The mass walk is a peculiarly Dutch activity, one that I’d avoided until now. That’s surprising, given how much I enjoy hiking.
But yesterday I tagged along with my friend Anita and 6,800 of her Dutch walking mates on the ‘Plus Wandel4Daagse Alkmaar‘, for a brisk stroll through North Holland.
Each morning for four days, walkers strap on their boots and set out on a loop out of Alkmaar, north of Amsterdam. They’ve signed up to cover a daily distance of anything from a gentle 8.5km to a tough 40km. Anita had opted for 25km a day – quite challenging enough, thanks very much.
I could fill this post with more serious information about the Dutch Four Day Marches, beginning with the famous one in Nijmegen which started as a gruelling military exercise and has run for over a hundred years. A quick web search showed me there are also annual Four Day Marches from Apeldoorn, Haarlem, Hilvarenbeek and other places.
No time to do them all, or even write about them; I have to go and massage my leg muscles.
The Alkmaar 4 Daagse was running for the seventh time. It was my first, and probably not my last.
For a map of the day’s route, click here.