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City considers cancelling permit for Brussels Marathon
Brussels-City councillor Benoît Hellings (Ecolo) met with organisers of the Brussels Marathon & Half-Marathon yesterday to discuss the event’s future. The poor turnout this year and comparisons with the much more popular 20k of Brussels are factors leading some to think that the annual event should be cancelled.
Some 15,000 people registered for the Marathon & Half-Marathon, which took place on 6 October. Because of rain, several thousand didn’t show up, and only 7,000 finished one of the races. By comparison, 40,000 ran the 20k last May.
Hellings, responsible for sport, met with Marathon organisers Golazo, as well as police and a representative from the Capital-Region to discuss whether it is worth it to host the event in the future. “It was the first time we carried out an evaluation of the Marathon,” he told Bruzz. “The event blocks about 42 kilometres of public space for several hours. We do the same for the Tour de France and the 20k, but 40,000 people take part in those activities.”
The Marathon and Half-Marathon have been held since 2004, though the full marathon was also held for 11 years in the 1980s and ’90s. “We realise that we ask a lot of the public space, but it would be very unfortunate and illogical to cancel the Marathon,” said Golazo spokesperson Greg Broekmans. “The event brings many internationals to the city.”
A decision on whether the city will continue to grant a permit for the event will be taken next year, confirmed Hellings.
Photo courtesy Brussels Marathon