Meet the Team – Tim

Nice to meet you! I’m Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom, one of the co-founders of For Wild Places. I love running, especially trails — no big surprise here. But why?

Imagine rating everyone by three constants: their amount of strangeness, charm, and spin. 

Strangeness and charm speak for themselves; but spin is intriguing. Think about it as the revolutions per minute one spins on the inside. Like atoms or car engines spinning fast or slow. I’m always spinning, millions of revolutions per minute. A state of motionless is my ultimate challenge; I can’t sit still until everything is done — which never happens. To slow down I go out and run. Running slows down my internal RPM; it functions for me like ‘active meditation’. That’s why I love running, to slow down, find silence, celebrate nature, and pursue an inner state of motionless mindfulness.

My running journey started in 2008 when I arrived in Australia. I remember buying cheap runners and doing a few laps through Sydney; it felt good. Today, it’s hard for me to imagine running through a city when you can instead traverse genuinely wild places; but there’s a time and place for everything.

My first race was Sydney’s City2Surf and the sheer size of the event was overwhelming — in particular dodging/overtaking people for 14km was a true feat. Years later at the start of UTA50 in Katoomba, I was more nervous than ever before, realising that I’d come a long way since (and still had a very long way to run that day). UTA was brilliant and highly recommended, but months later I ran the inaugural Royal Double Ultra (2 days, 50km each); a tiny local event in which I felt more connected with nature and the people around me.

I now live in Dharawal Country on the land of the Wodi Wodi people. Here in the Illawarra, I joined The Seacliff Coasters (a group of northern-Illawarra trail runners) to explore the trails on the Illawarra Escarpment (my backyard). I got to know some of them well during my first 100km race in New Zealand at Tarawera in 2020.

Just before borders started closing and lock-downs became the new normal, I ran the 2020 edition of the takayna ultra. A race I had read about in the Trailrun magazine and for which I had relentlessly chased down organiser Simon to ensure I’d get a spot in their next iteration. This turned out to be the best race and event; it was wild, remote, harsh, friendly, beautiful, and above all, aimed at protecting and celebrating this wild place.

We need to do that more. We need to find ways in which we both protect and celebrate wild places. That’s the very reason we started For Wild Places.

For Wild Places is a community and movement. I’m hoping we will be able to inspire you to keep on running and help us protect and celebrate unique wild places across the country.

Keep on running; semper ad astra.


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