October is almost behind us, November is just around the corner. This means that the streets of New York will soon be filled with runners again. On November 3, to be precise. That’s when the legendary New York City Marathon will be run.

We are proud to announce that ‘our’ Niels Declerck and Bert Pauwels will join the runners in New York to run one of the most legendary races in the world. Both of them with their own motivation and goals.

Update: We are happy to announce that both Niels and Bert achieved their goals! Niels finished his marathon in 2h50′, Bert finished his marathon in 4h40′.

Congratulations gentlemen with this extraordinary achievement. We can’t wait to hear your stories. An inspiring interview with our runners will follow soon.

“I love pushing myself to the limit.”
Niels and Bert, you are about to run the New York City Marathon. Why?

Bert en Niels lopen ook dit jaar de Marathon van New York.Niels: The New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world with 50.000 runners and 2 million spectators. It is a unique event and a great run. I love pushing myself to the limit.

Bert: The New York City Marathon is unique. The city offers a spectacular setting for the marathon. I don’t run a marathon every single day, so I prefer to run in inspiring places when I do (laughter).

“A marathon without pain does not exist.”
Have you set any personal goals?

Niels: I want to run the marathon in 2 hours and 50 minutes, but the track is hilly and the weather can have a big impact. We will run over long bridges in New York. The wind on those bridges can have a big impact on my time.

Bert: I just want to finish the marathon. Preferably without too much pain. A marathon without pain does not exist, so I will try to focus on the unique setting we will run in. And suffering with so many other runners is a unique experience in its own right.

How do you prepare yourself for such a run?

Niels: I started training in April. In the last two weeks before the marathon I will try to recover and I will try to consume as many carbohydrates as I can. In the last days before the marathon I will even drink special carbohydrate shakes.

Bert: Niels is an example of how one should prepare for a marathon. I am quite the opposite (laughter). On average, I run one long distance run per week. During these runs I burn around 2,000 calories, which allows me to keep eating and drinking what I want.

How many kilometers did you run in the past few months?

Niels: From April till now I have run between 800 and 900 kilometers. I started slowly, but at the moment I am running 5 to 6 days per week.

Bert: I run 20 to 25 kilometers per week. From August till now I have run between 250 and 300 kilometers. I will try to increase my training in the last weeks before the marathon but unfortunately my schedule does not always allow me to train when I want to.

With such busy schedules, when do you find the time to train this hard?

New York City MarathonNiels: I am running in the evenings and in the weekends. In the last weeks before the race, I run up to 15 kilometers after work. In the weekends I run up to 25 kilometers per day. In the last weeks before the marathon I take a few half days off for endurance runs. On 10 October, for example, I ran a full marathon in Ghent.

Bert: I can’t really free up much extra time. That being said, every Sunday I block 2 to 3 hours to do sports. And I try to run more when my schedule allows me to. Nobody finds time, you just have to make time for it.

“Where there’s a will there’s a way. Even with a busy schedule.”
Can you imagine a life without running?

Niels: I can imagine a life without running, but I can’t imagine a life without sports. Sports provides me with a lot of energy and a healthy outlet after a hard day’s work. Sports gives me a great way to relax. Afterwards I can go to work again with new energy and new insights.

Bert: The same holds for me. I cannot imagine a life without sports. Sports gives me an enormous amount of energy. And sports is healthy – if you don’t exaggerate. The NYC Marathon is a great goal for me. By running the marathon I want to show that you can accomplish anything you want. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Even with a busy schedule.

Thank you very much gentlemen and good luck with the marathon on November 3!

On November 3, Bert and Niels will run the New York City Marathon. We wish them all the best. After their return from New York we will ask Bert and Niels about their experiences in New York. Press the button below to receive this interview and other articles automatically in your inbox as soon as they are published on the website.

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