Strong Viking Run in the Netherlands – St. Maarteners raise funds for hospitalized children

POSTED: 06/10/13 2:29 PM

WIJCHEN – Sandy and wet, but with a big smile on their faces they crossed the finish line: a group of fit St. Maarteners that took part in the Strong Viking Run an obstacle course of 19 or 11 kilometers through mud, water, electrical wires and other tough obstacles. Immediately after the finish they even did a couple of pushups, Jamila Baaziz reports on Caribisch Netwerk.

It was all for charity: sick children at the St. Maarten Medical Center and the Beatrix Children’s Clinic of the State University Medical Center in Groningen.

A cold shower takes care of the sand and once they have changed, the participants appear to be hungry before anything else. In spite of the stiff muscles and a light injury here and there, some participants are even dancing.

“It wasn’t all that bad,” says Jeanette Baidjoe after 11 kilometers of tough going. “Next time I will participate again, maybe on a larger distance.”

The St. Maarteners that took part in the Strong Viking Run are all members of Unified Sint Maarten Connection (USC), a young club for St. Maarteners in the Netherlands, and of fitness Team Don’t Quit.

Quitting was not an option in this race. That was not necessary either says Cyriel Pfennings of USC: “We have helped each other across little walls and obstacles when that was necessary. Actually that is exactly what we want to do with our association: help each other so that you are not alone when you come from St. Maarten to the Netherlands. We help each other to solve obstacles.”

Jino Baker said he was satisfied about the 19 kilometers he completed. As a fanatic fitness-fan he had not expected anything else. “It was challenging but that is what I live for. Every time you have achieved something you have to raise the bar.”

During the run the group took time to promote St. Maarten, They crossed the finish line with the St. Maarten flag but it was not recognized by everyone. Baker: “I have told at least ten people that this is the flag of St. Maarten, So that is a bit of promotion for our country.”

Pfennings: “We want to show that we are there and that we are also doing positive things.”

Today it will become clear how much money the event has raised. Melissa Gumbs of USC: “I think that in the Netherlands we have collected 300 and in St. Maarten another $300. With that money we will buy toys and books for children in the two hospitals. We will take it ourselves to them shortly.”

In September USC has another event on its program. “This is only the beginning,” Gumbs said.

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