Amongst all the emails that I received whilst I was away, was one from the organizers of the Nijmegen Vierdaagse, telling me that I have managed to get a place in this year’s event. For those not in the know, this means that come July, I need to be ready to walk 40km, 4 days in a row. Time then to start training more seriously.
In order to spice up the training, particularly on the longer runs, I’ve decided to take part in some organized walking events, of which there are quite a number each weekend, scattered around the country.
Today took me up to the town of Volendam for the first one, the Waterland Wandelmarathon. Volendam is in the province of North Holland, on the shore of the IJsselmeer (former Zuiderzee), which meant that I took the train up through the bulb growing area this morning whilst they are at their best.
The walk started out with a long trek through the polders, taking in a couple small villages, before following the dyke alongside the IJsselmeer for 6km to Edam and then back to Volendam. As I started at about 10.30, I think most of the walkers on my route had already left. In any case, whilst there were always one or two other walkers in sight, the route was never crowded. Only once we reached the final kilometres and the harbour in Volendam did it get incredibly crowded, due to the huge numbers of tourists visiting the town. By that time my feet were pretty sore, and I wasn’t too impressed at all the people who kept coming between me and the finish!
All in all a good walk, though one that’s left me slightly terrified of the final 40km distance!