Every year there is the question: will this year a Elfstedentocht come? The last trip was in 1997, however, and seems to be long overdue. But what is the Elfstedentocht exactly and what are the eleven cities? The Elfstedentocht organized since January 15, 1909 by the Royal Society, the Frisian Eleven Cities.
The Elfstedentocht or Âlvestêdetocht as it is called in the Frisian is about 200 kilometers from ice skating on natural ice. The tour starts in Leeuwarden, capital of Friesland, and also ends there.Since the tour takes place on natural ice, the tour can only take place when the ice is thick enough to keep skiers.
The journey of almost 200 kilometers drags along the following cities: Leeuwarden, Sneek, IJlst, Sloten, Stavoren, Hindeloopen, Workum, Bolsward, Harlingen, Franeker, Dokkum, and then stop in Leeuwarden. The maximum distance between Franeker and Dokkum. Of course, there also went next to the villages, but at least the eleven cities to be crossed.These are the eleven cities of Friesland with real city rights.
In some locations can not skate, for example, because the water is dead, and in these areas should gekluund: go with the skates.
In the time of winter, when the water was frozen, there were not many ways to make long trips in the Frisian area.For this reason, using skates. This did lead to additional competition and placement of game: who managed to pull down all Frisian cities in one day. It was in 1890 that these skates were made by Pim Mulier and this man was also organized one of the men who first trip in 1909.
The creation of the contest ended fifteen years. Between 1909 and 1997, natural ice was fifteen times good enough to hold an official Elfstedentocht. 1909 was the first draft was held, but was brought forward because of the strong frost, which means that those who wanted to register later, it was too late.
The towns were until 1933 counterclockwise skating, but then became a clockwise skating.
To participate in the excursion a stamp card must be obtained from the tender. This stamp is shown and stamped.To prevent document beaten, there are three secret locations where the card is stamped.
The cards stamped by cutting a hole in the end provided the cross for all who attended. For that person or midnight finish line will. The winner will receive a trophy, a silver platter. For women, there are two exchange rates: a silver cup and silver cup.
The eleven cities Cross
The eleven cities Cross has been around since 1909 and is a medal in the form of a Maltese cross. In the center is a circle surrounding the arms of Friesland and the inscription “The Frisian Eleven Cities”. There is also a medal for the first eleven men and first five women.
A Sixteenth Elfstedentocht
From 1997 looked forward to every time and hoping for a sixteenth Elfstedentocht. Unfortunately, the ice on the main part of the route is often not thick enough, the weather conditions are not so it can be expected that the ice will grow thicker and the quality is insufficient to keep the athletes.
To determine if ice conditions and thickness is sufficient, meetings to be held between the heads of rayon. These are the individuals who manage a rayon. There are 22 districts across the road and they consider safety on the ice, weather, klúnvoorzieningen, control of drivers and the safety of the public.