SHAPE Marching Team completes Nijmegen
The SHAPE International Team marches during the Nijmegen marches in 2018. The Nijmegen marches is the largest multi-day marching event in the world. (Courtesy photo)
MONS, Belgium - The SHAPE International Marching Team competed in the Nijmegen marches—the largest multi-day marching event in the world—in the Netherlands July 17-20, 2018.
Over 50,000 people from more than 60 countries, including several thousand military personnel, gather in the Dutch city of Nijmegen annually to take part in this event. Military teams walk a total of 160 kilometres while carrying 10 kilograms of weight.
"As a team of ten different nationalities, we are proud to represent the diversity of the SHAPE community" said German Master Sergeant Thomas Arnhold, SHAPE International Marching Team Leader. "The Four Day Marches are both a mental and physical challenge, but the team performed exceptionally, and I was proud to hand out their medals this afternoon."
The SHAPE team went through rigorous training in preparation for the event. Training began in March with "short," 15-kilometre walks, leading up to a 65-kilometre, 2-day march in Blankenberge, Belgium, and an 80-kilometre march in Diekirch, Luxembourg.
"We went all through hard times, but at the end, a wonderful experience and I am finally so proud to have completed the marches, challenging my own capabilities" said Lieutenant Lavinia Cutuhan. "The SHAPE team wonderful spirit as the permanent warm welcome from the people of Nijmegen got me through it."
The "Vierdaagse" (Dutch for "four day march") is an annual walk that has taken place since 1909, and has been based at Nijmegen since 1916. Originally a means by which the Dutch infantry aimed to increase their long-distance marching and weight-carrying ability, the popularity among military and civilians alike has increased year-on-year.
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office