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40,000 runners join 40th edition of Brussels 20km

21:04 19/05/2019

Some 40,000 athletes and joggers took part in Sunday's 40th edition of the Brussels 20km run - with participants making up 137 different nationalities.

Valentin Poncelet, 27, won the men's race with a two-minute lead, crossing the finish line at 1 hour 34 seconds.

Alexandra Tondeur, 32, was the fastest woman for the second year in a row, with a time of 1 hour 13 minutes 4 seconds.

About 60% of the participants were raising money for charity. More than 700 volunteers were involved in staging this year's event. Red Cross medics treated 389 runners, of whom nine were sent to hospital.

Among the runners was 67-year-old Alain Kauffman, who has run the Brussels 20km every year since it began 40 years ago.

"What was strange about the first edition was that the traffic wasn't stopped," he said. "So you had to pay attention to cars and traffic lights. It was very special."

He added: "I know some joggers in their 90s. So I hope to continue for a few more years yet, if my legs allow."

Photo: John Tys/Belga

Written by The Bulletin