Bert Pauwels and Niels Declerck are Managing Director and Key Account Manager at Pauwels Consulting. Despite their busy schedules, they still find the time to take part in extraordinary sports events.

After successfully completing the New York Marathon in November, Bert and Niels are currently preparing for their next challenge in July.


Gentlemen, a few months ago, we had an interview at this same table. In that interview you told us about your preparations for the 2013 New York Marathon. You both completed the NY Marathon successfully. Now we meet again to talk about an even greater challenge. Can you tell us a bit more about your plans?

“42 Kilometers to the top!”

Pauwels Consulting - Zermatt Marathon - 2014

Bert: Of course. On Saturday, July 5th, we will run the Zermatt Marathon in Switzerland. That’s 42 kilometers… straight to the top!

That will be quite a climb!

Niels: Yes indeed! We will climb 1,469 meters to be precise. That’s more than 4.5 Eiffel Towers or more than 14 times the height of the Atomium.

That’s a mind-boggling challenge…

Bert: Yes it is, but we’re in good company. We will be joined by Pascal Verbaere, one of our colleagues at Pauwels Consulting. And we will probably be joined by supporters as well.

“I like to push my limits.”
Why are you attempting such an extraordinary challenge?

Pauwels Consulting - Zermatt Marathon - 2014
Bert: I like to push my limits. I am convinced that we can do more than we think. I try to use that belief in my business and my personal life to accomplish extraordinary goals. At the same time I hope that I can inspire others to come out of their comfort zones. The satisfaction of knowing that you pushed your limits is such a great reward.

Niels: I am running because Bert persuaded me (laughs). I enjoy sports anyway, and this seemed like a great challenge to work towards. And since we are doing more and more business with Pauwels Consulting in Switzerland, this Swiss race to the top has an additional symbolic meaning for me.

How do you train for such a climb marathon? Surely you cannot train on the streets?

Niels: Our training is a challenge indeed. In Switzerland, we will use our muscles differently than during a regular marathon. Therefore, we have taken our precautions.

Bert: We had a treadmill delivered at the office a few weeks ago. This treadmill can simulate a 15 degree slope. We try to work out on the treadmill as often as possible.

Pauwels Consulting - Zermatt Marathon - 2014

Will that be enough to get ready for such an extraordinary challenge?

Niels: We’ll be able to tell you in a few weeks (laughs). The treadmill is a great help for sure. We’re in good shape. Now we just have to prepare our muscles!

Bert: It is especially difficult to make time for training. But I am convinced: Where there’s a will there’s a way. Even if it is not that easy.

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