December 16, 2010

My sister set to run first half marathon

Sis and I on top of Chief '08
My sister Angelique is set to run her first half marathon on Saturday in the Netherlands and I am very excited for her. I wish I were there to cheer her on. My parents will be and I know they will do a great job, as the experienced running and triathlon supporters they've become in the past decade.

My sister and I have always been close, including in age. She's three years younger than I am. Unfortunately we haven't lived in the same country since 1995, which is when I moved from the Netherlands, where I was born and raised, to Belgium. Granted, it's not far but it crosses a national border nonetheless.

Angelique helped me in my first cross-border move, helping me load all my stuff from the apartment in Gouda, where I and my two chickens had lived for the previous two years, into a rental van which we then drove to a house in Brussels where I'd rented a room.

I'd quit my nice marketing job to pursue a master's degree in international and comparative law fulltime at the University of Brussels so I went back to a student's budget. (My student house didn't allow for chickens and my parents had found a nice home for them at a friend's farm.)

When I moved from Belgium to Canada, she and our parents visited me there. It was always tough to say goodbye, even though we did see each other `regularly'.

Shortly after I moved to Australia, I met Angelique in Taiwan where she was on business. She'd also been able to take a few days off so we travelled from Taipeh to the south, where we got laughed at since we were so much taller than everyone else. My sister is about 5cm taller than I am, which is 176cm (or 5' 8").

By 2002 I was set to race my first Ironman in Australia, where I'd been living for almost two years, and Angelique travelled from the Netherlands to cheer me on (as did Tim's brother John from his home in New York).

In 2004 Tim and I had taken a year off work to travel and spent three months living at her home in the Netherlands. We raced Ironman Frankfurt in Germany that year, and Angelique came to see her second Ironman, while my parents watched their first.

A year later Angelique and I did our first running race together - a 4km in Lelystad in the Netherlands during my three-week visit. It was very special, particularly since she had yet to start running.

A year later she returned to Australia for another visit, though this time no races were involved. 

My sister has always been an active person, doing jazz ballet for years as a teen. She's an experienced diver and got her motorbike license shortly before she moved abroad for her work. During the four years she lived in Istanbul, Angelique started running initially in preparation for Nike's Human Race.

It was great to go for runs together when I visited her there, such as the gorgeous long run we did along the Bosphorus.

Me and sis at Garibaldi Lake, BC
In the meantime, I moved from Australia to Canada. Angelique has come to see me here three times now, and each time we've hiked and run together. While I wish I were there in person on Saturday,  I will be in spirit. Have an awesome race sis - you've done the training and are more than ready!

If you happen to be at the annual Kerstloop in Dronten, please cheer extra loud for #419!

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