10,000 Participants Expected For The First Port of Antwerp Night Marathon Edition


Saturday 11 September is finally here. At nightfall, thousands of participants will run into the night for the long awaited first edition of the Port of Antwerp Night Marathon. It is promising to be an incredible experience for participants, with 50 musical acts and a course that crosses the heart of the city. Mayor Bart De Wever and Councillor Annick De Ridder will also appear at the start of the marathon. They were handed their race numbers at the Port Authority building on Friday afternoon during the press conference of the first edition.

The Port of Antwerp Night Marathon is finally here after a delay of one year. This marathon’s predecessor coincided with the 10 Miles, but now both events will be separated. The marathon has been completely renewed. Thanks to the perfect city parcours that takes in all of the touristy attractions, Antwerp will put itself firmly on the map as a true city marathon.

The Port of Antwerp Night Marathon has a compact parcours of loops, which makes it very handy especially for the supporters because they will be able to see the runners several times. Everything takes place on Rechteroever, which means it is a mostly flat course. The runners set off at dusk, before the sun sets, and will run into the night as it were.

In addition to a full marathon – which doubles as Belgian Championship – the programme also features a half marathon and a relay marathon. In the relay marathon, four members of a team run just over or just under 10 km.

The Port of Antwerp Night Marathon formula is a success. With already more than 3,500 runners signed up for the marathon distance this will be the biggest marathon ever in Belgium. And 10,000 participants in total is an unexpected success for a first edition.

Town Hall In Action

It is remarkable that a great deal of participants of the Port of Antwerp Night Marathon come from Antwerp itself. One of them is Mayor Bart De Wever and also Councillor Annick De Ridder, responsible for the port. “Often a marathon begins life as a bet that has somehow spiralled out of control… But when I heard that I could run in such a unique setting in my own city, I didn’t hesitate for one second”, says De Ridder. “It is therefore also a great pleasure for me that the Port of Antwerp can be the main sponsor of this wonderful competition and that the course passes by the Port Authority building, amongst others. This allows us to put both the city and the port in the spotlight for an international audience in a unique and sporty way.”

Mayor Bart De Wever: “This Antwerp Night Marathon will be unique: 101 years after the Olympic Games in our city, we will run past the Olympic rings on the Kiel and what’s more, it will be the first major sports event in Antwerp with spectators in nearly two years. It will undoubtedly not just be a sporting highlight but also an emotional moment. I am personally more motivated than ever.”

“The brand new Port of Antwerp Night Marathon is a maverick, a ‘special case’ as we like to call it in Antwerp. 10,000 runners will conquer the night and the city together. This true experience marathon is not just the start of a genuine sporting autumn offensive in our city, but at the same time it’s also the sporting apotheosis of our Olympic jubilee year. 101 years after the very first Antwerp marathon, covering 42.750 km, the longest in the Olympics’ history by the way. However, we will spare our runners those extra 555 metres. Their endurance and mental resilience will be tested for long enough already”, says / winks Councillor for Sport Peter Wouters.

Experience Is The Main Focus

The Port of Antwerp Night Marathon will be a real party for runners and supporters. “At practically every kilometre, the organisation will provide some fun animation and the partners linked to the event are also putting their best foot forward”, says Greg Broekmans on behalf of organiser Golazo.

“For example, title partner Port of Antwerp is giving the event a major energy boost with a genuine cheering zone by the Port Authority building and there will be the guarantee of even better goose-bump moments by the Operaplein, where personal messages from supporters and loved ones will be projected onto big screens. After crossing the finish, every participant can make their way to our photobooth for a unique photo next to the finish clock showing their finish time.”

3D Printing

On 11 September, all runners will receive water and sports drinks from the supply stations at every 2.5 kilometres. The plastic drink cups will be collected after use in large Q8 recycling bins that will be dotted all along the course. The plastic will be recycled using 3D printing and made into a hip table and chairs for an Antwerp Q8 service station. This is organiser Golazo and main partner Q8’s original way of reusing the waste plastic.

Covid Safe Ticket

In order to participate in the Port of Antwerp Night Marathon, you will have to be able to present a Covid Safe Ticket. This is compulsory for events with over 5,000 participants. “Your Covid Safe Ticket is a valid QR code in the CovidSafeBE app that shows that you were either already fully vaccinated at least two weeks before the event, or in possession of a certificate of recovery, or have provided a recent negative PCR test or antigen test”, explains Broekmans. “A Covid Safe Ticket allows you as participant not to wear a facemask and not to maintain a 1.5 metre distance.”

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