This Sunday 1 October over 13,000 runners from 65 countries will be at the start of the Belfius Brussels Marathon & Half Marathon in the Parc du Cinquantenaire. Some 20 percent of the participants are travelling from abroad to the European capital to take part in this unique city marathon. Belgium’s neighbouring countries are well represented, but there’s also a surprising number of Danes, Americans and Russians on the entry list.
With 8,000 runners the half marathon proves to be the most popular distance. Around 1,800 participants will brave the entire marathon distance on a tricky Brussels course. That number may still rise because anyone can still sign up for the event right until the start. That also applies to the 5K and the Chiquita Kids Run.
Title partner Belfius traditionally leads by example, fielding a delegation of no less than 2,500 employees and customers who will take part in one of the races.
Two in a row for Eric Kering?
The battle for victory is likely to be an all-Kenyan affair. Eric Kering, the winner last year, is coming back to take his second win in a row. He will face strong opposition from compatriots Stephen Kiplagat and Moses Mwarur. The latter has a strong connection with our country after winning the 2014 Antwerp Marathon.
On the Belgian side David Stevens is aiming to shine in Brussels. His hares Stijn Garain and Abdelhadi El Hachimi will try to guide him in his journey to a great time. There’s no Lander Van Droogenbroeck on the half marathon. The winner of the past three editions will hand over the torch to training buddy Florent Caelen, who won the marathon in 2014.
From Belliard to the stock exchange
The heart of Europe is once again opening its doors for all runners, offering a course with plenty of cultural and natural highlights. Along the way the participants will discover some of the most beautiful areas of the capital with lots of green and authentic locations. Tervuren Park and a passage on Grand Place are just some of the features of a challenging course.
After leaving the Parc du Cinquantenaire the runners will head to the Rue Belliard instead of the Rue de la Loi. The finish line of the marathon, half marathon and 5k is drawn on the Boulevard Anspach at the Brussels stock exchange. They will reach this iconic building in the heart of Brussels through the Grand Place, the Rue de la Tête d’Or, the Rue des Pierres and the Boulevard Anspach.
Les gazelles de Bruxelles
The Belfius Brussels Marathon & Half Marathon has been supporting a very special running club for a number of years. People dealing with poverty, newcomers or asylum seekers often face great hurdles joining a sports club. Everyone is welcome at Les Gazelles de Bruxelles, regardless of their background or physical level. Volunteers provide the coaching. On Sunday a big bunch of runners from all corners of the world will be at the start in Brussels.
Good to Know
This is the full programme:
– 9:00: Belfius Brussels Marathon (42.195 km)
– 9:30: Belfius Brussels 5K (5 km)
– 10:30: Belfius Brussels Half Marathon (21.097 km)
– 11:30: Chiquita Kids Run (1 km)
Start: Parc du Cinquantenaire
Finish: Boulevard Anspach, at the stock exchange
Finish Kids Run: Parc du Cinquantenaire
Both participants and supporters will get some new tools at their disposal to make their lives easier. A free Belfius Brussels Marathon & Half Marathon app is available, including lots of practical info, fun features and useful course and sitemaps. Based on split times after 10, 21 and 30 km supporters can keep track of their favourite runners live on the app.
Runners can still register for the event at the Marathon Expo. This year the Marathon Expo is held inside the expo tent on the esplanade in the Parc du Cinquantenaire.