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date: 08 August 2020

The Elfstedentocht 

Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport
Christina L. HennesseyChristina L. HENNESSEY

The Elfstedentocht, or “Eleven-Town Race,” is a last-minute ice-skating competition held sporadically in the Netherlands. The concept originated in the eighteenth century, when local people attempted to skate through all eleven towns of Friesland in one day; the first organized races began in 1909. The race has only been held fifteen times since its inception due to the deep freeze conditions necessary for the course to be skated. As ice skating is an important aspect of Dutch identity, the Elfstedentocht is a hugely popular national event. ...

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