The Bears Walking on Terschelling
This marathon has over the years become one of the biggest athletics events in the Northern Netherlands. Not only because of the beautiful trail that leads through the beautiful and varied nature of Terschelling, but also by the fantastic atmosphere that prevails on the island during the Berenloopweekend.
Almost everyone is on Terschelling involved in the Bears Loop: as a participant, volunteer or spectator, and it shows. Perhaps that is why, despite the challenging course, still be run excellent times every year.
The first edition was in 1997 when sporting closure of the theme year '400 years Willem Barents. Willem Barents, famous navigator and from Terschelling, 1596 tried to sail through the north to Asia. It was a monster journey with many hardships and a forced hibernation between the ice floes on Novaya Zemlya. By hunting bears had the crew enough food to survive the winter. And so the marathon came to its name: the Bears Loop.
The entire distance of the Bears Loop is a real challenge for runners. The route goes over the island, from West to Boschplaat and back, through the polders, dunes, forest and the beach. Start and finish are at West under the Brandaris.
Half the distance from the Bears Loop offers runners a beautiful and varied route. Starting West, the route of the main road to the villages Midsland and Formerum. Then it goes through woods, dunes and along the beach back to West. Along the way there are lots of atmosphere and music and the runners are fully encouraged.
Like a whole or a half marathon too far, or do you already warming up for the Bears Walk on Sunday, you can join on Saturday Shorty Bears Loop. You can choose from 5 or 10 kilometers and is walked on a nice nature trail through the woods and dunes of West.
Afterwards there is free coffee and pound cake Terschelling and provide fire pits and live music for warmth, atmosphere and coziness. For the first three finishers there are cups and flowers and all participants as a reminder - how could it be otherwise - a small teddy bear.
It's always a pleasure to join in and experience: youth walking on Sunday morning with several starts (and warming-up) from 09.45 hours.
There are one, two or three rounds of walking by West-Terschelling and comprises the care, as with the Bears Loop, from water and sponges. For all participants, there is a beautiful medal afterwards.