Olympic swimmer Maarten van der Weijden completed his Elfstedentocht marathon in Friesland on Monday evening, reaching the finishing line in Leeuwarden at around 7.30pm, and raising €3.9m for cancer research.
It was the 38-year-old second attempt to complete the 196km tour of Friesland’s 11 historic cities, a year after he had to pull out after 55 hours on medical advice.
Crowds lined the canals of Frisian towns along the route and Dutch media outlets provided round-the-clock coverage of Van der Weijden’s marathon swim since he set out from Leeuwaarden on Friday.
The Elfstedentocht, a traditional long-distance skating race held whenever Friesland’s canals and rivers freeze over, has not taken place since 1997.
Donations to the Maarten van der Weijden Foundation can be made via 11stedenzwemtocht.nl.
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