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Giet it oan? Sneek, Workum, Hindelopen, Leewauden and 7 other towns await some visitors.
Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:02 PM
Because of the rarity of the event, winners become lifelong celebrities in the Netherlands...and don't go thinking it would be fun to buy a plane ticket and jump in - a start license for this thing is harder to get than a free Super Bowl ticket.
They need to have 15 cm of ice over the entire route, so they have a ways to go before decalring the race a go - but the mere fact that the Elfstedentocht Society has even scheduled a meeting to discuss it is huge news to the Dutch.
http://www.rnw.nl/en...levencitiestour (LOTS of great coverage and history with this link)
The finish in 1986. Miraculously conditions were good enough in 1985 and 1986 to have the race two years in a row. Even more miraculously, it was won by the same guy - Evert Van Benthem. Van Benthem now would be of those "never pay for a meal in this country again" level celebrities in The Netherlands, except that instead he's a simple rural Alberta dairy farmer (with the best herd, land, barns, tractors and other dairy equipment money can buy).
Plus, the Dutch are famously practical, and a little frugal - so they don't really have "never pay for a meal" sports heroes.
Here is a map of the route, with, if I understand correctly, black lines where the ice is not thick enough and red where it is.
Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:26 PM
In the meantime, even without the actual eleven-cities event, a solid week of good natural ice turns the Netherlands into a giant skating playground.
Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:07 AM
Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:18 PM
People form a line of ice chairs while skating on a frozen lake in Beijing on January 25, 2012 as part of a temple fair, which are held in Chinese cities during the week-long holidays after Chinese New Year. (Alexander F. Yuan/Associated Press) #
Edited by Sausage in Section 17, 15 February 2012 - 02:19 PM.