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Marathon likely to go ahead this year with revised route
The Brussels Marathon looks set to go ahead in 2020, with a revised route, following calls for it to be cancelled due to last year's poor turnout.
The event's organiser, Golazo, has been invited to a meeting this week with the City of Brussels alderman for sport, Benoît Hellings, to discuss ways of making the race more attractive.
Some 15,000 people registered for the Marathon & Half-Marathon, which took place on 6 October last year. But because of rain, several thousand didn’t show up, and only 7,000 finished. By comparison, 40,000 ran the Brussels 20k last May.
"We've made a list of everything that wasn't working," said Hellings. "It is clear that the marathon route was too hilly - and that was putting athletes off because they could not achieve a decent time."
He added: "We told the organisers that we could only continue if the event attracted people. We have an appointment this Friday with the organisers to agree on a more attractive route, with fewer ups and downs, and less impact on the wider population."
The date of the 2020 race remains to be confirmed, although the organiser has reportedly asked for it to be held on 4 October.
One of the reasons put forward last autumn for potentially cancelling the event was the impact it had on the city's streets. Hellings said at the time: "The event blocks about 42 kilometres of public space for several hours."
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.