Participating in the Dodentocht

One year ago, to the day, I announced that I would be participating in the Four Days Marches Nijmegen 2013 which took place around Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Participants walk 30, 40 or 50 kilometers each day for four consecutive days. The distance that you should walk depends on your age and gender. In my case it was 50 kilometers each day making it a nice total of 200 kilometers.

This year I'm going to do something similar yet also very different. A well-known walking event in Belgium is the Dodentocht (Dutch for "Death march") which involves walking 100 kilometers in 24 hours. It takes place around Bornem, near Antwerpen. This is event is similar in the sense that it's a long distance but the nature of the challenge is very different.

It is probably going to be brutal but at the same time I have a better idea of what to expect after completing last year's event. As part of my preparation last year I had walked several walks of around 30 kilometers in distance which is decent but still far short of 50 kilometers. Surprisingly it's not the 50 kilometers on the first day that wears you down but the 50 kilometers on the second day. This is also the day where most people drop out.

Another lesson learned is that I didn't pace myself properly on the first day (a result of not knowing the distance involved). This meant that I finished early that day which allowed for a lot of time to eat and recover. However, it led to two unnecessary blisters which I had to endure for the next three days. Rookie mistake so I'm clearly going to pace myself better this time. At an estimated five kilometers per hour that makes for 20 hours of walking and 4 hours of breaks and food.

It's safe to say that the difficult part of this upcoming event will be in the second half when fatigue, tired legs and painful feet set in. Fortunately a warm meal is included along the way (if you include it in your registration) and there will be more food and drinks along the way. I'm going to prepare properly and it should once again be a fun event.

As an unrelated update I'm happy to say that I finally made the leap to an entry-level DSLR camera. After talking about it and dabbling a bit I now have a proper camera to learn the art of photography better: a Nikon D3200. You can already see the first results at my 500px profile.

Contents © 2014 Simeon Visser