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Marches in the Dutch East Indies

From 1935 until 1939 four day marches were held at various locations in the Dutch East Indies.

While the 1935 march did not have official recognition, those from 1936 were run by the Dutch Indies Athletic Union, under the auspices of the NBVLO.  As these adhered to the same regulations as the Nijmegen event, successful participants received the same awards, including the Vierdaagse Cross, certificate and Group Medal.

Medan Four Day March, 1935

Medan medal 1935 (O).jpg
Medan medal 1935 (R).jpg

Medan is a town on the island of Sumatra, formerly in the Dutch East Indies.

In 1935 Medan was the base for a preliminary Four Day March (voorvierdaagse), a trial to see if a four day event on the Nijmegen model would work in the Dutch Indies. Organised by the Sumatra Athletic Association, the march took place from 7-10 June.  Each of the four days had a different 35km route and started at 14:00, to avoid the worst of the day’s heat.  Even so, one of the walkers said it was hard walking due to the great heat and tropical rain showers. Of the 99 walkers who started the march, 88 completed the full four days.

The Deli Courant, a local newspaper, reported the event as a “successful experiment”.

The Sumatra Athletic Association presented a medal to successful marchers. The reverse inscription reads "Voor 4Daagsche Marschen in N.I. (Nederlandsche Indies).

(With thanks to Marc Poelen for supplying the photos).

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