Veirdaagse marches starts early due to summer heat

Vierdaagse marches, 19 July 2016 (Photo: @jeltje0107/Twitter_. (Vierdaagse marches, 19 July 2016 (Photo: @jeltje0107/Twitter_)

Participants of the Vierdaagse marches walking 30 and 40 kilometers on Wednesday, were allowed to start 30 minutes earlier due to a heat warning in effect for Gelderland and Brabant. The organizers of the largest multi-day walking event in the world decided to allow the earlier start as the second day of the marches passes through those two provinces, reports.

On Tuesday, the opening day of the Vierdaagse in Nijmegen, a total of 141 participants were overcome by the heat, Vierdaagse doctor Paul van Etten said to the news servers. Some walkers fainted, others were overwhelmed by the warm weather. This happened especially near Slijk-Ewijk, a long stretch with little shade.

In most cases the participants were treated at first aid stations. "Pricking blisters stood in second place here", a spokesperson for the Red Cross said. Other first aid stations also treated people for heat-related complaints.

In seven cases participants were taken to a hospital, though it is unclear whether all cases were heat related. According to the local safety office, the ambulance service wasn't busier than usual during the opening days.

The first aid station at the finish line in Nijmegen was much busier on Tuesday afternoon than is usual for opening day.