Tanja's running story: Running as a globally uniting force.
"Everybody is unique! And together we are powerful, together we are Fearless."
My name is Tanja, I am from Switzerland and I just recently moved to Den Haag, Netherlands where I work for a judicial agency of the European Union. It’s a great job, I get to work with 300 people from all over Europe. Our administrative language is English, but we also need French, German, Italian, I speak Norwegian with my colleague next door and I am trying to learn Dutch in my free time.
I founded the first 261 Fearless Club in Switzerland in the beginning of 2017 and maybe I’ll be able to set up a club here in the Netherlands as well in the future. There is no 261 Club here at this point, but Den Haag is a very green city with nice parks and small forest parks – one of them is right next to my office building – therefore it’s a great city for running. There are many inspiring running blogs here in the Netherlands and I am sure that I will be able to meet many other women here, who might be interested in forming a club! If someone comes for a visit, they are welcome to join me!
Back when I was in school I was barely able to run a mile. When I was 16 I took part in a running course that took place in my hometown. The motto was: from 0 to 5K in twelve weeks, with the goal of running the Women’s Run in Bern, Switzerland. Actually an old friend of mine talked me into joining, she bribed me with an invitation for spaghetti – but thinking of it, we never ate those spaghetti…But anyway, I ran the 5K in Bern, and I’ve been running since then – sometimes more often, sometimes less frequently, but I run. A couple of years ago I ran my first half marathon in Luzern, Switzerland, together with my husband. We’ve started doing this on a frequent basis, sometimes we do a run during our holidays or we’ll plan a journey to a particular running event.
Running for me is a diversion from my work, which is mentally challenging. I love being outside in any weather and to simply run, I always feel so much better and more alive afterwards. In contrast to my job, running is for me not a place for competition, I don’t have to deliver a certain performance, I can simply run. I do it because I love running.
I love 261 Fearless because it doens’t matter where you are from or who you are, you can run together with women from all over the world and have fun together. I can find new friends in no time at all and there’s always a very friendly atmosphere. We encourage each other instead of pushing us down, we look out for each other, that’s great.
That’s also why I decided to become a coach. The meet runs that I knew were always extremely performance-oriented, and I desperately wanted to give women who would have never joined a club like this the chance to run together with others, without pressure. I really like the thought that through running and being part of 261 Fearless, you are connected to the whole world.
I have already made plans with lots of 261 Fearless women who want to come and visit me to e.g. participate in the Amsterdam half marathon, or to roam the streets of Den Haag together in our running shoes.
I am so excited that my friend Anne will start her club in Belgium, that’s basically around the corner, maybe I can join her for a run at one point! And when I do that, I will definitely bring Swss chocolate with me, since I never leave my house without it - in my office, at home, when travelling around the world. I cannot live without Swiss Chocolate :-)
Always keep in mind that everybody is unique! And together we are powerful, together we are Fearless.