Here’s Tineke – Team Love4Gambia Runner

Ladies, gentleman, runners and walkers, the Ottawa Race Weekend countdown is at almost 6 weeks!

Team Love4Gambia is pleased to help you get to know some of the road warriors who are lacing up their sneakers to help kids and communities in The Gambia.  These runners and walkers are warriors because they are training through the winter, because they are helping when it counts, and because they would be doing any manner of other things aside from running for The Gambia, for NSGA.

We will be profiling some of our runners and walkers each week for you, our followers.  We want to show you what makes these generous people tick, what makes them tie their laces and head out the door, what makes them show up for us.

Today`s profile features Tineke VanderBaaren who will run the marathon in Ottawa Race Weekend.

AM: How long have you been running?

Tineke: I started running back in the late 90s to keep fit for badminton. I didn’t go far – just a few km or so; enough to maintain my objective of keeping up with the younger ones on the badminton courts. I did my first marathon in 2001 in Lausanne with Joints in Motion with the Arthritis Society. I’d just come off crutches from a serious badminton knee injury and read about the program and thought “why not”? It seemed like a good cause and my surgeon didn’t say not to … Five months later I completed my first marathon. It’d be 10 years before I did another!

AM: Why run for Love4Gambia?

Tineke: My good friend, Andrea, was asked to run across The Gambia as part of an outreach and fundraising program for the country. She needed fundraisers. It seemed a simple enough task. I knew of the NSGA from when I was a BEd student at Dalhousie University and one of my friends was fundraising to teach there for the NSGA’s summer program at the time. I didn’t realize that the NSGA was still going so I researched and was very pleased to read of all the great programs they have sponsored in The Gambia. I am a great advocate of “change through education”.

AM: What is your favourite part about training for a marathon?

Tineke: Being outside.

AM: What do you like least about marathon training?

Tineke: Being outside in bad weather but most of the time I work around it.

AM: What was your favourite race and why?

Tineke: That’s easy. It was the Marathon du Medoc near Bordeaux, France. It is my fave because of the wine and chateaux – what else!!!! Also the costumes, wine, festivities, food, wine … I made some great new friends and I shared the experience with my running mentor for the past 10 years who was doing it as her last marathon at age 71(!). We spent the summer training together and had the time of our lives. By the way, she crossed the finish line before me but I had the pleasure of tasting more wine AND eating the ice cream handed out at 40 km which she missed entirely. It pays to take time to “smell the roses”, I say.

I also have to give special mention to the Roentgenlauf in Germany. It would be my second fave race and it was truly awesome. Why? The beer tent at the finish! – it was non-alcoholic but whatever! Okay, and because the scenery and route were spectacular even in the rain, the organization and food were wonderful, AND I witnessed Andrea completing her first 100k race – a good prophylactic for any ideas I may have entertained of doing anything remotely similar … 🙂

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