It all started as a bet. Peter van der Noord was belittling the marathon and scorned it wouldn’t be a real marathon unless it passed through Paris…. And thus in 1991, Peter and Sjaak Bril organised the first Rotterdam-Paris run. The sponsor money they collected was donated to the Daniel den Hoed clinic in Rotterdam.
Run for charity
From that moment onwards, this run that is now known as the Roparun has only gained in runners. More and more teams registered, more and more funds were collected. The municipalities that the runners passed through became more and more dedicated in showing the runners a well deserved, warm welcome. After all, the selfless, enormous effort of these brave runners only contributes to institutions, charities or projects supporting the Roparun’s mission: “Adding life to the days, where all too often no more days can be added to life.”
For 15 years now, the Belgian municipality of Zele has been an enthusiastic sponsor of the Roparun. This year, a team of dedicated firefighters built a two-headed dragon of 10 meters in height and 15 meters in length.
Dragons and dodos
This wooden dragon was covered in at least 3000 profile-sawed scales. The burning houses along the route contributed to the illusion of a dangerous dragon passing through and illustrated the children’s animation in the afternoon. There was also a giant inflatable dodo to be admired.
This year, a FireWare team came to Zele for the 11th time to highlight the decor and this time the flaming theme made us salivating. The dragon spit actual fire with the built-in Stratus and Vesta in its heads, and the houses were equipped with flame simulation tools. The Phoenix made it appear as if the houses were really on fire.
A warm welcome
In the evening, both the dragon and the dodo were highlighted with the help of the theatre spots from Aukes Theatertechniek. And we were also thankful for ProfHire’s and JE-BHV’s sponsoring and additional support from the Netherlands.
Once again, the runners could count on a warm Zele welcome! We deeply admire all those who have contributed tot his amazing charity.