Five marathons in five days for Nepali charity

In an unprecedented test of endurance and determination, Amersfoort friends Sebastian Smeenk and Freek Diets are preparing to run five marathons over five consecutive days starting Wednesday, May 22. This challenging marathon series takes place not on the flat trails of the Netherlands, but in the rugged, breathtaking landscapes of Nepal. The goal of their mission is as noble as it is challenging: to make a substantial contribution to the Disabled Rehabilitation Centre in Nepal, a center that provides support to children with physical disabilities.

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Sebastian, co-founder of the digital marketing agency Dusver, finds his inspiration in the exploits of adventurers such as David Goggins and in the personal story of his cousin Michael, a passionate mountain climber whose dreams ended abruptly due to his untimely death from leukemia. “Michiel taught me the value of determination and the pursuit of dreams. This extreme challenge is a way to keep his spirit alive and give something back to a community that has welcomed us so warmly,” Sebastian says. He spent intensive months in Nepal, completing well-known trekking routes and adjusting to the altitude, which is essential for preparation for the marathon challenge.

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Freek Diets & Sebastian Smeenk training marathon in Amersfoort

On the other hand, Freek, owner of the gym Your Own Leader in Amersfoort, brings deep expertise in both physical training and mental health. His gym, distinguished by a strong emphasis on mental well-being, offers yoga and meditation sessions in addition to traditional physical workouts. “The balance between body and mind is crucial, especially when facing the extreme demands of five marathons in five days at high altitude,” Freek explains. His preparation included intensive training that strengthened his both physical and mental endurance.

Sebastian and Freek’s friendship is rooted in a shared passion for extreme challenges and philanthropy. Over the years they have run several marathons and ultramarathons together, and their shared experiences have strengthened their bond. Last year, they organized an expedition for a group of entrepreneurs from Amersfoort, leading a spiritual journey through the Nepalese mountains. These experiences not only brought them closer together, but also strengthened their commitment to their charities.

Een glimlachende blanke man met kort blond haar en een ronde bril, draagt een zwarte coltrui en bespreekt Webdesign Oplossingen. De achtergrond is wazig en de nadruk ligt op zijn vrolijke uitdrukking in een

Sebastian Smeenk

Business developer

“Every mile we walk, every mountain we climb, we do for the kids at the rehab center,” Sebastian says. “Our goal is not only to raise funds, but also to raise awareness about the daily struggles of these children.” Freek adds, “We hope our efforts will inspire others to act as well. It’s about creating a wave of positive change beyond our individual achievements.”

The challenge ahead is immense, but the duo is determined to push their limits and make a lasting impact. “These marathons are more than a physical test; they are a symbol of our commitment and determination to achieve something meaningful,” notes Sebastian. Donations to support their mission can be made through their website, where every contribution directly benefits the Disabled Rehabilitation Center.

As Sebastian often emphasizes, inspired by his hero, David Goggins: “Stay Hard, break through barriers and always keep going.” This becomes their mantra as they prepare to push their physical and mental limits in hopes of making a difference.

Physical & Mental Journey Nepal ’23 with Amersfoort Entrepreneurs

The journey ahead will take them through the scenic but unrelenting landscapes of the Kathmandu Valley. With routes winding through steep inclines and rugged terrain, the duo faces a challenge that will test both their physical endurance and mental resilience. “Every day in the mountains will be a test, but with every step we get closer to our goal of changing a life,” said Freek, who is determined to push both his limits and Sebastian’s.

Beyond the physical challenge, there is a deeper, more personal element that drives Sebastian and Freek. “This adventure is also a spiritual journey for us,” Sebastian explains. “In the silence of the mountains we find a moment of reflection. It is a chance to reflect on what is really important in life and how we as individuals can contribute to a greater whole.”

The connection to Nepal goes beyond the landscape and physical challenges. Both developed a special bond with the country and its people. “The Nepali community has shown us so much hospitality and warmth. This project is our way of giving something back, of making a lasting impact on a community that has taught us so much about humility and resilience,” Freek adds.

As the date of the marathon quickly approaches, the intensity of their training increases, but so does the excitement and sense of urgency about their mission. They document their preparations, share updates and call on their followers to participate in their efforts by donating or helping raise awareness. Every part of their journey is carefully planned, from field logistics to strategies for recovery after each day of the marathon.

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This initiative is more than just a challenge; it is a manifestation of their philosophy of life. “It’s not just about the marathons, but showing what is possible if you keep pushing the limits of what is achievable,” Sebastian says. With the support of their community, family and friends, Sebastian and Freek hope to not only push their physical and mental limits, but also inspire a wave of change and positivity.

“If we can meet the challenges that cross our path, we hope that others will be inspired to break through their own barriers and pursue their dreams, no matter how unattainable they may seem,” Freek concludes. With determination and a clear mission, Sebastian and Freek are about to embark on a journey beyond the mountains of Nepal – a journey of hope, inspiration and transformation.

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