Many thanks for the Kampenhout info - if I have time I may well enter - quite tempted - as I've kept up my running pretty well since my last marathon which was Berlin a couple months ago (you guys will have a great time - it's a top event.)
Brussels marathon - it was good - no big negatives - support's a bit so/so until the end in the Place but the organisers can't do much about that and it doesn't really bother me either way. Maybe take the ipod next time though. It was a more challenging course too - I seem to mostly do flat marathons so that was a good change. I ran I think 3hr 50 - I'm pretty average as far as speed goes
I would certainly do it again - why not - partly because we're in Brussels of course. I also ran it on a beautiful day (in 2010) which helped.
Rotterdam was good, pancake flat obviously apart from the bridge, supportive crowd pretty much all the way around - I'll do it again some day.
Brussels marathon - much smaller event - 2,000 maybe - felt quite tough and the drag out to Tervuren is long and quiet (partly because we go through the Foret des Soignes) and there are certainly hills including the final long pull up back to the start. Support was good at the end down into the Grand Place which was a good finish. Again, I'm sure I'll do it again soon seeing as we live here - maybe next year.
Didn't even know about the Brussels 20km until this year - guess it's the big run round here! I think I'd run an extra 1km to get to a half marathon distance (!)
Am also running Antwerp this spring - good luck Emmy and Tanya too, whatever you choose to run.
Drove down from Brussels (where we live) Saturday morning, parked by expo centre, picked up bib, snooze in the sun then change and amble back to the start at the expo for the 7pm start.
First bit (and last bit) are dull business park stuff but then you go over the bridge into town and all of Luxembourg are out waiting for us. It's Saturday night too so the beer is flowing which makes for a great atmosphere. Lots of zigging and zagging ariund the old town then the 26.2ers peel off from the 1/2 marathoners outside the town hall and suddenly you're very much alone as I think 85% were doing the half ! But we soon we formed clumps of runners as we negotiated the suburbs - good support out there, locals all out with their BBQs etc. Gentle up / down no big deal.
So no huge inclines yet but around 30-32km you plunge down a ravine for quite a stretch, there's a 180 degree turn at the bottom. When I took that turn I looked straight up about 500 feet at the bridge I knew we had to cross to get back ! So yes the last 10km is uphill, relentless! Quite a heads-down challenge but made it eventually...
Finish is back inside the expo to lights, smoke, DJ, pumping tunes (AC/DC when I was finishing) which was novel then plenty of free grub and 0% alc beer to reenergise for the drive back home.
So all in all it was great fun, and no need for hotels etc. - doing it all the same day was excellent, I'm surprised there aren't more night marathons. Then I guess Luxembourg doesn't quite need the extra revenue like other host cities might!
I've run both, Paris a couple times as we used to live there. 35000 or so people = chock-a-block for much of the race. We even came to a complete stop at Bastille once after 5km. Unless you're at the front ( and I ain't) you spend a lot of time weaving around. Still a great 'big city' run certainly worth doing but not the fastest for sure.
Rotterdam was pretty busy too for the first 15km or so then it was fine. Very flat, straight avenues etc. Was pretty warm in 2011 when I ran it last, definite PB chance if it's a bit cooler.