BELGA/MAETERLINCK

13,000 do the Walk of Death

By noon today more than 500 of the 13,000 participants had completed the 100 kilometre Walk of Death through Antwerp Province, East Flanders and Flemish Brabant. The walk ends where it starts in the municipality of Bornem in Antwerp Province. By 12 noon around 1,500 walkers had given up. Participants have until 9pm this evening to complete the 100 kilometre course.       

The Walk of Death got under way at 9pm on Friday. It rained during the first hours of the walk, which meant that more people than usual gave up at the first checkpoint.  

This apart, the organisers have noticed no major issues.  

"The Red Cross has treated just a few people for blisters and given massages”

Fine weather is forecast for the rest of the day, so no weather-related issues as expected.  

The participants in the Walk of Death have 24 hours to complete the course. The first walkers arrived at the finishing line at 6:45am. However, they had to wait until 7am to cross it as it doesn’t open until then. The organisers of the Walk of Death want to prevent it becoming a race and so the finishing line remains closed until 10 hours after the race has started.  

This year the maximum number of participants has been reduced from 14,000 to 13,000. Tickets to take part in this year’s 49th Walk of Death were all gone after just 2 months.    

The lion’s share of participants are Belgians. However, 2,000 Germans are also participating as well as many people from The Netherlands. Nevertheless, this year’s Walk of Death was less international than in previous years.  .