Several years ago we did a story on Arjan Gelling, who in 1967 nearly pulled off an amazing Triple, by winning the NCAA College Division Cross Country Meet, the USTFF Cross Country Championship, and finally finishing second to Gerry Lindgren in the NCAA University Division Championship, all in the space of about 8 days. See the earlier article at Arjan Gelling, Dutch, Canadian, All American
It is with sadness that we report Arjan's passing on June 7, 2017, eleven years after his first diagnosis of prostate cancer. Statistically he was given no more than five years to live, due to the advanced state of the disease. He credited his years of hard work and training with his ability to survive and thrive over those eleven years. Arjan was a loving husband, a tough as nails young runner, but also a world class Masters runner. He was a loyal club member of the Bastion Running Club in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and his club has recently named an annual scholarship in his honor. Arjan was indeed a true Mensch.
I only got to know of Arjan and of his exploits about three years ago when I was looking for guys on Vancouver Island who had been running back in the 1960's. Some of his teammates referred me to him, and we got together for an interview which resulted in the article cited above. We stayed in contact over the past three years and met occasionally at meets and races. We exchanged books and corresponded by email. I last saw Arjan on March 19, 2017 when he came up to Courtenay, BC where I live to watch his teammates run our annual Courtenay RV Half Marathon. We all miss him very, very much
|George Brose and Arjan Gelling|