Some 44,480 people are taking part in this year’s Nijmegen Vierdaagse – the 102nd edition of the four-day marches which involve walking between 30 and 55 kilometres a day – depending on your age and sex.
The first walkers set off from the city shortly before dawn on Tuesday and were waved away by a large crowd of supporters.
This year, people from 84 different nationalities are taking part – and around 14% of the total number of walkers are not Dutch. Eritrea, Gambia, Oman and Tanzania are among the new countries to be represented.
The first Vierdaagse took place in 1909 when 306 (male and mostly military) participants started from 10 different army garrisons around the country to walk 35k a day for four days – four day events being very popular at the time
This year members of the armed forces from 28 different countries are taking part.
Walkers are being warned to prepare well to deal with the expected heat and to drink plenty of liquids. In 2006 the Vierdaagse was cancelled when two people died of heat stroke on the first day of the event.