INTRODUCTION: In the Netherlands, the 65th series of Nijmegen road marches ended last Friday (24 July) with a colourful display of international friendship.
SV PAN Civilian marches, one with bad leg, arriving at Nijmegen, cheered by crowds.
CU Marcher carrying shoes.
SV Marchers with flowers.
CU Man with flowers his 45th time in event.
SV Swiss troops in parade
CU Officer takes salute.
SV British Royal Air Force march past.
SV Swiss army women in parade.
CU British police march past.
GV Irish police UDR march past.
SV Japanese contingent in parade, waving
SV Norway contingent with mascot.
SV Onlookers in the rain
SV Danish troops in parade. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN U.S. troops march past, officers salute.
SV Israeli men and women march past.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In the Netherlands, the 65th series of Nijmegen road marches ended last Friday (24 July) with a colourful display of international friendship. Nearly 20,000 walkers from 30 countries took part. And they were joined at the finishing line on the last day by thousands of flag-waving, cheering spectators. It was a typical climax to the marches which long ago became an international festival.
SYNOPSIS: Civilian and military walkers took part in marches over various distances up to 200 kilometres (about 124 miles) through the flat countryside around Nijmegen, south of Amsterdam. Many were footsore after their efforts but determined to finish and collect the coveted Nijmegen Marches medal in the official ceremonies to come.
This walker was taking part for the 45th time, proving that being here in more important than winning prizes. The marches started in 1909. They were organised by the Royal Netherlands League for Physical Culture to encourage fitness among young and old.
Spectators turned out in their thousands for the final march-in, helping to create the carnival atmosphere which has given Nijmegen such a famous name around the world. This year, conditions on the last day were ideal for the marchers; low temperatures and cloudy skies.
Taking part in this colourful climax to the four-day marching festival were contingents from many continents. These happy walkers from Japan represented just one country among thirty involved. A new nation on the list this year was Venezuela, confirming the event's international flavour.
There were a record number of teams and individuals taking part this year in the thirty, forty and fifty kilometre courses (about 18,24 and 31 miles). The first of the marches was held on Monday 20 July, after an official reception in Nijmegen's sports stadium the night before.
The United States military alone entered a total of about 1,100 men and women. A big attraction this year were the Israelis. They entertained spectators by performing acrobatics while they marched... fitness worthy of display at the Nijmegen Marches.