Five girls in purple zebra pants walked on Via Gladiola last Friday. The 28-year-old Iris den Boer and a group of friends 62 walked kilometers during the Nijmegen Four Days Marches. “It may be a far from your bed show for Hagenaars, but I can recommend it to everyone. We really enjoyed it!”

The Nijmegen Four Days Marches was ‘only’ this year three days because it was much too hot on Tuesday to walk, such a 38 degrees!


This is the third time that Iris runs the Four Days Marches with her study friends (not always in the same composition). “We know each other from studying in Nijmegen. During the four days, it is a big party there. We often stood on the sidelines, when we suddenly got the jitters and wanted to participate ourselves.”

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Nijmegen Four Days Marches 884. Iris denBoer. photo Private (3)

The young girls are all fit and sports, so there was not a lot of training to be done. “A few weekends we have 12 until 30 walked kilometers and once two days in a row. I think together we have such a 300 have trained kilometers”. All they needed was a good outfit for the last day. This year it became purple zebra pants. “Of course that attracted a lot of attention,” she says with a laugh.

Sun and rain

Today, the Monday after the four days, Iris is still recovering. “My body is still tired, I really need to rest and eat,” she says from her holiday address. Iris and her friends have every day 32 kilometers and on the last day almost 38 kilometers. And that by literally wind and weather, because last week the weather was very changeable.


“Wednesday it was very warm. At 6 o’clock in the morning the sun was nice, but after a few hours it got very hot,” says Iris. “The heat stayed in the cities and villages and you walk between a lot of people who are also warm. It’s very good that there was no running on Tuesday, because even now we saw people puffing along the side.” Iris kept herself cool by eating lots of popsicles, putting a wet tea towel around her neck, and often walking under public garden hoses. “There were a lot of kids with water guns. Normally you avoid them, but now it was nice.”

The next day it was completely different, then the ponchos could be taken out of the bag. “We wanted to cross the finish line very brightly, but when it continued to rain we took the ponchos anyway. We even had rain caps over our shoes.” Despite hours of rain, this walking day was also a big party. “When we thought we were almost there, there was a sign saying ‘4 km to go’. Then we stopped and had something to eat. So that we could really enjoy those last kilometers.”

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Zebra pants

Friday was ideal walking weather. The last few meters on the Via Gladiola, the group of friends almost felt like celebrities. “There were so many acquaintances, friends and relatives on the sidelines that it took us a long time to walk those meters. At one point we had the whole Via Gladiola to ourselves. Of course we stood out in our purple zebra shorts so we were encouraged a lot. “



After such 38 hour of walking, Iris looks back on a successful four days. “On the way we met a few people from The Hague with shirts from The Hague and from the police with a Hague flag. But it is also related to each other. With these friends I made memories that others can hardly imagine.

The girls completed the four days without too many problems. One of the ladies had blisters after the first day. “She really is a tough guy, it’s unbelievable that she walked with that all those days.” It was especially challenging mentally. “Some pieces where there was no audience, it was difficult. You felt every pain. But then we just took a rest and something to eat so that we could continue full of energy.” Iris advises everyone, also in The Hague, to go to the Four Days Marches. Walk along or party on the side. “It is really a special experience”.

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