On Sunday 28th October, marathon and half marathon runners will flock to Brussels to discover our European capital on foot. The Brussels Airport Marathon & Half Marathon is an increasingly international event: a record number of participants (28%) will come from outside the country. Runners can still register until the day itself! After the race, runners and supporters can sample delicious Belgian specialities at the new finish line located under the triumphal arch of the Parc du Cinquantenaire.
The Brussels Airport Marathon, in particular, is gaining renewed momentum. “With a full week still to go, we already have well above the number of marathon participants in 2017. Unlike many other European city marathons, we in Brussels offer a comprehensive programme including a very popular half marathon, a mini marathon over 6.5 km and a Chiquita Kids Run over 1 km to actively encourage young people in Brussels to do sports. The choice of so many distances appeals to a wide audience”, says Greg Broekmans from Golazo.
Main sponsor, Brussels Airport, is setting a great example. It is not only mobilising a strong staff delegation of its own; it also convinced five airport companies to unite behind the project.
‘As a company, we strive to promote a healthy and sporty lifestyle amongst our people. We also gave our employees the opportunity to train for the marathon, half marathon or mini-marathon under professional supervision, and to register for free. We additionally wanted to encourage other companies in the airport community to motivate their employees to participate. We are therefore extremely proud that a group of more than 300 enthusiastic runners will represent Brussels Airport at this top international event,’ says Arnaud Feist, Brussels Airport Company CEO.
Start and finish in the majestic Parc du Cinquantenaire
This year, both the start and finish of the Brussels Airport Marathon will be located in the Parc du Cinquantenaire. In doing so, the organiser aims to maximise the comfort and experience of both the participants and their supporters. Indeed, the start and finish lines are now only 200 metres apart, which is far more practical for runners and supporters alike. The starting line will remain in its customary location, at the lower end of the Parc du Cinquantenaire (towards Schuman). However, the finish line will for the first time be located under the imposing triumphal arch.
Participants will broadly follow the same course as in previous years. This time, after the start, however, they will run around the entire perimeter of the Brussels Park. The marathon runners will subsequently traverse the Capuchin wood in Tervuren, via the beautiful arboretum, and thus enjoy some additional greenery en-route. From Sint-Pieters-Woluwe, the course leads straight to the finish line in the Parc du Cinquantenaire.
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Welcome to the Belgian Beer Café
The new pop-up Belgian Beer Café at the finish line will serve as the event’s epicentre, where participants and supporters can indulge in a pre and post race chat accompanied by a Belgian beer. Traditional Belgian treats, such as frites, waffles and chocolate will also be on the menu! Aficionados and participants do not have to wait until Sunday to sample these delicacies. The BXL Run Crew is organising a warm-up run with the start and finish at this new hotspot at 11.30 am on Saturday. Everyone is welcome.”
Running together for charity: Run for Parkinson’s
The Brussels Airport Marathon & Half Marathon supports the Demoucelle Parkinson’s Charity, which is working on research into a solution for Parkinson’s disease. Participants can give this vital research a welcome boost with a donation. And numerous other charity campaigns, set up by various participating companies or groups of participants, are increasing the social value of the event year- on-year.
The full programme on Sunday 28th October is as follows:
9.00 am: Brussels Airport Marathon (42,195 km)
9.30 am: Brussels Airport 6.5K
10.30 am: Brussels Airport Half Marathon (21,097 km)
11.30 am: Chiquita Kids Run (1 km)
Start & finish of all competitions: Parc du Cinquantenaire
Runners can still register during the Marathon Expo. This year marks the first time that this will take place in the Autoworld Museum in the Parc du Cinquantenaire on Friday (3 pm – 7 pm), Saturday (11 am – 6 pm) and Sunday (from 7 am).