Published: Aug 04, 2015 by James Munday

Marching out on the first day was just like marching out at RAF Cosford, dark and quiet with the sounds of a few songs from a few teams back in the line. It was when we hit the town about 40 mins in we began to get a taste of what the next few days would bring. At around 6am there were people out on the streets, drink in hand cheering, singing and clapping along with music playing through the town. I personally have never seen an example of organised chaos so perfectly demonstrated in my life. It was like the whole of Holland was in hysteria for these marches. We eventually joined the civilian marchers and travelled with the flow for a good few miles. This took us over the bridge and further through towns and residential areas, again heavily laid with supporters and music. Coming in and out of rest areas was taken very seriously by the team, as it is where a lot of the support staff and other teams see you in action. We always marched in heads held high and sung Lancashire related songs letting everyone know who we were. This routinely banked us compliments of support staff and team leaders. During the day we got a feel for the temperatures, crowds and speeds and made sure we worked round any hindrances to make sure we maintained a good pace, generally about 5.5kmph. Our time for the first 25 miles was about 7h 20 mins bringing us 5th cadet team back in. We had until around 7pm to square kit away and sort feet and then get to bed. It was important that we had early nights sleep each night as the start times, even on the last detachment to leave are still early.