Help the wounded Alpine Professionals

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I lived with a lovely lady this summer called Kim Richardson in Le Châble, Switzerland.


Kim is a level 3 ISIA (International Ski Instructor Association) ski instructor focused on working and training to complete her level 4 ISTD (International Ski Teacher Diploma) and pursue her career in a sector she truly loves.

I witnessed her put in time and effort over the past two summers in the gym and mountains to prepare physically for skiing in the winter.

It was therefore crushing when this autumn, whilst race training for the Eurotest in Tignes, Kim’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her knee gave up and snapped. A whole winter of planned examinations and tests; a whole winter of work and income – over! There’s nothing quite so heart-breaking as when you’re trying your hardest to achieve goals and something out of your control stops you. Having been injured myself, and not to the extent people I know in the industry have been, I can empathise with the sheer frustration of these setbacks. The only thing I am sure of is that with the right mental attitude, dedication and hard work, most people come back stronger. Besides the injured, the families who also share the distress are often left trying to support them.

With a long waiting list for surgery, Kim searched for solutions and is lucky to have found the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. After assessing Kim’s situation they have decided to support her through surgery and rehabilitation to get her back on the slopes next winter.

Kim is far from being alone in suffering from this situation, or one similar to it. I hope the following will inspire those to not give up and find a way to continue pursuing the career of their dreams.

The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation was created and inspired by Kees Brenninkmeyer, an alpine ski mountain guide. He suffered a knee injury and received particularly outstanding treatment that enabled him to return to work and pursue his career and qualifications as a mountain guide. Appreciative of the fact many of his colleagues did not have the funds or access to such great treatment, Kees Brenninkmeyer wanted to help other alpine industry professionals receive similar treatment by aiding with the burden of the financial cost. Very sadly he died on a mountaineering expedition in 2007. The foundation continues to support alpine professionals through his memory.

The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation is a non-profit resource for alpine industry professionals seeking orthopedic medical care.  The foundation is inspired by and created in memory of Kees Brenninkmeyer, who passed away while actively pursuing a career as an alpine ski and mountaineering guide.  It is established to financially assist alpine guides, patrollers, or instructors who require surgery in order to continue their career.

Please have a look at their website to find out more about the foundation and read the testimonials to understand how the foundation has helped alpine professionals.

I have decided to run the Nagano Marathon, a previous Winter Olympic host city (1998), for this foundation, for Kim and for others who are injured and want to continue their careers in the mountains.

If you’d like to support me in this challenge and the careers of alpine industry professionals then please donate via The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation donation page using PayPal (click here) quoting R Hallewell Marathon in the ‘purpose’ box.

I especially urge all my snowsport enthusiast friends, even if it is £1, €1, 1CHF, 1USD, 1NZD… (Perhaps a little more than 1 yen) – wherever in the world you may be – donate what you can for a foundation that is helping people, like you, continue living their dream.

If anyone would like to come with me to Nagano and support me during the event, I’d also love that, too!

In return, I am going to keep working on my left glute/leg/ankle, trudge through the snow, swim lengths, hit the treadmill and train as hard and effectively as I can in order to run the Nagano Marathon on the 17th April to the best of my ability.


The temperamental Japanese treadmill that tests my patience as well as my speed.


Training began at the start of the year and despite a few issues involving ugly feet and tight muscles, it is going well. I have increased my main running pace on the treadmill from 7mph – 8mph (I really hate running on a treadmill – the interesting Japanese TV keeps me mildly entertained). I have ran a steady 15km in the snow in 1h35. I hope to run another long run this weekend (maybe 20-25km) with the help of other skier friends. The plan is to run the majority of a run, then have people who would like to go for a run (of any distance!) join me for encouragement and a good natter. I am also increasing strength in the gym, and the other day bashed out 100 lengths, including intervals, in the pool to give my legs more of a rest. Then of course I am skiing most days, too…

The Nagano Marathon has a 5hr cut off time. Beyond anything, I wish to complete the course. However, I am a competitive soul and a time under 4hrs will put a bigger smile on my face. You can continue to follow my experiences in Japan and support my training via this blog, Instagram @treadmillsandchocolate and my Facebook page.

Any support you can offer is a great motivation for me and I know the foundation and those involved, especially Kim, are very grateful. Thank you.