The second edition of the Antwerp Marathon will take place on Sunday 11 September. The new course has fewer bends and offers an ideal opportunity to run a new personal record. But of course taking part is at least as important. On Sunday, the participants will run past the prettiest landmarks of the city and will be cheered on loudly from the Port of Antwerp-Bruges cheering lane and dozens of other supporters’ zones. It is still possible to register for the Antwerp Marathon online until Saturday. You can also register on site on Sunday.
The Antwerp Marathon supported by Port of Antwerp-Bruges leaves from Kattendijkdok-Oostkaai on Het Eilandje on Sunday. The starting shot for the half marathon will sound at 9:30am, and half an hour later, the marathon and relay marathon participants will set off. In the Antwerp Relay Marathon, four runners hand off from each other in fixed relay zones: Jozef Leemanslaan in Hoboken, Olympic Stadium at Het Kiel and Koningin Astridplein in front of Central Station. The first runner takes on 14.6 km, the second 13 km, the third 9.2 km and the fourth 5.4 km.
Central Station is one of the many landmarks on the Antwerp Marathon course. Other well-known eye catchers are the Port Authority building, Het Steen, Grote Markt and Boerentoren. New for the (relay) marathon runners this year is a five-kilometre passage through Schoonselhof, the monumental cemetery that doubles as a park in the city, also sometimes referred to as Antwerp’s ‘Père-Lachaise’. The course also includes a nice little treat for the half marathon runners with a stretch through the gardens of the Palace of Justice. All races will finish on Oostendekaai, by the MAS.
Cheering lane, supporters’ zones and big screen in Grote Markt
Straight after crossing the finish, participants can get a photo next to the finish clock showing their personal finish time. It is obviously a good idea to wait for your loved one by the finish and to cheer them on when crossing the line but there is lots of excitement for supporters during the race too. The corner of De Keyserlei and Operaplein is the perfect spot to cheer on your favourite runner, because that’s where the Port of Antwerp-Bruges cheering lane is situated. A unique set-up with DJ will create a fantastic atmosphere for both runners and supporters.
Furthermore, there are no fewer than twelve other official supporters’ zones along the course: Café Beveren, Café Den Draak, Café Mombasa, Café ‘t Chauffeurke, CUT, De Broodnatie, Dok 36, Frits Koffiebar, Hard Rock Café Antwerpen, Lindner WTC Hotel & City Lounge Antwerp, Sunhouse and The Yellow Window Coffeehouse. Runners will also get a virtual boost in the Grote Markt on Sunday, because personal messages from supporters will be projected onto the big screen in the square in front of the city hall. Supporters can download a clever walking and cycling route on website Slim naar Antwerpen.
Councillor Wouters: “Fast, comfortable and attractive course”
Antwerp’s Councillor for Sports Peter Wouters is excited about the second edition of the Antwerp Marathon: “After months of preparations everybody is ready for the real work and all runners will be able to pat themselves on the back for all their hard labor. We are going back to basics for this true city marathon and are providing runners with a fast, comfortable and attractive course, which offers a quick succession of landmarks and plenty of entertainment which will fly past as quickly as the kilometres. Hopefully, the loyal supporters will be there to provide the necessary vocal support and guide their favourite runner through that wall.”
The Antwerp Marathon does not just want to be an unforgettable sporting event, but also a sustainable one. Together with main partner Q8, organiser Golazo Sports is aiming to provide all participants with a sustainable running experience. For instance, e-tickets mean that proof of registration does not have to be printed, participants will only get biodegradable drinks cups at the supply stations, and there will be a mobile recycling team making sure that the course is left spotless on Sunday. An eco charter lists all initiatives and allows participants to discover how they too can play their part.