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FMO Ropa team celebrates 5th Anniversary during Roparun 2015

On May 25 the FMO Ropa team celebrated not only the finish of the Roparun 2015, but also the 5th anniversary of FMO’s participation in Roparun. This year the FMO team hopes to collect €9.000, thanks to the support of whole FMO community, our corporate sponsors Mandema & Partners, OSP zakelijke catering, Zanders, Wolters Kluwer Financial ervices, Securitas, Procurios, Vinos Quixote, and family & friends. Donating is still possible via www.roparun.nlOur result in 2015: 12.58, average speed 11.01 km/hr, 520 km in 47 hours and 23 min.

5 years of experience FMO started to participate in 2011, following an idea of Karin Bouwmeester, with support of Huub Cornelissen (FMO sports background, running background), and Willem van Leeuwen (logistics). Since then FMO participated every year, with changing team compositions. This year the FMO team consisted of 23 people. We also improved our team performance every year by learning from (logistical) mistakes, which demonstrates FMO qualities as a ‘learning organization’.
2015 special moments The Roparun experience is unique for every person, from participants and volunteers to fans and sponsors. These very personal experiences and beautiful moments stick to you for the rest of your live. These memories can vary from a sunset /sunrise experience along the route, a personal conversation with a team mate or somebody else, or an intense moment of pain, pleasure or fun. Some special moments of this year:
  • The start in Paris, with the traditional pasta meal, and Huub as the first FMO team runner.
  • Moments of celebrating FMO’s 5th participation: champagne moment on Friday night at the Paris restaurant, and cakes on Sunday morning on the France-Belgium border.
  • FMO’s driving crew team with Police hats on, being recognized along the road, and supporting the local police. 
  • FMO team making ‘friends’ along the road with our ‘megaphone act’, and as a giveaway colorful caps for local supporters (which also made Kim very happy to get rid off some unused items).
  • A man in the Rotterdam metro moved to tears due to the Ropa association with cancer, and the loss of his both parents in one week. (‘Guys, thanks you, you’re toppers!’)
  • The carnival in Zele (Roparun city of the year), a small Belgium city, and the only ‘team beer en route’, and nice team picture in front of Café Calypso.
  • Of course the Coolsingel finish, with a beautiful team picture before the ‘Zwaan’. 
  • All other unique moments during the four days in the bus, along the route and in the base camp.
FMO team 202, Run for Development 2015:
  • Base Camp: Walter van der Wees, Yusi Wang, and Karin Bouwmeester (Team Captain)
  • Runners: Alex van Hout, Matthew Dalby, Huub Cornelissen, Erica van Eeghen, Lucas Lustermans, Joris Daniels, Arnoud Albada & Basile Marée (Guest runners)
  • Bikers: Caroline van Seumeren, Sabine Visser, Frank Lamberts, Keesjan de Kruijf 
  • Drivers/navigators: Maarten van Renssen, Didier Jorissen, Johan Kruithof, Nico Mensink
  • Fysios: Daan Lansdorp & Felix Martina
  • Non-participating team member: Willem van Leeuwen and Kim van der Vat
  • Bus drivers: Ben & Esther (Bovo tours)
The history In fact there are a lot similarities between the Roparun and FMO. Both are mission driven socially responsible, professional, and successful organizations. The Roparun started as a pub challenge 24 years ago. A few athletes came together in a Rotterdam pub. They have been injured and could therefore not participate in the Rotterdam marathon, and were looking for an alternative challenge with a good cause. It started in 1992 with only 13 teams (of 8 runners), and the track was between the Euromast in Rotterdam and the finish at the Eiffel Tower in Paris (520 km); the origin of the name Ro(tterdam)Pa(ris) run. A lot has changed since then. The start is now in Paris, and the finish is on the Coolsingel, Rotterdam. With a number of participants over 8.000, at least a few hundreds volunteers, and an annual sponsor collection of over €5 mln for cancer patients, the Roparun has established itself as a very successful fund raising team sport event, a brand on its own. 
The Roparun feeling is often described as a positive ´virus’: once you have experienced the intense beauty of it, it remains in your system. The mix of different aspects makes the virus very strong, and incomparable with any other event.
By Huub Cornelissen & Nico Mensink