October 28, 2020
Annelous' 200km Kite session for ALS
Teamrider Annelous Lammerts rode 200 kilometers (124 miles) to raise money for the Dutch ALS Foundation. Below she explains a bit more about her challenge:
“ This year the ALS Foundation in the Netherlands organized the ‘Tour for ALS - Home Edition’. Since the main event had to be canceled, everyone could come up with a challenge to raise money at home. I decided to try to kite 200 kilometers in one day at my homespot the Brouwersdam. ALS is a terrible disease that causes the loss of muscle control. In an average period of 3 years after diagnosis, patients will loose the ability to stand, talk and eventually breathe. The cause of this disease is still unknown and there is no treatment. Moving and doing sports is one of the most important things in my life, and I want to help raise money so hopefully there will be a cure in the future. The money raised will go towards this research and towards finding solutions for improving the quality of life of the patients.
I was keeping a close eye on the forecast and today was looking like the best day to go for it. The most constant wind, the least amount of rain and not as strong wind as the other days, so I could hopefully do the full distance on my foil. I knew it was going to take quite some time and it was going to get cold, so good preparation was really important. Besides a lot of neoprene I also took a special GPS safety device with me in case I would get in trouble during my solo mission on the sea.
Since the days are getting shorter I knew the best plan was to wake early and be on the water before sunrise, so I would have some extra time in case something went wrong and I would lose some time. The weather would also get worse towards the end of the day, so the earlier the better. I woke up at 5:15, had a big power breakfast and left for the beach at 6AM. On the beach I prepared everything with a headlamp on and at 7AM, with the first light, I started my mission. The sky was clear and it was a beautiful sunrise, I knew I had to make the most of the first hours since it would get a bit stormy later in the day. After 4 hours and 100 kilometers I came back to the beach to change from my 8m FX to my 5m Drifter. The clouds came in, strong wind and rain arrived. The next 2 hours were quite heavy, the wind direction shifted slightly offshore which didn’t make it easier.
After 150km I came back to the beach to talk to the local news about my challenge and why it is so important to raise money for this cause. I had been on the water for 6 hours straight and my hands and toes were freezing. Luckily, I had some amazing support on the beach from my parents who gave me some warm tea and snacks, and the reason why I was doing this challenge gave me so much energy for the last 50 kilometers. My legs started getting really sore, the cold wasn’t helping and when I wanted to switch stance sometimes my legs didn’t want to move any more. The last hour I was overpowered on the 5m, but I didn’t want to switch to my twintip and lose time, so I decided to keep pushing.
I managed to finish the whole challenge in 8h40 including the kite switch and live interviews on the beach in between. Thanks to everyone who made a donation, if you also want to make a donation, it’s possible through this link: https://www.toervoorals.nl/actie/annelous-lammerts
Photos by Andy Troy (@andytroyphoto)