Some 43,300 walkers are taking part in this year’s Nijmeegse Vierdaagse, the four-day march which is now in its 105th edition.
The first walkers left Nijmegen at 4 am heading for the Betuwe fruit growing region. In total, 77 different nationalities are taking part.
The average age of the walkers is almost 49 and 60% are men, the organisers said. Some 17,000 people are covering the distance for the first time and 22 aim to complete the distance by wheelchair.
The group also includes soldiers from 31 different countries.
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.
Last year the walk was shortened to three days because of the heat. The walk did not take place in 2020 and 2021 because of coronavirus.