An event to thank sponsors and other supporters
The 75-Hectometermars is an annual 7.5 kilometre (or 75 hectometre) walk that, currently, takes place on a Friday in mid-June, about four weeks before the main Vierdaagse event.
Each year the event is hosted by a different municipality along the Vierdaagse route, and therefore has a different start point and route. Participation is by invitation, with the walkers selected from key people involved in the planning and running the Vierdaagse. This includes mayors and councillors from the towns on the route, those working for sponsors, sports organisations and the armed forces, and dignitaries such as foreign ambassadors. The event is seen as a way to thank these people for their contribution to the Marches, and to encourage them to network. While originally 75 people were invited to take part each year, this has grown to 100, then 120.
The first event
The event was established in 1983, the 75 year anniversary of the founding of the Dutch Association for Physical Education (NBVLO, later KNBLO). As part of the celebrations, 75 notable people were invited to take part in a 75 hectometre (7.5 kilometre) walk. On the Friday before the Vierdaagse, a reception was held in the Nijmegen City Hall for the 75 notables – 25 mayors, 25 members of the Dutch Parliament and 25 presidents of sports organisations – after which they undertook the 75 hectometre walk through Nijmegen.
Although intended as a one-time event, because of its success the KNBLO board decided to continue the 75-HM walk as an annual event.
Each year, a souvenir medal of a different design is awarded to each participant, manufactured by W. van Veluw. It comes with a long ribbon to be worn around the neck.
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