No less than 55.000 people joined Holland’s largest running event: de Dam tot Damloop I was one of them. With a special purpose: raising money and awareness for breast cancer.
The ‘Dam tot Damloop’ takes place each September; this was the 29 edition. Holland’s largest running event and one of the largest in the world, it follows a 16-kilometer (10-mile) long trail from the dam in Amsterdam to the center of the suburban town of Zaandam.
The route takes you through Amsterdam’s city center, and leads on through typical Dutch villages, passing rural farms and dykes along the way.
Among the runners every year are world famous top athletes. Encouraged by 200,000 spectators and dozens of live music performances, the race organizers guarantee a unique atmosphere.
I chose to run for the charity, Pink Ribbon. Pink Ribbon has a great purpose: to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research.
Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women, being the Number One cause of death for women aged 35 to 55. Each year 15.000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in Holland of which 3,200 people do not survive. Pink Ribbon funds scientific research and provides financial support for breast cancer treatment research. Our team is proud to have raised 4000 euro for this charity.
Fantastic to receive support from as far as Malaysia!
Paul Penders Company kindly contributed to this achievement when Paul found out about our challenge. Thanks to his kind support, our initiative turned into such a success.
A big thank you from our team and Pink Ribbon!
The famous, world-known Iron Man contest may take place again this year in Langkawi. When it happens, Paul Penders Co sponsors again 57 year old New Zealander Leslie McMillan.
Leslie will be for up to 13 hours being exposed to torture under a burning tropical sun. And believe me, no peanuts to undergo such harsh tropical sun conditions hitting your body when one is in a survival mode during this race with the great obstructions.
The rainforest island of Langkawi Geopark in Malaysia is located 5 degrees north of the equator with weather temperatures at this time of the year varying from 30 to 35 degrees C or 100 degrees F – that during the entire day!
It is obvious that a whole day in the sun means an enormous attack on the skin. Sunburn and dry skin would be inevitable if adequate protection would not be taken very serious.
Therefore a wonderful opportunity for Paul Penders to perform R&D tests during this race. Where in the world to find better conditions to measure efficacy of our products? To know for sure how far our natural products can go in protecting skin and hair in a grueling sun?
Any R&D scientist would dream to test his products this way. No lab tests in artificial conditions with computers for performance tests. No, this is the real thing in hot sun and salt seawater; thus extensive scalp and hair protection is a must.
What Paul Penders products will be used during the race, as well during training sessions prior to the race?
- Most important: sun protection! Herbal Sunscreen SPF22 will be used to protect Leslie’s face, arms, hands and legs. But before Herbal Sunscreen a thick layer of Aloe & Lavender A.M. Moisturizer is applied to preserve skin’s natural moisture level.
- Each time after washing hair with Time-Release Jasmine Shampoo, followed with an application of Holy Basil Conditioning Scalp Toner to ensure balance of sun-damaged hair.
- Ceramide Recovery Lipo A, C & E will be applied as a natural skin rescue treatment to retain skin’s smooth appearance.
Leslie, as well as us, were quite satisfied with the protecting effects that our products offered last time. Think about this… Just a 30-minute walk in the burning sun here in Malaysia will make one totally wet and exhausted. So imagine the effect on the body when one is for 13 hours constantly swimming, biking and running?
Of course, only Leslie can share the details of the experience of fighting the elements. This will be covered in an exclusive interview after the race. With over 700 Iron Man competing, Leslie may not win but for sure will be one of the best protected contestants when it comes to professional natural skin and hair care products.
Note: Each Langkawi Iron Man Race receives some 700 participants from up to 40 countries with over 1,500 volunteers helping out.
Finally the day had come. I had been training for months to be able to run in the biggest running event in the world.
It was the 1st of November and even though it was well into autumn already, the sun was burning like it was midsummer at the start of the New York Marathon. 42.195 kilometers were ahead of me and the start less then 5 minutes off. I was getting nervous now, not sure if I would make the finish line. For the last time I went over all my preparations. Were my shoelaces tied properly, did I have enough to drink until the first checkpoint, was I well protected against the relentless burning sun? Well, if anything, I could rest assured on the latter. My sunscreen was by Paul Penders. Natural organic sunscreen with SPF 22. No worries there.
And then off we were. Together with 44,176 other runners, all of them completely unknown to me, but feeling like one huge family, I started my first (and very possibly last) New York Marathon. Later I found out that from that big family, only 4 were actually called Brenda, one of them being me. Funny how internet reveals all those stats.
While running that was however not on my mind at all. I so desperately wanted to make the finish line that that was all I could think of. At least, that was all I could think for the first 5 kilometers or so. After that my mind became numb and empty and running just a trance. My legs went automatically for the next 25 kilometers. That was about as much as I had done in training.
The last 12.195 kilometers became more and more hell on earth.
Everything hurt, from the tips of my toes (obviously) to the ends of my hair (which I actually don’t use for running). Again my mind was full of reaching the finish and I started to envy my husband who had chosen to spend his time, not running, but eating and drinking away at “The Finish Line Banquet.” I just hoped he would not be too occupied with that to miss my finish for I would kill him if he did just that.
Then finally, there it was. I could see the entrance of Central Park and knew I would make it. The Park was even more crowded with spectators then the rest of the course. Everybody was cheering and waving and encouraging the runners and all of a sudden all the pain and fatigue left my body. It almost felt as if I could do another marathon right after this one. I could now actually see the finish line and there, in between all the others, I saw that one person I most wanted to see. He was holding a glass of champagne. For me.