Last weekend, I participated for the first time in the NN Den Haag Urban Trail. What a fantastic experience! A very unique way to explore a city. You can choose between a 5.5km or 10km race though what I really liked is that this is not a timed running competition but more what we would call a “fun run” in Australia. Around 4800 people took part in the 3rd edition of this event in The Hague.
The starters line and the event itself does have the energetic atmosphere of a running race – well at least from my only other running race experience which was the Delft Golden Tenloop last year. You do not have to be super fit to take part in the Urban Trail though. It is expected that you run, but as the trail takes you into and out of buildings, it’s quite acceptable to take a bit of a break and a breather. For example, in the Golden Tenloop for the 5km race, you need to finish within 40 minutes to be considered a finisher. The 5.5km Urban Run trail took me around an hour as I (and other runners) stopped regularly to take photos and absorb the surroundings. Therefore I’d see this event as a “fun run” – you still get a good workout, but it’s a great opportunity for people to take part who may be daunted by a usual running race. There are also fun things to see/do along with parcours, from classical music to a royal selfie, a gorgeous garden to an 80s style aerobics “class”.
Discover the city
I’ve now lived in The Hague for 6 years and have made it my home. It’s an amazing place, and especially as I’ve previously been the editor of TheHagueOnline website, I know quite a lot about the city. On the Urban Trail though, I still discovered new places – both buildings which I’d never been into and back streets I wouldn’t usually take the time to explore. The start and finish lines were in stunning locations and we were also lucky enough to have great weather. The locations for the 5.5km trail this year were:
- Escher in Het Paleis
- Societeit de Ver
- KORZO Theater
- Hofje van Nieuwkoop
- Het Heilige Geesthofje
- Pro Demos
- Q-Park Grote Marktstraat
- Centrale Bibliotheek Spui
The minimum age to participate is 12 years old and my girls are just about to turn 9 and 11 years old, so have a few years to wait. However if you have teenage children, its something that would be a family fun morning out. My friend took her 13 year old son and they both really enjoyed it. My girls and husband were along the route though, and ran short parts of the race with me, and we shared an ice cream at the end!
Official photos and aftermovie
Official 2018 photos are on the NN Den Haag Urban Trail Facebook Page.
Other Urban Trails in the Netherlands
There are many other urban trails in the Netherlands:
At time of writing, there are (annual) urban trails in:
- Den Haag
- Den Bosch
There are also urban trails in Belgium and Germany. For more information on these, visit:
For specific information on the Den Haag Urban Trail visit:
I’ll be doing it again in Den Haag next year, and possibly exploring other city. Have you taken part in an urban trail, or would you like to? Comment below or on the Dutch Australian Facebook page.
My own photos and videos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/jePpwm1iTNFMuPMY9