Brussels 20k, Belgium.

27th May 2012 - anyone else coming?

7 messages
28/04/2012 at 19:17

Hi all,

I just wanted to ask if there were any other forumites doing Brussels 20k this year? I know that this race is a bit like Marmite - but somehow I'm still doing it  

If you're around Brussels and still looking for a place - you can go directly to Rue de la Chapelle 16 and register with them directly. They confirmed yesterday that they still have places available (but none available online).

Would be great to see some of you there!

02/06/2012 at 21:28

OK - so I thought that i'd follow through with a race report.

The organisers this year have made some great improvements to the race but they still have a way to go to make this race a firm favourite.

Main improvements?

  • Start blocks being monitored and enforced. This resulted in a greater spread out of runners throughout the course and I found it a more plesant run in general because you werent herded like cattle for 10km.
  • Start Time: 10am was A LOT better than 3pm and you could see that the runners were fresher.
  • End zone: Was better controlled and therefore easier to pass through.

Room for improvement?

  • Toilets. There's just not enough! You either wait 45 minutes in a queue inside the runners area for 3 toilets each, or you pay 50 cents for one of the outside toilets that turns your stomach. For the 30,000 runners on the course - it's just not enough and this resulted in many runners using local gardens/bushes.
  • Drinks. I mentioned this last year and they tried this year but it was again a hot day and restricting runners to one small bottle of water (without a cap) was just not good enough. They told us before the race to pick up a bottle at the start as there wasnt a drink station until 6k... many couldnt find the drinks station at the start so were left without.
  • Drinks cont'd -> For a hot day (which it's been the past 3 years) they need to provide more drinks at the end. They enforced one bottle per person (500ml) and after not having any since 17km it just wasn't enough. Also, whoever decided to provide sports drinks in CANS needs to get their heads examined. Not only were they impossible to drink from but they were dangerous.
  • Support: Whilst on some parts of the course it's fantastic - others; it's disappointing and quite lonely.
  • Online registration. Despite it "selling out in a day" - you could get entries up to the day before by going to the office in Brussels. They really need to improve their registration system. I didnt originally register but picked up my pack a few weeks later, with no issue or delay.

All in all - the race is making real improvements and i'd run it again but being aware that toilets are hard to come by!

18/01/2013 at 22:08
Hi, what makes you say the 10ks marmite?

Deanna
18/01/2013 at 22:09
20 k sorry! I don't want to travel over to Brussels if its not a good race
19/01/2013 at 08:53
Hi Deanna,

I've done the race every year for the past few years so have seen the changes and the attempts to deal with more runners and the logistics around the course.

As I've said in my earlier post - there's A LOT of runners on the course. This means that if you're going for a fast time - you need to make sure you're near the front or willing to push to get there. I was in the 2hr bracket and it was packed and there were a few areas at the start where we had to walk. Using waves really helped! The pure number of people is also as issue relating to toilets. They are urinal for men - but for women unless you want to pay 50cents - you've got a long wait, I hope that improves this year!

The reason I call the race marmite is because every year that I've run it - it's been with different people and they all go into 2 buckets: love it or hate it.

If you have specific questions - I'm happy to answer them
td2
07/02/2013 at 18:12

Hi Emma

I'd definitely do it again, plus Brussels is a great place to explore as well as Bruges and Ghent..it's one of my favourite races, just a shame not as many people over here know about it-unfortunately my running buddy has bailed out on me. Agree about the loos, ok for us guys but pity you poor girls paying the little old lady for the privelage. 

08/02/2013 at 08:45
@Deacs -if you like running in Belgium have a look at the Antwerp 10 miles coming up in April. It's a great run.

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