Nearly 200 members of the Canadian Forces started on the 94th annual Nijmegen march yesterday, wearing full combat gear and treading the same paths as those who liberated the country in 1945. But it doesn’t help that it’s hotter than a Dutch oven.

“I heard it was going to be 40 kilometres, but then I learned it was 40 kilometres a day for four days,” laughed petty officer (first class) Adam Thibodeau from Porters Lake. “That was quite the surprise.”

Thibodeau, who is posted at CFB Halifax, is marching for his grandfather, who won the Netherlands Bronze Cross for rescuing several families from mortar attacks in the Second World War.

“Everybody has different issues, whether it’s blisters or sore knees or dealing with the heat,” he said after finishing the first leg in just less than eight hours. “I just wanted to walk the ground my grandfather did.”