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Nearly 8,600 complete Belgium's annual 'death march'

21:20 13/08/2017

The 48th edition of the Dodentocht, or 'death march' on Saturday saw 8,582 participants reach the finish line after completing the gruelling 100km tour through Antwerp province, the organisers report. Of the 13,952 registered participants, 5,370 gave up along the way. The first aid helpers reported an unprecedented number of complaints about blisters on the feet.

The starting shot was fired on Friday evening at 21.00, and participants given 24 hours to walk the 100km. The deach marchers are only allowed to finish after 7.00 on Saturday morning to prevent them from treating it as a race. Nevertheless, 28 runners this year crossed the finish line at the earliest allowed time.

Belgians were the most numerous among the participants, with nearly 12,000. They were followed by German (960) and Dutch (718) participants. There were also hikers from South Korea, Russia, Sri Lanka and the United States.

Written by Robyn Boyle

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