Talk about horrible timing. Don’t make me wrong, I like being here, my old friend and I are having a great time and we’ve still got lots of things lined up to do, BUT:
There have been thousands of volunteers working to prepare the course. All that remains is the go-ahead that the ice is safe enough with an overall thickness of at least 15cm. If the race actually happens, 16,000 people will take part for the first time in 15 years. The canals have frozen enough to skate a couple of times since then, but never enough to allow the Dutch to re-open this legendary race.
Not that I’d actually be foolish enough to punish myself with more than 200 km of skating in one go. My legs were rubber after about 70km three years ago, and that was just leisurely sliding all day. These guys go flat out – the record is under seven hours!
I have to arrange time off to get over there. It has to stay cold another few days after I get back. Damn you, Paris.