The 17th edition of the Brussels Airport Marathon & Half Marathon will take place on Sunday 2 October. Runners from all over the world will put on their running shoes for the entirely new course. Will you? We are giving you 10 good reasons why you should not miss this wonderful running event!
1. Start under the Atomium
The brand new start by the Atomium, probably the best known symbol of our country, ought to emphasise the international cachet of the Brussels Airport Marathon & Half Marathon even more. It draws more than 600,000 visitors per year making it the most visited tourist attraction of the capital of Europe. And to think that the initial intention was to dismantle the Expo 58 flagship building after the World Exhibition. But look, today the Atomium is an arts centre, the international symbol of Brussels and Belgium and unique starting place of your sports performance!
2. New Course: Faster than ever!
Brussels is never flat, but in comparison with the old course on the other side of the city, the gradient has drastically dropped. The course is surprising and varied and should allow everyone to set a sharp time! You can read all about our new, fast and attractive course here.
3. Iconic Finish
After a second passage past the Atomium, you run over the Avenue de Marathon (what’s in a name) in the direction of the King Baudouin Stadium, the home of the Red Devils. The majestic finish is on the same athletics track that will host the Allianz Memorial Van Damme later this week, one of the most prestigious athletics meetings in the world. You will receive your well-earned medal in this unique location listening to the approving applause of the supporters in the stands. It is bound to give you goosebumps!
4. Brussel is a Compact City
When you are in Brussels, you are in the heart of Europe, literally and figuratively. Because Brussels is not just the capital of more than half a billion Europeans, the city is also in an exceptionally central location. Travelling by train it takes less than two hours to get to the centre of Brussels from London, Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne. Its limited surface area makes it a compact city where you can move around easily by metro, tram and bus. You can travel from the marathon finish (Heysel station) to the prettiest square in the world in the centre of the city (de Brouckère station) in no time.
5. For the Entire Family!
The seasoned athlete will be catered for during the 42.195 km through Brussels, but the programme also features the renewed Brussels Airport Half Marathon, a 10 km and 3 km (walk) in addition to the marathon. And the little ones can let off some steam in the Kids Run in the Parc de Laeken. So, there is something for everyone!
6. Running For Charity
The Brussels Airport Marathon & Half Marathon supports the Demoucelle Parkinson Charity, which carries out scientific research into a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Join us, run through the heart of Europe and give this vital research a boost with your donation!
Additionally, the Brussels Race For The Cure by Think Pink will be integrated into the event again. Sign up for the 10 km (run) or 3 km (walk) and support breast cancer patients in Europe.
7. Running Together with Participants from all over The World
The Brussels Airport Marathon & Half Marathon is garnering an increasingly international acclaim year after year. The previous edition was attended by participants from no fewer than 105 countries. A third of all participants does not live in Belgium. The Brussels Airport Marathon & Half Marathon seems especially popular in the neighbouring countries considering the high number of French, Dutch, Germans and English who appeared at the start in the capital of Europe in previous years. The start at the Atomium, the most iconic structure in Belgium, fits perfectly in that international image. Appearing at the start with participants from over one hundred countries, that’s fantastic, isn’t it?
8. The Most Cosmopolitan City on the Continent
You will be able to meet the world after the race too! The city has a distinct international character. It’s a character that suits the people from Brussels. They love everything that is inter, multi, cosmo or diverse. It is in their genes. Nowhere else in Europe can you find a city with a higher percentage of people of foreign origin. They are proud of their cosmopolitan identity here. Do not worry about language either. You can hear more than one hundred languages spoken on Brussels’ streets. Multilingualism is standard here.
9. Brussels is Alive
Thanks to the extreme cultural diversity and its young population Brussels is a very lively community. Brussels is alive any time of day, in every language and in every corner of the region. Brussels holds more than 23,000 cultural events each year. After all, Brussels is a city of museums (more than one hundred), a city of opera, a city of theatre and a city of film. Did you know that they call Brussels the capital of contemporary art? But Brussels has a lot more to offer. It is the world capital of Art Nouveau, Surrealism and comic books.
10. “Après l’effort, le réconfort”
Once the marathon through Brussels is done and dusted, you can probably only think of one thing. Food, right? No problem. The Belgian capital offers an incredible number of good restaurants in a relatively small surface area. 17 Michelin stars and a few thousand different cuisines, with influences from all over the world, mean that the culinary bar is very high. But be sure to try our classic three: fries, chocolate and beer. You can eat the tastiest fries here. You can find them in more than 500 spots in the city. Brussels is also the home of the praline, which is still being refined by the best chocolatiers every day. And it is teeming with microbreweries offering a particularly exciting array of beers. During the Eat Festival (28.09-02.10) in the magnificent Gare Maritime you will be presented with a sample card of the very best culinary fare Brussels has to offer.