About the Airborne Freedom Run


After the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, the Allies wanted to push through and liberate Europe from the terror that the Nazis left behind during the years of war. An ambitious plan was devised: Operation Market Garden.

Operation Market Garden (the largest Airborne operation in history) was carried out by three Airborne divisions. A complex operation in which the airborne troops would try to conquer a number of crucial bridges far behind the lines. When successful, the ground troops could continue directly from Belgium to the IJsselmeer. The Allies had the goal to quickly end the Second World War. To achieve this, the 1st British Airborne Division was commissioned to capture the traffic bridge in Arnhem. The northernmost bridge that needed to be secured.

Unfortunately, only a small part of the division made it. Many of them died in heavy fighting with German (SS) units. The lightly packed and armed airborne troops fought brutal battles for nine days but it didn't help. The bridge in Arnhem turned out to be ‘a bridge too far’.

In 1984, forty years after the (in)famous Battle of Arnhem, the Bridge to Bridge was organized for the first time. In recent decades, "the battle for the bridges" has grown into a challenging running competition that occurs annually on the second Sunday in September.

The area around the John Frost Bridge is historical ground because of the Battle of Arnhem in 1944. The Bridge to Bridge was established in 1984 to sportively remember the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden. Hence our motto 'Run to Remember Freedom'.

Since 2018, the bridge to bridge foundation has been offering the Airborne Freedom Trail in collaboration with Mud Sweat Trails. This unique tour is all about commemorating, experiencing and delivering a sporting performance. Walk the paths that the Allies took during Operation Market Garden. Find out more about the history and visit historical locations.


Distances and Trails

The Airborne Freedom Trail is a performance tour which will take you back to the paths the Allies took to fight for our freedom. A modern way of commemorating. We walk on as many unpaved paths from a "drop zone" to the center of Arnhem. You walk on historic ground. History has been written in many places where you walk. You pursue a goal (achieving the bridge), you follow in the footsteps of the men who sometimes had to make the highest sacrifice for our freedom. In their honor we run to remember freedom.

On saturday, the 11th of September 2021, the Airborne Freedom Trail offers 3 different Trails for you to discover, all the following information is with reservation. You will receive final information about the start by e-mail, after you register:

  • Start 13:00 - 45 kilometers trail
  • Start 14:30 - 28 kilometers trail
  • Start 15:00 - 18 kilometers trail

On sunday, the 12th of September 2021 the regular runs will take place. For the Bridge to Bridge you can choose to run the following distances, all the following information is with reservation. You will receive final information about the start by e-mail, after you register:

  • 10:30 - KidsRun 2 English miles (3,2 kilometers) for children from 4 t/m 14 year
  • 11:00 - KidsRun 1 English miles (1,6 kilometers) for children from t/m 14 year
  • 11:15 - KidsRun 0,5 English miles (0,8 kilometers) for children from t/m 8 year
  • 11:45 - 5 kilometers Menzis​
  • 12:44 - Wheelers and handbikers 10 English miles Infocaster
  • 12:45 - 10 English miles Infocaster (16,09 kilometers)
  • 14:29 - Wheelers and handbikers 10 kilometers
  • 14:30 - 10 kilometers Van Wijnen


All of the following information is with reservation, if you enter one of our runs you will receive the final information by e-mail.

The 18, 28 and 45 kilometers will start at Papendal.

The start of the Bridge to Bridge will take place on the historical John Frost Bridge. The finish will be in front the town hall.

Start number

Before you can start your trail or run, you must first retrieve your start number. For the trail you can retrieve your number at the start of your run. For the Bridge to Bridge you can retrieve your number at the information desk. You will receive an e-mail with the final information, after you register.