Students are once again in charge of the Veluwe Run. A committee mainly made up of students wants to revitalize the relay race across the Veluwe.
The youthful team’s chair and initiator is Koen Jansen, a fourth-year student of Forest and Nature Conservation. Despite his young age, the Tartlétos 800-metre runner is a Veluwe Run veteran. He ran as a member of his parents’ team when aged only eight. Later, he took part via the student athletics club Tartlétos. ‘I reckon I’ve run in it about ten times in total.’
Jansen was a volunteer at one of the handover points for the 36th Veluwe Run in 2017. ‘I’m doing a year of committee work at Thymos and it’s traditional for committee members to man a handover station.’ That was when he saw there was room for improvement in the organization of the Veluwe Run. ‘I then said I’d like to be involved in the evaluation of the race.’
And one thing led to another. The foundation that organizes the Veluwe Run had been trying to get new people on board for years. The organization of the Veluwe Run was mainly in the hands of older people in the 50-plus bracket. A desire to have students running the event, as in the past, was often expressed in recent years but it never got further than that. The idea is that Jansen’s young team will breathe new life into the relay race.
The seven-person team consists of five students and two alumni, all athletes with roots in Tartlétos and the town athletics club Pallas ’67. Jansen says the main aim is to get the event back on track in organizational terms. ‘First and foremost, that means attracting enough participants to make ends meet financially.’ Jansen is aiming for 100 teams. Last year, there were 67 teams at the start, while two years ago the race was cancelled due to a lack of participants.
‘Most of the new teams will have to come from among the students,’ says Jansen. ‘That group is underrepresented. There were only 11 student teams last year. We are also targeting university staff. It would be great if we could get a competitive atmosphere again between the various WUR units, with groups taking part in the Veluwe Run as a kind of team-building exercise.’
Registration has started for the 37th Veluwe Run on 13 October 2018. See veluweloop.nl.