As a resident of Leiden, Jeroen Maters devised the Singelpark, a new six-kilometer-long park over the historic ramparts of his city.
Since the opening of five new pedestrian bridges in September 2020, many residents and visitors have now walked the ‘Singelpark’ round. “How many bridges are there actually in Leiden?”, Jeroen wondered.
He added the new Singelpark bridges to 116 bridges in and around the city center. “How cool! Never knew there were so many!” In an overconfident mood, he decided to run over them all. It gave him a week of muscle pain, a satisfied feeling and a great idea: “This should become an official event, so that everyone can experience our city in the best possible way: walking and running along and over our canals.”
A trial in September 2021 yielded many positive reactions from the participants. Two years later, the time has come: the first official 100 Bridges Run is on its way.
Frank van Leeuwen is an event organizer in Leiden. In addition to various cultural events, his Prokwadraat also organizes the LadiesWalk and the Singelbier Walk. “I have already been able to organize quite a few beautiful things. But a course of 19 kilometers, crisscrossing the city center, over 100 bridges, that is really a serious organizational and logistical challenge.”
The walking tour on Saturday and the run on Sunday each have their own atmosphere. “On Saturday the participants start in the middle of the bustle of the Leiden market. Early Sunday morning is perhaps the most beautiful time of the week, when the city slowly awakens.
The city center is pristinely quiet. You hear little more than the birds and the sound of your footsteps that reverberate against the monumental facades on the canals. That’s why you don’t hear pumping beats at the start with us. We want everyone to experience our beautiful city in the best possible way.”