Your eyes are not playing tricks on you! This coming September Luxembourg will be represented at the Simplyhealth Great North Run twice over… by identical twins, Anne-Marie Dentzer and Marie-Anne Dentzer!
At the beginning of last year, the Great Run Company announced their ambitious aim to have more countries represented on the start line than any other running event has ever achieved. Such was the success of the campaign that, out of 193 UN recognised nations, a staggering 178 countries were registered to take part in the event last September, cementing the world's biggest half marathon as the World's Favourite Run.
Fast forward a few months and the campaign is underway again and Anne-Marie is back for the second year as Luxembourg's representative, having had an amazing and unique experience the first time around.
“I met some very interesting people from all over the world. Knowing that I was representing my country felt truly great.” Anne-Marie said. And come September 10, Anne-Marie will not only be back on the start line…but will have her identical twin in tow.
Following an injury, Anne-Marie was looking for a new challenge to get back into sport and the girls settled on running, having originally always played basketball.
Starting with a 5k fun run, four years on they have supported and encouraged each other through 10k's and half marathons. And now Marie-Anne is looking forward to the Simplyhealth Great North Run too, because her sister comes home “totally happy each time with a big smile on her face”.
They take part in most organised runs in their home country, where the sport is taken very seriously and competitively as a lot of the events are part of the National Championships.
But looking for a way of spotting each other easily at the finish area of an event three years ago, Anne-Marie and Marie-Anne decided to both dress up as Wally and following the positive comments and encouragement they received, the Fancy Pants Runners were born, to show people that running isn't all about personal bests – it's a lot of fun too.
Now, they try to match their outfits to the event they are taking part in, having dressed as bumblebees for a forest run and mermaids for a run by the river and they are becoming well known for dipping into the dress up box.
Whilst Marie-Anne is taking part in the Simplyhealth Great North Run just for the experience, Anne-Marie will once again be fundraising for the pandas through WWF, having raised £350 last year, believing it adds something to the whole event, knowing you can make a difference with the money.
Both girls work in a school and are hoping to set an example to their friends, pupils, and all the people who meet them and read about them.
Commenting James Glover, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Simplyhealth said: "The diversity of the people taking part in the Simplyhealth Great North Run is amazing and the twins are just one example of that. Simplyhealth already helps three and a half million people live healthier lives and our ambition with the Great Run is to get millions moving. That's because we're doing what matters to us: helping people to make the most of life through better everyday health just like Marie-Anne and Anne-Marie!"
Running has become their ‘twin thing' despite the fact people often get muddled up because of their names and think the same person has inadvertently registered twice for an event… just like organisers of the Simplyhealth Great North Run did!
“We're used to it now, but the more you get to know us, the more you find out that we are quite different but also quite similar.” they said.
Now all that's left is to find out what they will be dressed up as when they take their places on the start line at the 2017 Simplyhealth Great North Run.
If you would like to sponsor Anne-Marie click here
To find out more and get involved in the World's Favourite Run campaign click here