News - June 21, 2012

'They cheered us to the top'

Who: Harm Berends
What? PhD student of Animal Nutrition
What? Went up the Alpe D'Huez five times to raise money for cancer research through the Alpe d'HuZes

You prepared for this for months. What was the big day like?
'Fantastic. We started at five o'clock in the morning, in the dark. There were candles at every bend - very beautiful. We finished the last climb together at eight o'clock in the evening. It was my fifth. All that time people lined the route, encouraging us and cheering us to the top. That is really wonderful.'
How does your body respond to such an extreme challenge?
'You really do have to eat and drink a lot. The guidelines say 9000 calories on that day. That means a big plate of pasta the night before, followed by pancakes. During the climb: ten bananas, pancakes, cake, sports drinks and clear soup for the salt. The next day I still had a good appetite.'
Are you happy with the result?
'Tremendously happy. The Wageningen team raised a total of 45,061 euros by selling T shirts, running lotteries and a spinning marathon at the Bongerd. The day itself is very inspiring and positive. Celebrate the fact that you are alive and make something of it. Let's do something about this disease together. We immediately signed up again for next year.'

Between them, the cyclists went up the mountain 41 times:
Johan van Arendonk 6x, Piter Bijma 6x, Christiaan Kapper 6x, Henk Bovenhuis 5x, Wilbert Pellikaan 5x, Daniel Warner 5x, Harma Berends 5x, Jennifer St.Pierre 3x.