Running since: the winter of 1998/1999, first on the treadmill in the gym and later on twice a week 7km with colleagues.
First race ever: Lenteloop Bolsward, april 1999. Ran 41.20 on Nike Air max with a cotton bandshirt and swimshorts. In september the same year I also ran my first marathon (3:40)
Why did you start running: Purely out of coincidence. Got asked by two colleagues to join them on their 7km round, which went better (and faster) on a weekly basis. After a couple of months someone told me to run a 10km race and from there on it went pretty fast. Until then my sporting life was limited to some football (mainly in the street), rescueswimming (which I did for a couple of years) and the gymclass in school. Never hated sports but didn't pay much attention to it, until I discovered running!
Your best race ever: Hard to pick one, so I'm not going to;-). But the races where I ran my pb's are definitely worth mentioning since in those everything fell in place. Also my longest one until now (Zugspitz ultra) was definitely a highlight! Worst races were the ones where I had to drop out because of injuries.
Favorite race event: Bleilochlauf, Gaasterland Trail (which I'm organizing myself so I had to name that) and a lot of local races.
The good: learning about yourself, from highs to lows, mentally and physically. The bliss you experience after a finish or the suffering during an ultra you have to overcome, those kind of feelings cannot be explained to someone who never felt that. All in all it made me a richer person!
The bad: being injured
The ugly: people who run in tights and singlet during summer, wearing racevests in a 10km race, Hoka's, Ink 'n Burn clothing, charity runners dressed up in stupid outfits.
Your favorite Willpower item: longsleeve tech shirts, got a couple of those. Loose fit and tight fit versions, both are perfect for any weather.
Top5 Running Songs: I never run with music, and running-themed songs are pretty rare and not worth mentioning. I also think music should be banned out of races. It's disrespectful to the organisation, spectators and fellow runners. Even during trailruns (where you need to focus on nature and the sounds of it) people wear headphones. They are completely missing the whole purpose of running.
Top5 Ever Songs: Picking songs is way too hard because there are thousands I could pick, but let's sum up some of my alltime favorite bands: Judge, Portishead, the Pharcyde, Taake, Death, Abba, Hatebreed, Lana del Rey, Wardruna, Cypress Hill, Watain, Type O Negative, Inside Out, Beatles, Wu-Tang, Satyricon, Primordial, MGLA and many many more.
Favorite Pre-Race meal: Pasta on the day before, and on the day itself some good old cruesli with banana, nuts and soy/rice/oatmilk.
Favorite Post-Race food: Chips, noodlesoup, soy or oat chocolate milk, a big coconut vanilla latte with cake and in the evening a nice IPA
Mantra: lift my mind, my body, my soul