Four Days Marches blog (3): The people that get you through

20 Jul 2022

Vox-employee and student Isabelle Geoffroy is going to walk the Four Days Marches this year. For the first time. During the week, she will keep a diary in which she will reflect on the 160-kilometer journey. Today, her third entry: the first 'real' marching day

When I wake up, I am already covered in sweat – because of the heat. Finally, I think to myself. I cannot wait to walk. Half an hour later, I’m standing in the queue in my pink t-shirt, ready to get started on my 40 kilometres of the day.

Isabelle Geoffroy (right). Photo: Johannes Fiebig

I don’t know what I was expecting, but the start of the walk is a bit odd. There is no huge acceleration like there would be at a race. You walk over to the starting point ­– and just keep on walking. My friend and I take each other’s hand and keep saying to each other: ‘I can’t believe this is happening, we are so cool.’

The walking is quite comfortable in the morning. In no time, we have reached the halfway point. From there onwards, the kilometres start feeling longer and the temperature is rising. I knew that there would be crowds cheering along the way, but never had I imagined how amazing it would be to experience it as a walker.

‘While I have lived in Nijmegen for two years, only today I understand why I call it my home’

Children are giving me high fives, bands play music and people clap, smile, and wish me good luck. My fellow walkers also surprise me: when they ask how my friend and I are doing, you can feel that they genuinely care. Because of the crowd and my fellow walkers, the first walking day ends up feeling pretty good.

When I get home and take my shoes off, I come to an important conclusion: while I have lived in Nijmegen for two years, only today I understand why I call it my home. I cannot wait to see how tomorrow will go.

To read Isabelle’s blogs of day 1day 2 and day 4 of her Four Day Marches journey, click the links.

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