Member of the month for June is Cees van der Land. Cees ran his first ultra-marathon a few months before he was first awarded member of the month, in November 2017. A TBH member since 2013, he’s represented both England and The Netherlands in international events, most recently (we think) in the Ultra World Championships in Portugal.
In June, Cees ran in the 2019 Spine Race, which follows the route of The Pennine Way National Trail, a non-stop, seven-day race spanning 268 miles between Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders. Cees wasn’t running for himself, but in memory of his unborn daughter and raising money for the RVI’s Fetal Medicine Unit – donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/vanderlandtwins.
Cees completed more than 200 miles of the Spine Race, leading or jointly leading, before retiring on medical advice. It’s a distance and physical effort that few of us could conceive of, never mind attempt.
Also nominated and commended this month was David Rowe. Dave ran The Wall ultra-marathon in June, finishing in an excellent 15:20:39. At the end of the month, he completed his first triathlon. On the basis that more people run or cycle regularly than swim, the swim must be the most challenging part of a triathlon for most first time triathletes. Until recently Dave was a non-swimmer, and learned to swim in order to compete. It’s an achievement that must have required a great deal of hard work, dedication and bravery. Dave is also a regular coach with TBH Juniors.
June saw a superb first as Kieran Reay became the first Tyne Bridge Harrier to run under 4 minutes for the 1500m (beating his own club record in doing so) at the BMC GP Loughborough with 3:58.78 – an outstanding achievement.
Michael Nemeth, who comes in for regular and deserved praise in these posts, was commended for excellent runs in the Tyne Trail and The Wall ultra-marathons – Michael is also a regular and valued run leader at club sessions.
Several members asked me to pass on their huge appreciation and thanks to Kev, Joanne, Trudi and Sean for Kev’s Geordie Run which took place at the beginning of June. It was a great way to celebrate what Kev means to all of us at TBH and to raise money for The Northern Head and Neck Cancer charity. Donations can be made at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KevinCheetham.
Eligibility as a committee member aside, it’d be remiss of me not to mention Badger’s completion of the Joss Naylor Challenge, in which he was supported in some of the distance by Cees. The Challenge is to cover 30 summits between Pooley Bridge and Wasdale in the Lake District, a distance of 48 miles with more than 5,000m of ascent, which Badger not only achieved but also managed to get a photo with Joss Naylor himself. More details in Badger’s race report.