Soldiers resuscitate participant in Nijmegen marches; 1,490 dropped out on first day
Two soldiers saved the life of a participant in the International Nijmegen Marches, the Koninklijke Marechaussee reports. They successfully resuscitated the man who lost consciousness during their walk.
Corporals Shirley and Esther approached the man but got no response from him. They examined him, and Shirley immediately started CPR while Esther got help. Fortunately, British doctors offered immediate support.”
A poncho liner, a kind of blanket, shielded the rescuers and victim from the sun. After about a minute and a half of CPR, the man regained consciousness, and an ambulance took him to a hospital.
Commander of Camp Heumensoord, Lieutenant Colonel John Haasnoot, thanked the soldiers and presented them with a shield.
A total of 1,490 marchers dropped out on the first day of the Nijmegen Vierdaagse. During the previous Vierdaagse, 661 participants did not make it to the finish line in Nijmegen on the first day, but that year, the weather was ideal for walking, according to march leader Henny Sackers. Temperatures reached well above 30 degrees around Nijmegen on Wednesday, and it was very stuffy.
A striking number of participants suffered from heat complaints and fainting upon reaching the finish line in Nijmegen on Wednesday. The Red Cross received assistance from Defense nurses due to the crowds at the treatment tent. No serious cases occurred, according to a spokesperson for the Red Cross.
“Hikers cross the finish line and take a glass of alcohol. That kicks in if you’ve used up energy all day, perhaps drank too little, and have a salt deficiency. Then you pass out,” said Han Pelster of the Red Cross.
During the Day of Wijchen, the Red Cross helped 493 participants with blisters along the way. At the finish line, the aid organization had already performed 723 blister treatments by the end of the afternoon. It also helped participants with insect bites, scrapes, and minor heat complaints.
The second march day on Thursday will lead the walkers to what many consider to be a highlight of the event - the Zevenheuvelenweg between Goesbeek and Berg en Dal. Participants of all distances will walk the long road with several significant differences in height shortly before returning to Nijmegen.
On the Day of Groesbeek, as this walking day is called, usually not many walkers drop out. How it will go this year remains to be seen, the Red Cross said. As Tuesday got canceled due to the heat, the participants now have to walk the hilly route on their second day of hiking. Many walkers who struggled on the first day tend to give up on the second.
Reporting by ANP