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Achieve your personal goal during the Arrow Venloop

Do you stand beside the course every year cheering on our participants? And would you actually like to participate in the Arrow Venloop yourself, but are you somehow inhibited by something or someone? Then we are looking for you!

Do you want to push your limits together with the Arrow Venloop by participating in the 10 kilometers at all? Then you may be just the person we are looking for. After six successful editions, we will once again put together a Venloop Dreamteam of motivated people with a personal goal. Dreamteam members will work under professional guidance and with other Dreamteam members to realize their personal goal and finish during the Arrow Venloop on Sunday 24 March 2024.

The members of the newly founded Dreamteam are at least 16 years old and have a personal goal that they want to share with the Arrow Venloop. Think, for example, of: closing a difficult period in their lives, losing excess kilos or overcoming medical complaints. We are looking for 10 participants to each train for the 10 kilometers. The 10 times 10 as 1 team! If you recognize yourself in this, nominate yourself for the Dreamteam 2023-2024 by emailing your motivation to  info@venloop.nl .

The Dreamteam trains together twice a week: on Wednesday evening at 19:30 and on Saturday morning at 09:30 at Sportpark Vrijenbroek. At the beginning of September, the Dreamteam will start training until the Arrow Venlo on 2024. Participation in the Dream Team is completely free.

Get involved too!

Blog Dream Team 2023-2024

Charlotte Hofman

Daisy Nabben

Diana the Axe

Hanneke Hollanders

Karin Janssen

Ron Jacobs

Sonja Leenen

Blog Dream Team 2020-2022

Closing – Sunday, May 15, 2022, finally the Venloop can go on.

What a run we have had as dream team members to be able to stand here and run the Venloop now Sunday, May 15. With warm temperatures and a sun continuously in the sky, we set off. As a dream team with all the ups and downs, we had the opportunity to train for three years for the Venloop which had to be postponed three times and is now finally a reality.

During the measures known to us by now regarding corona, our run-up to this Venloop has also been with the mandatory breaks, on which we could not train. As participants, we were also dealing with various things (injuries, deteriorating health, aftermath of corona and family circumstances) that required breaks. We were dream team participants for a reason. Finally, we take off. Most of us for the 5 kilometers and Saskia ran the 10.

Grateful and happy that we as a group could attend the trainings under the fine guidance of Henk Ten Have and Irus Rondeel. Trainings where we also really got to know each other and were very committed to each other. Over the three years, participants have come and gone. In any case, six of us were able to round out the dream team. Enjoyed celebrating the pasta party with the Venloop together and everything was well taken care of.

Involved as coordinator and intermediary with the Venloop organization and the dream team was Henk Houthooft. Full of pride, we conclude this adventure.

Kind regards,

Jessica, Theo, Mariëlle, Saskia, Anita and Tineke

Dream Team 2019-2020 Blog

Blog – Cindy Dassen – Participant – 4-12-2020

When asked to write a piece, I immediately start to write a bit about the past period. But honestly, what else is there to write?

My start was very motivating, there was more to it than I thought. Good shoes needed to be purchased, when I thought I would just walk in and pick out a pair of nice sneakers, I was sorely mistaken. I was in a bit of a time crunch, but the salesman didn’t care about that, he wasn’t going to sell me shoes that didn’t fit me. I did try on 10 pairs, which involves: fitting, standing properly, walking, jogging a little bit on a small track where you are recorded and then watching the video; How is the foot, your pelvis and how is your posture, how do you put your foot down and how does your body react. Well I have never been more confident about my purchase than with these shoes.

After a few weeks, I picked up running with Christine, but unfortunately suffered an injury.

Because of the Corona, the trainings were canceled, and we may no longer train together and what a fun group this was.

Hopefully we will be able to continue training soon and eventually the first steps have been taken anyway toward the goal of finishing once at the Venloop.

Cindy Badgers

Blog – Tineke Wiersma – participant – 03-04-2020

There was no crowning of our “work” in 2020
How quiet it was last Saturday and Sunday, no Venloop, the calendar completely empty in terms of events and appointments away from home, because we have to stay home as much as possible. What happened in the last month? Don’t get me wrong, it is a right and only logical decision, appropriate to the serious situation we are in now in the world/the Netherlands. Everything and everyone is needed to fight the Coronavirus so that as few people as possible get sick, or worse die from it.

Now my story
March 12, Henk sends a message in the dream team group app, to that there will be no Venloop this year. The apps are flying around my ears. People say, “we will continue to train”, we will have to retake next year”, “how nice that we can train with the group for another year”, “Henk that is possible anyway”. We’d like to get together next Wednesday to at least wrap it up. Also comes the message ” Ten we will still come to your party with our partners, in honor of your transplant which will be a year ago.”

Here is my message to the rest of the Dream Team:
I am touched, from all the news and the impact the measures are having. Understandable. Actually feel defeated for a while now, from the seriousness and everything. The Venloop is part of all the measures of this serious situation. It involves running (and walking), so it will be fine.
The Venloop, so connected to recovering all of us. We “have to” enter the retake.

The message below I posted on the family and friends app posted on Saturday, March 28:
“No Venloop, this weekend at this time. Of course, that could not be otherwise in this unreal, bizarre world we are now in. So sad.

My thoughts do go back to last year. The Saturday to the Venloop walk, the Saturday afternoon we sat here in the garden together. The announcement that I was seriously ill, the start of a roller coaster you don’t want to be on. For me, the Venloop will always be connected to that. Suppose it had happened during this time of the Corona? Transplants are almost at a standstill because of Corona I read on the site. I heard from Anne (our daughter) that there were great plans to surprise me to walk the 10 kilometers with her. Was a super idea and I didn’t know about it. I really didn’t realize anything. Together with the kids, family, friends and some colleagues. Thanks, a well-kept secret. There had been more surprises, including for my party. Then I can challenge you now for next year.

Can we challenge the Venloop board to let us continue training as a dream team next year? To experience what it’s like to finish across the Parade? The tribute on Sunday afternoon in the tent? Experiencing the wonderful event as a Dream Team member? Last year I had the week after the Venloop, surgery and the new liver and the ability to stay alive because of that. So much to be thankful for. What big plans I had to celebrate life with my loved ones. The circle would be complete. Of course now I will go ahead and stick to the guidelines. Surely this will come to an end at some point? Running and /- walking are parts of my recovery. Perhaps my recovery will continue and I will be able to run the 10 kilometers next year with “ease.” Thanks to the connection with each other as dream team members and the guidance from the people involved and trainers Henk, Ad and Irus.

For now, take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

Love Tineke

Blog – Sharon Sugar – participant – 13-03-2020

In good spirits, we began the adventure of the Venloop as a Dream Team.

We all trained hard, shared loves and sorrows, supported each other, survived injuries and ran blistered feet.

To no avail. Unfortunately no finish on the parade with family, friends and buddies of the Dream Team. Coronavirus keeps us from the finish line. We are not going to cross the finish line together and cross this off our bucket list. Not yet……..

One thing we have learned with our Dream team: we support each other through thick and thin and will make sure that every member of the Dream team will make it to the finish line. Each his own yet also common goal. This afternoon the messages were already going back and forth. What does this mean for us? Are we still going to continue training? Will we get another chance next year? Many questions that remain unanswered for now and will hopefully have their answers in the time to come. Our dear trainers have just as few answers but more than understand our feelings surrounding the Venloop not going ahead.

There is no question that this is necessary given the current circumstances, yet it needs to be processed briefly. Our goal, whose finish line was almost literally in sight, must be adjusted (for now?).

As a Dream Team, we are strong together. Together we are going to overcome this obstacle as well. Secretly, we hope to be allowed to “retake” next year and maybe some will even be able to adjust the goal upward. We’ll see, we’ll wait and see. In the meantime, we are still what we have been for the past six months: close, involved and concerned for each other but above all a dream of a team. In other words, a DREAMTEAM.

Blog – Chantal de Jong – participant – 09-03-2020


January and February flew by and during these months I trained nicely. On Saturdays, the endurance runs get longer and longer, because there are miles to go. I also had some running experiences.

I start the new year with the New Year’s Run in the Boekend 10 km. What a fun organized run and yes, I make it to the 10 km within the hour. But a really nice feeling I don’t keep from it. Because well, way too fast of a start so 2e half of the run I was pretty much through. A great learning moment.

In February, I will run the 10 km Scopias trail run together with my colleague Ellen Sylla. This is our first trail run for both of us and what a fun new experience. The trail run is in the Maasduinen of Belfeld. Never knew there was such a beautiful natural area there. It’s muddy, it’s raining, but still it will be enjoyable and what a relaxed atmosphere among the runners. And the feeling afterwards is super. This is definitely something I want to do more often.

March 8, 2020 the Berden Run, the dress rehearsal for the Venloop. Today’s schedule includes 15 km. Conditionally certainly no longer a problem for me, only in recent weeks I have noticed that I do occasionally get a mental dip under running. My goal today is to take it easy for the first 10 km and then if I still have energy try to speed up. And most importantly, I don’t start too fast so I can also enjoy the run.

The starting gun sounds and we are off. And everyone, at least it feels that way, is running past me. The only thing I say to myself is : “no matter Chantal, soon I will catch up with them all again”. And it succeeds. I run leisurely until about 11 km or so. Sometimes I try to join a group, to also walk a bit out of the wind. And from the 11 km mark, I try to speed up some more. Within an hour and a half I reach the finish line and it makes me feel so wonderfully proud.

Together with Saskia and Chris (they ran the 7.5 km), we were still waiting for Jessica and Irus. They too run the 15 km and are happy when they cross the finish line.

A few more weeks I get to train with my teammates and coaches from the Dream Team and then….

GO, GO, GO, we are at the start of the 2020 VENLOOP.

Chantal de Jong

Blog – Tineke Wiersma – participant – 17-02-2020

Geez another 40 days until the Venloop. How quickly time goes by and I am nowhere near reaching my goal of the 10 kilometers to run, to be able to run. There is no shortage of commitment and enthusiasm, but my body does not (yet) want what my head wants. Since a month I have also been training on Monday evenings and together with Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings I am still running nicely 3 times a week. On the track, I actually feel “lord and master,” I can follow the 10-kilometer training schedule well. This has everything to do with the fact that they are shorter distances and I can then go for walks in between so that my legs be able to recover. On the endurance run, my legs “sour”, after about 2 kilometers and I “have” to go for another walk before I can continue running (and I know it’s nowhere near 10 kilometers).

Haemin Sunim writes in his book ” Loving Things That Aren’t Perfect”, Be loving and gentle with yourself and others. Am I sufficiently gentle with myself to also be content with the 5 kilometers? Accept that it suits me better at the moment? I don’t know, actually I really want the 10 kilometers anyway. I thought I learned after my transplant to take life as it comes and embrace it and deal with the things I can still do, and more importantly, listen to my body. Am I tired? Am I always going to rest then? Do I take the time to dwell on the Roller Coaster of all my emotions? Do I have enough patience to give myself time in my recovery process? Or within my recovery process am I also “again” making demands on myself, what all I would like to be able to do and “have to do”? Tricky, because a dilemma comes into play: am I making the most of my recovery? Can I recover even further if I take more time and energy for it? Have I already come this far because I have worked so hard on my recovery? Who’s to say, only I can experience it. I’m going to experience that over the next few weeks and then it will become clear whether it’s going to be the 5 or the 10 kilometers.

For me it is very nice and valuable to train on the Dream Team, to be supported by the trainers who keep talking to me, without expecting me to say anything back while running.


Blog – Jessica Steegh – participant – 07-02-2020

Seven weeks to go until D-Day.

In the run-up to the Venloop, we have been preparing nicely. For example, I have already found out that running with my fingers in my ears is no big deal. That’s why I had earmuffs fitted. That runs a lot nicer and I no longer get a headache from the noise along the route. During the workouts, we try different sports foods. We do this to find out what nutrition is best for me. This way, I know what doesn’t make me nauseous and which gels are too heavy on my stomach.

During the Bridge to Bridge run, we got in touch with Running Blind and they had invited us (my friend and I) to train with them once on Sunday mornings. Here they explained to us how best to run together (tips and tricks). We liked it so much that we joined Running Blind as of Jan. 1, 2020.

I started the New Year well by participating in the January 5 10-km New Year’s Run. Everything I learned I was able to put into practice during the Bridge to Bridge run. So I tried out my earmuffs and ran on a ribbon for the first time where I had to listen to my Buddy’s directions. Full of pride and without walking the race. My goal is to run the half marathon during the Venloop. Therefore, on February 2, I ran the 10 Mile (16.1 km) in Appeldoorn. If I ran this one I got the GREEN light from Henk and Irus to go for the half… It was pretty tough and grueling. To my mind, it seemed like the whole run was uphill. Jeez, how happy I was when I got the honorary metal on my wrist and shed a tear with joy.

Now the next race is also already scheduled, March 8 the 15 km and what it is all about THE 2020 VENLOOP

Greetings Jessica

Blog – Saskia Driessen – participant – 27-01-2020

We have now been on the road for several months and train fanatically with our group every Wednesday and Saturday. Every Wednesday we train on the track at sports park Vrijenbroek and on Saturdays we regularly train in the area of the ‘t Jaomer valley. On January 5, 2020, a few members of the dream team participated in the New Year’s Run. I myself ran 5km in 33 minutes, a good test leading up to the Venloop. Although we regularly run 5-10km during training, the race was very intense, but for the first time I ran 5km continuously! When I got home, I realized that exactly one year earlier I had struggled to run 5x 30 seconds. What progress in a year! Training on Wednesday after we ran the New Year’s Run we were presented with a gentle workout by our trainers. Slowly we are all running towards the Spring Run on March 8 where I will run 7.5km and finally the Venloop on March 29. With great pleasure, I will be running the next few weeks at sports park Vrijenbroek and on the trails through ‘t Jaomer valley before actually running the 10km during the Venloop!

Blog – Mariëlle Coenders – participant – 09-01-2020

The new year has begun. And the Venloop is getting closer. The training sessions are beginning to bear fruit. Running is getting better and better. The speed is far from there, but the duration is starting to come. I am confident that I will make the 10 kilometers. After my checkup with the cardiologist, I have the confidence again to start trying to run once a week for myself. That will definitely help my endurance and duration. Also, the trainings with the other participants are very stimulating. We bring out the best in each other and we also pay close attention to each other. We make sure no one does anything crazy. It is also nice that occasionally partners, children or friends train with us. As a result, Henk is not alone as a man among women. Irus knows how to divide it well during Saturday training between those going for the 10 km and those going for the half marathon. It’s not always easy, but she manages.

Just before Christmas, we were surprised during Saturday practice. The board was present in running attire to experience a workout with us, to get to know us. It was a fun experience. We then just took a picture right before practice that we were all in.

Blog – Chantal de Jong – participant – 16-12-2019

The other day I came across this saying:

Dream BIG and enjoy small things

And enjoy it I do. I enjoy the group feeling with the other participants and often someone’s partner, friend or colleague trains with me. From the trainings of Irus, Henk and Ad, which are different every week. Of the positivity we all carry.

I am eager to start in September, but since I had another surgery in August, I have to take it easy for the first few weeks. Not wrong for me, to start off quietly. But once I can actually start exercising I am unstoppable. I look forward to every training session, although now that we have been going for a while, my preference is for Saturday training, where we often spend time in the Jaomer Valley. When you arrive at sports park Vrijenbroek on Saturday morning, you first walk past the field hockey fields where the youth are already playing field hockey fanatically. Then you get to the athletic track and there are kids already playing sports on the track as well. In addition, a large group from Running Academy is ready to start training each week and, of course, the dream team is also in attendance. So nice to see so many sports enthusiasts busy every Saturday morning. You will automatically get a dose of energy to go against it.

Walking is going well for me. Beforehand, I was afraid I would find it very difficult to make the step from 5 to 10 km. But it all seems to come naturally. And now in December, I already have no problem running the 10 km. A few weeks ago, Irus planted a small seed. She said I might also be able to follow the 21 km schedule. “Only if you want this yourself, though,” she said. And once this idea was in my head it didn’t let me go. So since 2 weeks I have been switching to the 21 km schedule. Last Saturday I ran an endurance run of 12 km. Whoehoeee , Proud of myself. I did agree with myself that I have to listen to my body, because I don’t want injuries. Maybe that 21 km for the 2020 Venloop is too early, but then there will be another chance in 2021.

So what distance it will be I don’t know yet, but I keep dreaming big….

Wishing everyone happy holidays and a healthy 2020!

Chantal de Jong

Blog – Tineke Wiersma – participant – 22-11-2019

Sept. 11 I am eager to be able to start the first training. Geez, how much I want to. On Wednesday evenings we train on the track at Scopias and on Saturdays it’s all nice and awesome, then we go up the ”sky.” To my mind, we have nice (sometimes a little cold) but dry weather. I enjoy nature and the company around me. With my body, things are sometimes a little more difficult. I am often tired and the those muscles burn, especially with each change in medication. It seems like my body takes a long time each time to adjust to it. I may have a strong will, but of course my body has to go along….

It is helpful to train together and see each other’s progress. Also, we have support from each other and it is cozy. During my checkup in Maastricht on October 10 liver values are within the normal range for the first time since mid-June. Yes! Cutting back on the prednisone again with a small step. In fact, I feel that the drug has a lot of impact on my body and my Mood. Despite the values being within the normal range, I have been nauseous for about four weeks from that period and fatigue seems to be getting worse again. Why? At the last check on November 7 liver values rose again. Fortunately, I get to watch it for a while before the prednisone is increased again.

With running, I’ve discovered that I shouldn’t be tempted to go too fast (haha around 9.5 per hour), but slower to keep it up. Right now, I am still fairly on track with the 10-kilometer final goal, but I also feel I need to listen to my body. Fortunately, I have no injuries. I enjoy the support of the other participants, trainers and of my “hiking buddy” Alie, who joins me every Wednesday night to train at the track. My daughter Anne has also signed up for the Venloop and will be there on a Saturday morning. The rest of the group also regularly have partners/friends with them. We become a whole group.

And how do I continue to fill my days? I am unfortunately not at work yet. I boot up my work computer again and start looking at some work email. I do want to start thinking and participating some more, but also still rest a lot and still have to plan my daily activities carefully regarding my energy. I still go to physical therapy once a week.

A new world after my liver transplant that I had not delved into before, but am now in the midst of. I have contacts with the Dutch Transplant Foundation to be used as an expert by experience. This is to be able to share what it is like to be “allowed” to still live with such a great “gift.” The importance of making a choice about whether or not to be a donor is discussed at several information sessions.

In addition, I was chosen to speak at the TranspantEREN day on Saturday, June 13, at the Grote Kerk in Naarden. People can share their thoughts there at the statue “the Climb. The image symbolizes, on the one hand, a transplanted person who climbs to a new life thanks to his donor and, on the other hand, a bereaved person who climbs out of a valley of grief because the deceased donor lives on in someone else.

Exciting to be allowed to do, but very valuable and healing for me to give this intense event a place in my life. The day revolves around 4 key words: looking back, honoring, looking forward, celebrating. With this year’s emphasis on: and now move on!

Blog – Ad Burgmans – trainer – 1-11-2019

I am 72 years old and have been running since 2000. Not because I liked it so much, but because my doctor told me to do more exercise because of hypertension. Then running seemed the easiest thing for me to do. You just have to walk outside and….go with that banana. Simple as that. Within a few weeks I was already getting pain in my shins. And having to walk after a few hundred meters of running was a setback. I told that to a colleague of mine. According to him, I was running way too fast. ‘You have to build up something like that slowly,’ he said. ‘Your body is not used to such exertion and will protest if you go too fast.’ On his advice I then joined the Lopersgroep ALV (Arcen Lomm Velden) of which he himself was a member. A year later I ran my first 5-km race. I was happy with it.

What’s so great about running? Running is fun because it gives you a sense of freedom. And running means a moment for yourself, a moment to – oddly enough – unwind. Intense physical activity such as running produces endorphins; also known as the happiness hormone. This is not to say that running automatically creates happiness – it takes more than that – but it most certainly contributes to feeling happy. Running gives me confidence. When I’m running, I often think to myself “how nice that I can still do this.

I have been a running coach with the Runner’s Group ALV for 12 years and with the Running Academy for 7 years, and this year Henk ten Have asked me to replace him on the Dream Team. I didn’t have to think long about that. After all, the Dream Team runners all have a special reason for running and are therefore highly motivated. That is what I would like to work for. We still have 5 months until the Venloop. It will certainly succeed, I am convinced. It is no small effort. It will not come naturally. But anything is possible that you enjoy doing.

Blog Jessica Steegh – participant – 21-10-2019

We start but with the first training on Wednesday, Sept. 11, led by Henk and Irus.
Tjee that was exciting for me, all kinds of things were running through my head: ‘Will I be able to join the group? Will I be accepted? Will I be able to remember everything? Will I get a headache from running?’ It was busy busy busy in my little head.

Meeting at Vrijenbroek sports park, we were given a brief introduction of what the training sessions entailed. Then we took to the track. One was very surprised at me. I walk very uncertainly but run like a rocket! After the first practice, my head was still buzzing but more from relief and impressions I had gained.

On Saturdays we go training in the Joamer Valley and that’s a whole different ball of wax for me. Because I have poor vision and am afraid of falling, I run very slowly in the woods and therefore do not like it. Fortunately, there is the DreamTEAM with emphasis on TEAM because we support each other where we can. They carefully guide me over the uneven paths here and make sure there is always someone running over with me. Because of this, I find it less scary.

During the training sessions, you see the individuals melting together into a tight TEAM that cares for each other. Thus, the faster runner runs slower when one is struggling to keep pace but the fast runner also triggers the slightly slower one to step up a notch. There is also a lot of laughter despite the serious work, well that’s part of it too!

Now we have been going for several weeks and every now and then the trainers have to slow me down that I don’t want too much. When I told them I had already signed up (with my friend) for the Bridge to Bridge run 5KM they were very skeptical about it. We explained to them that our concern was not the race itself but what my experience is with the start, the startling when someone passes by, the crowds and the noise. Oct. 20 we ran it with the result, 5KM in a time of 35:50 and gained a lot of experience that will be of use to me.

Finally, I would like to thank the DREAMTEAM very much for all the support and concern for not only me but especially THE TEAM

With kind regards Jessica Steegh.

Blog Dreamteam 2018-2019

Blog Peter Schell – participant – 15-04-2019

Hello all,

Meanwhile, the actual Venloop is about two weeks behind us and I would like to update you on how my dream team experience went. After I wrote last time that I had resumed training on Feb. 6 and was looking forward with fingers crossed to the Berden spring run on Feb. 24, I have to tell you that I had to stand by as a spectator at that run as well. It’s etched in my memory, Feb. 17 I once again felt issues in my calf during endurance running training that prevented me from running any further.

On Feb. 19, an ultrasound was done at Vividus where they diagnosed injury/irritation with fluid accumulation in my right calf and that it was very uncertain if this would be able to recover adequately within the remaining time until the Venloop (about 6 weeks). My spirits sank and I was closer to crying than laughing. Already 5 months of hard training and now beaches 6 weeks before the competition ? No Way!!! I imprinted in my mind that I would do or leave anything to be fit again in time. I would show everyone what a body is capable of if you believe in it yourself. From then on, I took a rest and on Feb. 27 went back to Richard at Vividus for the first time for massage and further assessment. It didn’t feel wrong (really tended toward overexertion) and he gave me good advice and encouragement that with taking it easy and using my mind I could be recovered to still be able to participate on March 30 and 31. Went to watch the training in the evening. An acquaintance gave me another tip to take magnesium tablets and eat bananas regularly seemed to be good for your muscles and recovery, I also took that to heart, you seize everything to recover.

Then I stopped Spinning (I was also still doing it 2x a week, outside of running) to focus completely and exclusively still on my recovery and the ever-closer dates at the end of March. Training resumed quietly from March 2, again without calf straining exercises to be sure not to force anything. Going to Richard weekly for massages and tracking my recovery and I actually began to believe again that I was going to make it.

My fitness was fine and on March 11, I took a gamble for myself to find out for myself and build confidence in myself if I could still do it and if I was ready. Ran 10, 11km in 1:01:28 and without bother. That gave me courage and from that moment on I had the conviction again that it was going to work. I got my ass kicked (rightfully so) that week during Richard’s massage for daring to take the gamble of that Monday. Could easily have ended differently. In fact, medically it was not possible that I had already recovered for such an effort. Had to stay really careful from then on. I took that to heart and made the decision for myself not to take any more (unnecessary) risks. From now on, training with the handbrake on and that really wasn’t easy.

All in all it worked out well, Saturday March 30 together with wife and daughter Froukje completed the 40 km walk, first goal achieved. After a well-deserved Sauna visit that Saturday night to ease the sore muscles, on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. to the Ewalds Cargo Care pavilion for a massage of the upper legs and calves. (Well done Vividus!) I felt ready for battle and since I had a starting ticket for both 5 and 10 km, I decided to start in the 5 km. Ran out in 28.14 After a short break then started for the 10 km. This one also ran in 1:02.48 Daughter Froukje also ran the same distances and she too ran them both. That was what we set as our goal, and I am very happy that we succeeded. I am very happy that the Venloop, through this Dream Team experience, has allowed us to achieve these goals. From this place again my thanks for that.

The Running bug has infected me and next year I will definitely be there again!

Ps. Ran my first race after the Venloop last week. 10 km in 58.23 not bad right?


Peter Schell

Blog Nicole Hendrix – participant – 14-03-2019

Veni, Vidi, Vici.
When we started training in September and I was assigned to the beginner group, I was pretty bummed. I had a desire to run the half marathon and so this felt very far from my goal.

I pretty much resigned myself to the trainers’ choice and figured that psychologically it would probably work in my favor.
It was better for me to come along well for one workout and enjoy it, than to really have to give everything every workout to keep up with the group.

Pretty soon I found out that I was running the 5 km purely on willpower, this had little to do with fitness and it made more sense to rebuild it in a responsible way. I had to admit that in terms of fitness and strength, I had lost quite a bit over the past year and this needed time to get built up again. I abandoned the half marathon goal for this year and was adjusted to the 10 km. Whereas at first I thought I would have to miss many Saturday workouts because I would have to work, my schedule turned out to be favorable to me so I didn’t miss any workouts for the first few weeks. I enjoyed it and noticed that I was starting to regain confidence in my body!

The weeks flew by. Some members of the team were suffering from injuries and aches, but I felt fine physically. Together with Emmie, I “floated” a bit between the beginner team and the advanced 10 km team. I did not yet have the confidence to train with the 10-km team, but felt I could physically handle more.

Psychologically, I was struggling. Every workout, a little voice in my head told me I had better stop. To dispel this little voice, I started working out with music in my ears. The word “give up” is not in my vocabulary, so I just buckled down.

Even at home, I just bickered. We bought an old farmhouse which needed major renovation. Between family life, work and workouts, I was heavily involved in demolition work. A Saturday consisted of running, chores, more chores, packing boxes and falling over dead tired late at night. Every opportunity to do odd jobs was taken and fully utilized.
Physically, I began to notice this. My knee was playing up, and because my body wanted to cope with those symptoms I started walking the wrong way. This resulted in all kinds of physical complaints.

My body whistled back at me. I wanted too much. Too fast.
Adding to that, it turned out that my running shoes needed replacing, the cushioning was no longer optimal and that didn’t really help.

I bought new shoes and took it easy. The physical symptoms diminished, but mentally I was struggling. During Saturday’s endurance running workouts, I often felt like I couldn’t keep up, and that caused the little voice in my head to become more and more prominent again. I slowly began to worry a bit about whether the 10 km would be achievable. Henk and Irus said every time that this is feasible and it would be in it, but I kept doubting it.

I tried to let go of the goal and decided to pay more attention during workouts to what I was already succeeding in. Setting my own pace, keeping my own pace, not letting myself go crazy because others are faster. That made the workouts more enjoyable again and the confidence in myself slowly grew again.

Last Saturday we were told at the start of training that we would be doing a 10-km endurance run. Ideally, I would have turned around and gone home. I was afraid it wouldn’t work out and this training would shatter my confidence in myself again.
With the New Year’s run (5km) on January 6, where I really broke down completely, still fresh in my mind, the fear and doubt was quite present.

We would start with 1 km of running in, then do some loosening up exercises and then run a route. That one km became almost 1.5 and I was struggling physically and mentally. I had to push myself to keep running and not give up. Music to the ears … mind on 0.

In my head, I keep repeating the same thing:

I don’t want to stop.

I can do this!

During the exercises, I think to myself why it is that I am struggling. I come to the conclusion that I am guided by my fear and trying to keep up with the pace of others.
I decide to find my own pace and stop focusing on the rest of the group.

Irus keeps talking to me (a welcome distraction!) and I find that while running I can still just say something back. I caught my pace. Before I know it, we have passed the 5 km mark. A hateful little voice in my head tells me that I am PAS at the halfway point and therefore still have plenty of time to give up.
I ignore this voice and release the distance yet to be walked. Thinking “I’ll see how far I get,” I run on at my own pace.

On my watch I fleetingly see that we have already run 7 km at a stretch. I’m not tired yet. My breathing is fine. My legs feel good. My foot, which seemed to go to sleep a little earlier, seems to be recovering…. and the sense of confidence grows.

The 8 km serves itself and I pronounce aloud that I am already proud of myself.

With a proud feeling and watch displaying a total distance of 10.25km, I run through the gate.

1 hour and 20 minutes we were on the road.

Fleetingly I consider that the speed leaves something to be desired, only to put this thought aside and consider that 1 hour and 20 minutes of running is a really long time and I can certainly be proud of it.

The 10 km is definitely in the legs!
There are no bears on the road.

Those are only in my head.


Nicole Hendrix

Blog Peter Gringhuis – participant – 10-03-2019

Reuver, 10-03-2019

As you may know, the upcoming Venloop will be the last race for me in which I will participate and, frankly, this is hard for me. Where it started in 2008 with the goal of running the 10 km and succeeded and eventually in 2013 I ran a time that was nice by my standards (just over the hour), after that I participated 2 more times in the half marathon which will always remain a highlight for me. How much I have enjoyed every year the audience and the perfect organization of this wonderful event.
Now to the past period with the dream team. I started with basic fitness which is pretty good since I have always kept running to fight my muscle disease. I was advised against running races as there is a risk of going too deep and this is not good for my muscle disease.
Right from the beginning, the dream team was divided into 2 teams, 5 km group and the 10 km group. I was fortunately able to join the 10km group right away without any problem. The group of the 10 km gradually became larger and, as a result, more fun. Trainings have been very varied prepared by Henk and conducted under good guidance from Irus each week.
Unfortunately for me, my muscle disease turned out to be more progressive than thought after all. Because of this i.o.m. my medical supervisors of the Radboud decided to take it easy and put every time out of my mind, goal is to run pain free and enjoy the fantastic event that is the Venloop.
It will be a tough farewell for me especially when I am soon running across the Parade to the finish line. So I want to thank the Venloop and everyone who has supported me over the past period for still giving me this opportunity. Thanks especially to Henk Houthooft, Henk ten Have and Irus Rondeel for the listening ear and your enthusiasm.
Now for the last few weeks take it easy and above all stay in one piece and hopefully show up at the start with as complete a dream team as possible. Perhaps I can do my part at the Venloop in the future.
But now especially on to the finish line!

Greetings, Peter

Blog Miriam van Elmpt – participant – 28-02-2019

My Dreamteam adventure so far.

It is –
I believe
– sometime at the end of summer vacation when my running buddy Audrey says to me, ‘Gee, Miriam, you can sign up for the Dream Team of the Venloop again!!! I’ve already sent a nomination letter for you!!!’ After a few days of doubt, I decide to send a letter myself. I was able to see fairly closely last year what the Dream Team can do for someone. And thought: I could actually use that support too.

I don’t even remember how long I had to wait after that, but suddenly there was that important email: You are one of the members of this year’s Dream Team!!! How happy I was! But right away followed for me the first challenge: attending the first information evening. I had to work that particular evening and wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. Unfortunately, so not!!! So no first introduction to the rest of the team….

On the first day of training, I was definitely there, and that introduction was repeated and then we got to work. Part of the group with Irus (the one with the longer distances) and the rest with Henk, me included!

I soon noticed that I started to enjoy running again. Whether it was running in warm weather, in the rain or even one Wednesday night in the freshly fallen snow (and not a little bit though, what fun we still had sliding down the “dyke” on our bellies after practice)

It got better and better. And where others around me unfortunately struggled with injuries from time to time, I was spared. At least… Until several times when I totally ran out of air while working out. At the urging of my fellow Dreamers, I made an appointment at the doctor’s office anyway. He couldn’t find anything after a small examination, quickly thought exercise asthma, but wanted to check the heart just to be sure.

After over a month of waiting for the bike test at the hospital, it turned out there was nothing wrong with my heart in any case. What a relief! Exercise asthma, it will probably be that, and with a prescription for a “puff,” I can get on with it. See if it works.

Well, it works fine. I can exercise again and have more air!

And I desperately needed that air, because by now it was February and the Berden Run was just around the corner.

It turned out to be a wonderful day. Gather in the morning and enjoy going to the start together. Running the 4km together with Kelly and Henk. Lovely in the sunshine! Froukje and Peggy are running the 7.5 km later and came to cheer us on at the start, as did Wendy, who unfortunately is not running. (Peter will eventually be at the finish line to congratulate us, he too unfortunately did not run).

How nice, so many supporters.

The run is going great! When Henk says after 1 km what our average speed is up to that point, I immediately say: I am never going to keep up that pace for 4 km! (while later it will turn out that this is exactly the average over the total 4km) Kelly and I both continue to run at our own pace and both manage to cross the finish line under 30 minutes (I even had quite a bit left for a final sprint to the finish) My day couldn’t be better!

Of course, we don’t go home right away, we also enthusiastically encourage the runners of the 7.5km!

Still reflecting on the day, I suddenly remembered: Just a few more weeks and then the Venloop! Only a few more weeks to train.

But if it goes like the Berden Run. Am sure it will be totally fine. For me and, I’m sure, for everyone else!

Venloop 2019, Here we Come!!!

Greetings, Miriam

Blog Froukje Schell – participant – 18-02-2019

Diary of a ‘dreamer’

Running with bumps in the road

August 2018 – registration and selection
A post appeared on the Venloop’s Facebook page. They were looking for participants for the Dream Team. I forwarded it to my father. “Isn’t this something for you? Maybe with this guidance you will manage to run the 10 km…” After some hesitation, my father enrolled. Almost immediately I decided to sign up as well, since our goal was to run the 10 km of the Venloop together. When we received word on August 24 that we were both selected, we were extremely happy and grateful for this tremendous opportunity! That same week we met our trainers and the other “dreamers” at a kick-off. We are told that the training sessions will take place on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, and that presents a little practical problem for me. In fact, on Wednesday nights my soccer practice also takes place. After consulting with my soccer team, I decided to go 100% for running. I am scrapping my soccer practice on Wednesday and my sports schedule for the coming time is made: Wednesday running on the track, Friday soccer practice, Saturday distance running and on Sunday soccer game.

September 2018 – start of training sessions
On Sept. 9, the first training session was scheduled at Sportpark Vrijenbroek. With the sun shining on our curious and yet somewhat tense faces, Henk and Irus showed us the basics of running. We learned a lot about technique, running training, warm-up and cool-down, but didn’t really run yet. In subsequent training sessions, we began to slowly build up the running. It also became clear that we always train on the track on Wednesdays and “go outside” on Saturdays. As a “Baolders maedje,” I am not very familiar with Venlo nature, so I was amazed the first time by the beauty of the Jaomer Valley. How fortunate that this nature reserve is right next to our sports park! Another week’s vacation in Macedonia was scheduled in mid-September, so I couldn’t train. I was afraid I would immediately fall behind the team, but fortunately that was not the case.

October – things are going well!
Everything is going smoothly. Where many team members unfortunately suffer from aches and injuries, my father and I’s workouts are going super. We are enjoying the workouts, getting more enthusiastic by the week, and the fact that we are already running 10 km in a row after such a short period of time secretly makes us a little proud. I find that I really enjoy being “outside” and get an incredibly nice feeling from walking in nature. I also love to see the tremendous growth team members are experiencing. It is clear that Henk and Irus’ approach and training are successful. Dad and I are tentatively beginning to wonder if more than 10 kilometers is possible for us on March 31….

November – new clothes and the flu
Slowly, it is starting to get colder and wetter outside, which means buying a new running wardrobe. With products such as padded pants, scarves, thermal shirts and ear warmers, we ensure that running remains enjoyable even in these weather conditions. However, the autumnal weather also brings with it a severe flu for me, so I have to let some workouts slip. Bummer, things were going so well. When, in the following weeks, I am also unable to train at full strength due to the aftermath of this flu (pain in the ribs, surrendered condition) I notice for the first time what it is like to run when things are not going so well for a while. And actually, it’s fine to experience that for a change. Indeed, all the more I appreciate the fun I normally have in the workouts! Fortunately, my teammates’ uplifting words and Irus’ good advice help me get back on track. Before long, I am back to the same level as the group. I am enjoying again as before!

December – injuries
It is Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, the last soccer practice before winter break. We are training in the hall, as outdoor practice has been canceled. After 20 minutes of playing ball, something happens that I hoped I would be spared -especially leading up to the Venloop- … My ankle flips over and almost immediately turns thick and blue. I recognize this from teammates and therefore know before I even see a doctor that I have a significant tear in my ankle ligaments. I can’t use that and especially not now that I’m training so intensely for the Venloop! I am balking like the proverbial jack of all trades and can already see the Venloop passing me by… Where last month I was worried about a simple flu, now I was hoping I had the flu instead of torn ankle ligaments! Soon, however, I manage to flip a switch. This happened, unfortunately, nothing more can be done. Now look ahead and work hard at recovery! Indeed, the physio confirmed my suspicions and together we set up a treatment plan. I recover admirably fast and 2e Christmas Day, I run (albeit with brace, but painless) the Kasteelloop in Horst together with my teammates. I am “back on track” again and decide not to play soccer again until the Venloop, to avoid another injury.

January – dumb luck!
I was soon able to train with the group again, so thankfully I had little “trouble” with my injury. Even walking over loose sand or even uneven surfaces in the woods is back to normal. To get some race experience, I am running the Heldense Bossencross with Irus! I have been training for over a month now after my injury and am feeling confident about the Venloop again! Dad and I even talk about “a running life” after the Venloop. “Do we join an association?” “What are the options?” We have caught the familiar running bug!
The enthusiasm is short-lived, however, because believe it or not, but on Jan. 27 during my running training, I once again tear my ankle ligaments. The same ankle, the same “snap,” the same pain … This can’t be right! All sorts of things are running through my head. “Did I start too soon last time?” “Is this just dumb luck?” “Will my Venloop continue?” “Have I not been careful enough?” “If only I had…” “What if…” Questions I won’t get answers to, but the fact is I need to recover again. Again leg high, cooling well, resting and listening carefully to my body and the physio. I bale. I wanted to make the most of this unique and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity… See what I was capable of athletically. There could have been so much more… I think I’ll be lucky if I reach my originally set goal -to walk 40 km on Saturday and run 10 km on Sunday- at all.

February – Pop!
After another three-week recovery, I may tentatively begin training again. In consultation with the physio and trainers, it was agreed that I will tape my ankle at every training session at least until the Venloop. In doing so, I will hopefully prevent another occurrence. On Saturday, Feb. 9, I was able to participate in the full training (hills!) with the team. After weeks of bad luck, I can give 100% again from now on. I am going to bang hard for a few more weeks to reach my goal by the end of March!


Froukje Schell

Blog Peter Schell – participant – 08-02-2019


By now I have been a member of the Dream Team 2019 for about 4 months and am training fanatically for the goal I set; Saturday’s March 30 40 km walk and Sunday’s March 31 10 km run within the hour and that together with my daughter Froukje. Since I was still on vacation when training began, I was only able to join in from week 3. So I was a little behind, just getting used to the team and gaining experience what it’s like in such a group.

It turned out that they train in 2 groups; the beginners going for the 5 km and a group of somewhat advanced runners with 10 km or beyond as their goal. Complete schedules were created to responsibly reach everyone’s set goal. There is professional evaluation between the trainers every workout; who can do what, who is making what progress, who has an injury and needs to be spared in certain things. etc etc etc. The group of beginners trains under the inspiring leadership of trainer Henk ten Have; the other group under the leadership of trainer Irus Rondeel, herself an avid runner.

Henk Houthooft maintains contacts with the Venloop organization and supervises all technical issues such as photographers/hard running jackets/gloves/coordination of the placement of photos and blogs on the website. All in all, a very enthusiastic team of specialists who guide us very committed with only 1 goal; to see our own objective realized.

But now back to myself;
2x a week (Wednesday evening and Saturday morning) on the bike from Baarlo to Vrijenbroek; a good warm-up! and home again; a great cool down. Sept. 23 the first training. Somewhat uncomfortable with the unknown, but that soon gave way to respect for the trainers and how they communicate with all the participants; on an understandable level, clearly and with understanding for everyone’s situation.

Started this week in the beginner group since it was obviously unknown what my physical condition/fitness was. That turned out to be very bad, probably because I was also doing spinning 2x a week for quite some time anyway. A week later I was assigned to the somewhat advanced group, and after a few weeks I found that I could pretty much get over there anyway (as the oldest participant on the team). Week by week progress was made and I (as well as the rest of the team) started to enjoy doing it more and more. It really does work addictively. I must say that the little group did thin out a bit, as Wendy had to be absent with Achilles tendon issues, and the other Peter with symptoms that were rearing their heads due to his muscle disease.

On Oct. 21 there was the Bridge to Bridge run, which I didn’t participate in yet though was just too early, needed some more training to sustain that distance. Training continued to prosper, and a third (in-house) training day was added on Monday nights. When Froukje tore her ankle ligaments in late November during the last practice of playing soccer before winter break, I had private training from Irus on Saturdays for several weeks since Peggy was often unable to participate in training on Saturdays due to her work. How many beautiful routes are possible in and around the Joamer Valley!

The next challenge would be the Orion New Year’s Run on Jan. 6; unfortunately for me, however, that was the same date as the first Venloop walking practice run. I wanted to gain race experience anyway and registered for the Kasteelloop in Horst on Dec. 2-Christmas Day, Dec. 26. I even managed to get all the fit team members to participate as well, including Irus! My first ever running race!!! My goal was to run 5 km and finish within the half hour, it turned out to be 29.44!!! and secretly I was quite proud that I had managed this in just under 3 months by now. I had acquired a taste for races and registered in good spirits for the Heldense bossen verloscross on Jan. 20 and for the Vlakwatercross on Jan. 27 in Venray. The Scopias trail also beckoned on Feb. 3, but that day there was another Venloop walking practice run that I didn’t want to miss out on either because of the challenge I’ve set for the Saturday before the Venloop on March 31.

On January 12, during my endurance training, however, all the rapid progress came to an end after about 8 km when, after initially experiencing lactic acidosis in my right calf, I suddenly had to stop because of a stabbing pain … bummer!!! After a painful weekend I was fortunately able to visit Richard from Vividus on Tuesday, who was able to reassure me after a good massage…. No serious injury and after a week of rest I could quietly resume training. However, the cross in Helden on January 20 came too soon and I had to miss it. I did attend as a spectator to encourage Froukje and Irus.

Jan. 22 did short workout without bothering, and so resumed regular training Wednesday, Jan. 23. Still to have done some running before the Flatwater Cross on Jan. 27. After 6.5 km, however, just under 200 meters before the end of the workout, disaster struck again; same calf, same injury and I will confess that I was afraid at the time that this could be the end of my Venloop adventure. I didn’t need anyone to advise me to pass up the Flatwater Cross. It simply wasn’t going to happen and common sense wins anyway. Back to Richard on January 28 and after another professional treatment, exercises and a modified training schedule with exercises to do at home for the coming week, I was able to return home. Recovery went well due to the modified cautious training regimen and February 3 I was able to participate in the aforementioned Venloop 20 km walking practice run. Rested on Monday and Tuesday and resumed training Wednesday, Feb. 6; although without a calf-straining warm-up, the training itself went off without a hitch. Hopefully the injury will not return and I will be ready for the Berden Spring Run February 24. Fingers crossed!!!


Peter Schell

Blog Peggy – participant – 16-12-2018

This morning when I got up there was suddenly snow! ❄️ It looked beautiful! But an endurance run with hills was also scheduled. Scary as hell! I had never run with snow before. This chilly person prefers to stay inside then. I really had to drag myself out the door. Warmly dressed. Wearing my Venloop dream team jacket for the first time. Eaten a breakfast I hope to last a long time on. I am not a very good breakfast eater (very bad I know) so I am still trying out what is best to eat before I start an endurance run. On a short run up to 5km, I manage with a banana, peanut butter and a cup of tea or water. Bread with apple syrup usually works too but I had no appetite for bread and ran out of apple syrup. Then just an energy bar I had bought the other day. In the reviews on the Internet, I had read that many endurance athletes (including cyclists & runners) used this bar before or during training. The kcal & carbohydrate values were pretty high to keep it up for a long time. So I guessed. Running is not just running, but there are many other things involved such as good healthy nutrition, I have found out. I’m still balancing that, too. I had chosen the flavor cookies & cream. Best to eat indeed hearty because of the oat flakes among other things. The cookies & cream flavor was mixed with white chocolate on the bottom and top of the bar. After the bar (which was only 125g) I was immediately full but fortunately not feeling heavy on the stomach. So a good start. Then went to training anyway. On the bike it was really slippery in some places but along the way I also saw a lot of runners. If they can do it then I can do it too I spoke to myself. Arriving at Scopias, trainer Irus and the other participant Peter were already waiting. Henk’s other group doing a shorter distance had started a little earlier. Irus gave the tip of walking on fresh snow. The training was tough. Especially with the hills, the thin air, my heart rate that kept getting high and I couldn’t get my breathing under control, acidification in my legs from the hills. The snow, on the other hand, was not too bad. The sound of the crunching of the snow under my feet was truly a wonderful sound. It was beautiful along the way. (See the photo Irus took of me and Peter) Peter led the way while I let my pace drop back so I could keep up easier. Irus walked a long way along/behind/before me to encourage me and push on anyway. As soon as I wanted to give up and start walking, I still had to keep dribbling so I kept moving. Back at Scopias, I was still very glad I did it. Unfortunately not at the pace with acceleration I was hoping for but it still ended up being an endurance run through the snow of 11.23km. For the first time in the snow, that’s a milestone anyway. In those 11km, I must have wanted to stop and give up 100 times. But I persevered and ran 11.23km. My longest distance to date. It is still a long way to the half marathon and is going to be much tougher. But I am already super happy with the fantastic trainers Henk & Irus and all the steps and progression I have made so far. Although I’ve also had some setbacks but I’m trying to stay positive and I’m going for it!

Greetings Peggy

Blog Kelly – participant – 05-12-2018


The first 5 km of running is a fact. I am running, something that was unthinkable when I first stepped onto the racetrack on Sept. 8. These were tough months in which I regularly wondered what I was doing. How often I have stood in front of the racecourse fence with the urge to want to turn around again.

It was in my head and sometimes in my unwilling body. Every time I crossed the threshold the team was there. A close-knit team with all of them can-doers and great trainers. Something I’m sure I’ll miss soon, but I’m not going to think about that just yet.

I am still grateful for the opportunity I was given. I have partially achieved my goal already, I feel healthy and fit again and it can only get better. On to the Venloop. I’m ready!

Blog Nathalie – participant – 28-11-2018

We are now just under 3 months into our preparations for the Venloop 2019. I am training for the 5 km myself. I think that’s more than enough to begin with.

Training started in early September. This was 4 months after I gave birth and I did notice it at first. By now I am somewhat used to working out and my body is responding better to it. Unfortunately, after about 4 weeks of training, I developed an injury to my knee. The well-known runner’s knee came along and that caused me to have to rest for 3 weeks. This is obviously not something you want so soon after the start but it was no different. By now I am doing much better and can walk about 3 km.

The biggest victory for myself already is that I enjoy putting on my running clothes at home and going for a nice run. I hope to maintain this because that is my absolute goal! On to the Venloop on March 31, 2019!

Dreamteam 2017-2018

Dream team 2016-2017

Dream team 2015-2016

Dream team 2014-2015

Dreamteam is made possible in part by: