Running to some frees the mind and to others is a painful chore best avoided. Running on a treadmill indoors however, can take the pleasure away from even the most hardcore running fan, as there’s no freedom and no scenery to stimulate.
Now imagine three men taking it in turns to run on a treadmill for 24 hours non-stop. Has this got your attention?
This bold act will take place on October 19th starting at 3pm and carry on until 3pm the following day at the Erasmus Huis in Rasuna Said and the three men on the treadmills are Harry Sikkema, a triathlete who completed an Iron Man (3.86 km swim, 180.25 km cycle and a marathon run of 42.2 km) in Hawaii, Muara Sianturi who did the Singapore Sundown Ultra (100km) marathon last year, and Douwe Sol who is a seven-time marathon athlete.
“We fully understand that three guys running on a treadmill is of no interest to anyone, so we decided to do it as a side event next to a much bigger event organized by the Dutch Embassy, which will be a movie showing, a Tulip Paradise lounge session, as well as a pasar malam of which all proceeds will go to Kampus Diakonia Modern (KDM),” Douwe Sol, the conspirator of this run tells me as I met with the group of motivated guys.
Douwe came up with the idea or running for 24 hours on a treadmill because his wife, Desiree van Paridon who is also the group’s marketing and sponsorship manager, has been a very active supporter of the charity KDM who support the street children of Indonesia, but has always had the question of ‘How do we create money so that KDM can become a sustainable organization?’
“I thought maybe I can help my wife out by creating some kind of event that not only would raise a lot of money but also create some awareness and spin off. I like to run which is my main hobby and I thought we had to make a bold gesture that would interest sponsors so that’s where the idea of 24 hours on a treadmill came in.” – Douwe.
There will be three treadmills: one which Harry, Muara and Douwe will use, taking it in turns an hour at a time, one reserved for sponsors and one for the general public who are invited to run with the guys for as long as they like during the event. Besides that the Jakarta Free Spirit runners have also been invited to run alongside the trio during the toughest hours, between 12pm and 6am where the guys will need all the stimulation they can get.
This running event is attached to the “Erasmus Huis” (Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. S-3, Kuningan), boasting a cinema screening, a Tulip Paradise lounge event supported by a Dutch band (Friday 19th 18.00-23.00) and a market (pasar malam) the following day (Saturday 20th 12.00-16.00) where Dutch goods, books and food will be sold. The Pasar Malam will end with a raffle where you can win wonderful prizes donated by sponsors.
If you attend the events at Erasmus Huis it will be hard to miss Harry, Muara and Douwe running on the treadmills and their hope is that passers-by will stop, donate and join in on the run to keep the guys motivated. If you participate you donate and afterwards you receive a small certificate from the runners in token of their appreciation.
Douwe may be the head of the threesome, but he considers himself the liability, even though he has completed seven marathons! He tells me, “Harry has pointed it out to me on almost a daily basis that I have to train almost 100 km a week so that’s exactly what I’m doing at the moment just to be prepared and catch up with these guys!”
Although all three runners are well skilled and well trained, the tricky bit is that they will be running through the night, skipping meals and missing out on sleep, putting them completely out of their usual routine. Power naps will be possible albeit difficult with heart rates up after a run and then having to warm up again before their next turn. Before the run the guys will be stocking up on carbohydrates and during the run they will be consuming sports hydration drinks, oranges or power gels to keep them going.
Don’t feel hesitant to join if you are not a strong runner as the guys invite you to run on the guest treadmill for as little or as long as you want, as the important bit is that you will donate and participate.
“Because we’re willing to give so much in running for 24 hours, we hope this generates an atmosphere of giving back,” Douwe tells me. Cash sponsors will be welcomed with open arms, but another hope is that this event will raise awareness for KDM and get people involved hands on with the charity.