Some 38,500 people started out on the first day of the shortened Nijmegen Vierdaagse, or four day march, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, aiming to cover 30, 40 or 50 kilometres a day for three days.
The annual event has been reduced from four to three days because of the high temperature on Tuesday, which reached up to 37 Celsius in the area where the walk takes place. The Nijmegen Vierdaagse traditionally starts on the third Tuesday of July at dawn.
This year, people with 74 different nationalities are taking part, including Syrians, Kenyans and Japanese. Around 15.5% of the total number of walkers are not Dutch.
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.
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