honoured me for all I did in the last 15 years for Scompany and the board. Beside that I received beautiful flowers and a gift card. Thank you so much in return and I wish Scompany, their employees and of course all the (future) students the best of luck! “That’s all folks!”

Scompany 12 nov 2019 - 24Then I had to rush to Doorn, where the first information meeting was organised for the Invictus Games. In May next year, these games are organised in the Hague, The Netherlands and I am very proud to be one of the volunteers!

Logo-identiteit-invictus-gamesIt is impressive to hear some stories of the injured veterans. This is even for me the first time that the organisation is ‘warning’ the volunteers for the disabled people, mentally of physically, we are going to meet and the stories they have to share! It is good to be prepared!

After sharing general information on the organisation, it is time to do a quiz together: what do we know about the Invictus Games? Believe it or not, but I won from the approximately 250 participants! Yeah! And of course that is not important, but it is fun though!

Looking forward to be involved at this impressive event next year!

TCS marathon weekend – 47.000 participants!

20191020_081943Again Le Champion organized a great sports weekend, the TCS Marathon Amsterdam. It was the largest sports event of Europe! 47.000 participants, much more spectators, 1.500 volunteers and some very loyal sponsors like TCS and Mizuno were present.

it took celebrities (the mayor of Amsterdam, the general manager of TCS Netherlands and the vice president of the Le Champion board) almost 22 minutes to applaud before all participants of the TCS Marahon Amsterdam passed the start. All the participants finished in the historic and sportive location, the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam.




A very special welcome to the CEO of Mizuno, Mr. Akito Mizuno (grandson of the founder).They have sponsored this marathon for 20 years and it was the first time Mr. Mizuno visited the TCS Marathon Amsterdam. He had the honour to start the half marathon. Of course he also motivated the participants by giving a lot of high fives.







Beside that, Mizuno developed a new shoe. This official shoe of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon 2019 was created in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum and inspired by Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. All this in the context of Rembrandt year 2019. An amazing campaign is the result of this collaboration. 


Dam-tot-Dam weekend: 82.000 athletes

During the largest sports weekend in the Netherlands (even in the world?!), the so called Dam-tot-Dam Weekend, 82,000 athletes will compete. Participants and spectators annually make a true happening of the four Dam-tot-Dam events, which are organized by Le Champion. Around 150,000 spectators are expected to come to Amsterdam and Zaandam to encourage cyclists (5.000 participants), runners (12.000 participants during Dam-loop by Night, 3.500 children during Mini Dam-tot-Damloop, 46.000 participants during the 10 English miles – 16.1K) and walkers (15.000 participants) on their way to the finish.



This year we have a scoop!

Le Champion is the first sports organization in the Netherlands to use cooling baths.These are baths in which participants who are overheated, under the supervision of a certified doctor, can sit down to literally cool off.

Cooling bath

And we really needed these cooling baths…

In fact we had to make a particularly difficult decision.The last 2 starting sections were not allowed to start due to the (too) warm conditions.The health of the participants was unfortunately no longer guaranteed. Very unfortunate for the participants, but health and safety are the most important issues.


Among the women, Evaline Chirchir was the fastest with a time of 50 min. and 32 sec. For the men, Solomon Berihu was the fastest, in a time of 45 min. and 45 sec.The fastest Dutchman was Mohamed Ali. He came in fourth after 46 min. and 51 sec. and thus achieved a personal record.

A look behind the scenes – 4 Days Marches Nijmegen

Logo 4-daagse NijmegenThe Four Days Marches are a walking achievement event for four consecutive days, in which annually tens of thousands walkers are participating. On those days, people from all over the world come to Nijmegen to walk in and around the city and its surroundings. Thousands of spectators are cheering on the walkers along the route every day. After four days of walking, a glorious entry along the Via Gladiola awaits the walkers, followed by the distribution of their well-deserved Four Days Medal.


With a group of volunteers form Le Champion, we were invited to take a look behind the scenes of this sports event organization. The second day of the Four Days March, also known as pink wednesday / the Day of Wychen, we were there!

20190717_112432We were welcomed with coffee / tea and cake in the VIP area. A hospitality lady has guided us all day.She has answered almost all our questions and passed on the questions to which she did not know the answer to a colleague. In addition, we were allowed to particpate in a part of the route that day. This way we could experience for ourselves what it is like to participate and tbe part of the whole atmosphere. I walked the Four Days March myself, twice, so I already had that experience: one big party!


I really think it is important to cooperate and to share knowledge and experiences, so we can learn form each other. Together we can make things better.

Thank you so much for having us for a day!

VIP during Cruyff Run 2019

20190511_113653Almost every year I am one of the volunteers who is active during the Cruyff Run – 14K. This year it will be different. Now I am a VIP as a board member of Le Champion, the organization that executes this event for the Cruyff Foundation. It feels a little bit strange for me…

4,000 runners ran the Cruyff Legacy 14K Run, 14K Walk, 5K Run or Kids Run today. Thanks to the audio app, they were able to listen to stories about memorable places from the life of Johan Cruijff along the way. The Cruyff Legacy 14K Run was created in memory of Johan Cruijff, with the aim of keeping his ideas alive and raising money for the projects of his Cruyff Foundation.

20190511_145502The Cruyff Legacy 14K Run is a unique run along important places in the life of Johan Cruijff (in the picture you see the house where Johan Cruijff lived in his youth). For the first time, the 14-kilometer route could also be walked this year. In addition to the 14K Run and the 14K Walk, it was possible to participate in the 5K Run and the Kids Run. All distances of course finished in the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

After all the action, it is also good to have a drink and a typically Dutch bitterbal, together with Anna (the sister of Danny Cruijff) on my left side and Danny Cruijff on my right side.


My first virtual half marathon

“What can we do to move people during the months they less move?” That was the question for Disney in America. And they found a motivational solution!

Foto met medaille virtual half marathon 2019During the winter months (January, February, March) people are challenged to run or walk the distance of a half marathon. And you decide when, how long and what distance you contribute to the half marathon. So it can be done in 1 run, but for instance 21 smaller runs is also a possibility. So it is also an opportunity for those who are not able to run a half marathon in 1 run. As long as you run / walk 21,1 km / 13.1 miles. It is also not about setting a record. The most imported thing is that we start to move.

If you succeed, you wil receive a special Disney Star Wars Virtual Half Marthon medal.

And I did it! Today I received my medal. Proud!

Interview staff magazine

Today I received the staff magazine from work. It is a special edition (for me at least ;-), Waterwerkers interview april 2019 - 1 aangepast.jpgbecause I am in it! The article is about my volunteer job at the Johan Cruyff Foundation and the fact that Johan was important thoughout my life:

  • of course because of the foundation
  • due to the fact that I studied at the Cruyff Institute
  • he always greeted me with 3 kisses

The pictures are made at the Cruyff Court, just outside the Olympic Stadion in Amsterdam.

Special memories! Proud to share my story with collegues.

Waterwerkers interview april 2019 - 2 aangepast