Carry on tradition...

04 May 2008 | 290 words | amsterdam cycling alleycat 90s

Turns out I am in the Netherlands for quite a while now (almost eleven years to be exact) and in that period I have managed to start something which has become a tradition of some sorts: the Anniek van Hardeveld memorial race. today is the 10th edition of this alley cat race in the memory of 19 year old messenger (of the resistance against the german occupiers) Anniek van Hardeveld, who was shot by the Germans on the last day of the occupation of Amsterdam in 1945.

I had organized the first race (as a surprise) in May 1999 after Jur had used the memorial stone for Anniek as a checkpoint in an earlier ally cat race. The race itself tends to be fairly short (the first edition had only 3 checkpoints) as it needs to start after work and be finished before 20:00h when there are two minutes of silence in commemoration of the dead all over Holland. there is one simple rule which says that the winner of the race has to organize it the next year, which has proven to be a robust enough rule to ensure that the tonight will see the 10th edition. Not sure if i expected this to go on for this long (or even expected to stay in the Netherlands for this long but i digress) although my report from the 1999 (last millennium!) race ends with by stating that:

With the silence gone we spilled some sips of beer in tribute and decided that this had to become and annual event from now on.

Update [5 May 2008]: 35 participants, perfect weather & Michael won. pictures on my flickr account. thanks to all those who came out to race or help!