Hopes of Dutch ice skating marathon grow

AP News
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Posted: Feb 05, 2012 3:27 PM
Hopes of Dutch ice skating marathon grow

The Netherlands' state broadcaster NOS says the organizing committee of the country's traditional Eleven Cities Tour natural ice skating marathon is gathering for the first time in 15 years to consider whether the race can be skated next week.

The race would cause a national frenzy, with thousands of participants and millions of viewers _ but there hasn't been enough ice since 1997.

The "Elfstedentocht" is one of the most deeply-cherished Dutch cultural traditions, held along a 200-kilometer (125-mile) network of canals connecting 11 cities around the province of Friesland.

With a cold snap expected to continue for days, the committee will report on prospects Monday, and may proclaim the race with a Frisian expression meaning: "It's on."