Alternative Nijmegen Four Day Marches to go ahead
Despite the official International Four Day Marches Nijmegen (Internationale Vierdaagse Afstandsmarsen Nijmegen) being cancelled due to the coronavirus, an alternative march is being organised where participants walk their own routes.
The International Four Day Marches Nijmegen
The International Four Day Marches Nijmegen is the largest multiple day marching event in the world and has taken place every year in July since 1909, with the aim of promoting sports and exercise in the Netherlands. Every year, civilians (and even some military personnel) walk either 30, 40 or 50 kilometres every day, depending on their age and gender.
Civilians take part in one of four categories: 30 km for 4 days, 40 km for 4 days, 50 km for 4 days and, reinstated for the 100th edition of the marches, 55km for 4 days. Military personal take part in a 40km march for four days but they must wear a uniform and the men must carry at least 10kg plus supplies like water.
For completing the marches, participants are awarded the Cross for the Four Day Marches, an official military decoration that can be worn on a Dutch military uniform.
The Alternative Four Day Marches
Despite the official marches being cancelled this year, eager participants can undertake their own march this year instead. Rather than participants walking along the official route, they will pick a distance and choose their own route.
The Koninklijke Wandelbond Nederland (KWBN) is launching a new app that allows participants to track their routes and walk their own Four Day Marches. Might we suggest taking a route through one of the Netherlands national parks or nature trails?
Those who want to take part can register for a 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50-kilometre hike per day on the KWBN’s wandel.nl website. Participants then walk their routes from July 21 to July 24. Those who participate will not receive the Cross of the Four Day Marches but will be awarded a special souvenir.
The RIVM has said it hopes people will take part in the initiative but calls for social distancing and other protective measures to be adhered to while taking part. This sentiment is shared by Hubert Bruls, the mayor of Nijmegen, who urged people to follow RIVM guidelines.
“Of course we hope to greet everyone healthy in Nijmegen again next year, but for now we think it is important that people keep moving and discover how walking can contribute to public health,” he said.