After not making the cut last year I was quite pleased to receive an email today that I'm among the debutants allowed to participate in the 97th edition of the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen - more colloquially known as the "Vierdaagse".
Given my age and my gender I'll be walking the 50km routes each day which means it sums up nicely to 200km in four days.
I'll have to prepare properly as the longest walk I've done so far on one day is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand which is a little less than 20km. To be fair, that's a different challenge altogether as it is across vulcanic terrain with steep climbs, descents and changing weather conditions.
In contrast the Vierdaagse is an event in and around the city of Nijmegen across the typically Dutch flat landscape with a backdrop of little towns and distant green panoramas. The distance and the possibly hot or rainy weather mean it is still not wise to participate without training (although some do try every year).
The event is as popular as ever with over fifty thousand people signing up this year and forty-six thousand allowed to participate. This easily makes it among the biggest events in the Netherlands and also one of the events that you always hear about when growing up.
With about three months to go I'm going to look into some walking routes around London. The distance from east to west in Greater London is about 50km so that gives you an idea of the task ahead.