This is a lady you want to avoid…

…but she couldn’t be sweeter! For the seventh year in a row, Anne-Mieke will get behind the wheel of the sag wagon this year. Together with nurse Anneke, she picks up and looks after walkers who have had to give up, with encouraging words and endless bags of salty liquorice.

Anne-Mieke: ‘What being the sag wagon driver is all about? It’s about picking people up, both literally and metaphorically, no matter how heart-wrenching their stories are, about why and for whom they are walking the Four Days Marches. People are sometimes completely at the end of their tether. They can let it all out with us, get all those initial emotions out of their system. And then we put a positive spin on it. We tell them that they did well to listen to their body. That to keep walking would have been irresponsible from a health perspective. That they are top notch and that all those people lining the route are also there for them. “Yeah, yeah…,” they often reply in resignation.’

‘Anneke and I have developed a great knack of spotting walkers that are prime sag wagon candidates. We never talk anyone into the sag wagon, of course we don’t. But when we see walkers who have been struggling for a while, or who are no longer walking straight, we tell them: “We can see you. Just see how far you can get, we're right behind you.” Their initial reply is always: “No, I’m going to make it.” But I know better: this person will be in our van in five minutes. We always give those stragglers salty liquorice right away, perks them right up. Eating is always something to be mindful of. We often end up giving our own packed lunch to our passengers. So, if there’s one tip I can give walkers it is this: make sure you eat enough. And another tip would be: train! Last year, it was truly embarrassing when we picked up the first passengers as early into the route as Lent. They had only just crossed the bridge! Come on, people. Take the Four Days Marches seriously! Because if you don’t, you know where you’ll end up: in my van.’

'Anneke and I have developed a great knack of spotting walkers that are prime sag wagon candidates'

Win a Fitbit activity tracker

Anne-Mieke is driving a special Four Days Marches-themed Europcar van. Europcar has launched a great promotion where you can win a Fitbit Inspire HR. To be in with a chance of landing this activity tracker, simply sign up to the Europcar newsletter between 14 July and 28 July. Further details available here:

Share this: