Iwan Gerbes is a Dutch amateur sportsman with special love for OCR, Trail and Running.
As a young kid he already got in touch with sports, mainly swimming. At the age of 12, during his years in lower classes he participated in school championships. Together with 3 classmates he joined the relay team with whom he took 3rd place on the 4x 50m freestyle. As the finishing swimmer he made the podium a success as they were in 4th place when Iwan jumped into the water.
Sports went into the background in the following years as Iwan concentrated on education and after – on his job. At the age of 27 Iwan picked up sports again, first with running for fun and later, at age of 32, got back to competitive swimming at an amateur level. During Dutch Club Championships he sometimes enjoyed some successes of medals in his age groups. But at the age of 37 Iwan came in contact with Sport Obstacle Racing, very popular in the Netherlands at that moment because of the events organized by Mud Masters and Strong Viking.
After some training, Iwan decided to participate in Mud Masters Haarlemmermeer in March 2015 for the first time, and gave himself a real challenge to sign up for the 18k race straight away. He finished this first race in 2 hours and 39 minutes. The struggle during the race was real, but the finish was rewarding. In that year Iwan participated in more running races in the Netherlands such as Zandvoort Circuit Run, Alkmaar City Run by Night, Midzomernacht Cross, Half Marathon of Haarlem as well as Half Marathon of Amsterdam. He also participated in more OCR races that year such as Stormloop (18k) in Zandvoort, Strong Viking Hills Edition (19k) in Spaarnwoude, Fisherman’s Friend Strongmanrun (21k) in Hellendoorn and another Mud Masters (18k) in Biddinghuizen.
The challenges became more and more interesting for Iwan, so Mud Masters in Biddinghuizen was the start of many. That weekend Iwan decided to do Mud Masters 18k race on Saturday, followed by a half Marathon of Haarlem on Sunday. 2 times a +18k race in 2 days. But this was only the start, as Iwan also got infected by trails. The first trail appeared on Iwan’s agenda at the end of 2015, Montferland Night Trail, a 25k trail through the woods and hills in the east of the Netherlands close to Germany.
Iwan’s love for OCR and Trail grew more and more, and in February 2016 he decided to join the first official OCR team in the Netherlands – Spartainfit. The goal was to improve mainly his strength as well as his endurance and get more training. Together with coach Henk-Jan Schipper of Spartainfit, he started training for new challenges. With this step, 2016 also became the year of going international: with his biggest goals of doing Spartan races in Spain and Germany, and Half Marathon in Moscow.
2016 was also marked with injuries and quick recoveries and new challenges such as first a Spartan Sprint and Spartan Super in 1 weekend over the course of 2 days at the end of May, followed by both Spartan Super and Sprint done within 1 day in July. The year also marked the first Obstacle Marathon, Iron Viking, 42+k with 100+ obstacles. The first Iron Viking was during the Hills edition in May and second one in September 2016 during the Strong Viking Belgium Edition in Gent.
2017 is the year of new challenges: RunDisney races in the USA as well as more Half Marathons and a 50k trail in Russia.
Iwan loves to combine his sport with travel as well as to take on new challenges. Of course Iwan cannot achieve his goals on his own. The support of his Spartainfit team and his coach Henk-Jan Schipper. But special support, help and love of his fiancée Olga is the biggest strength and power he receives to achieve all his challenges, with a big smile! 😉
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