On Saturday 27 May at 7 p.m., close to 15,000 runners will fill the starting grid at the 12th edition of the ING Night Marathon. This year the event will beat all records of participation. Indeed, organisers have registered 10% more registrations than in 2016. The last runner registered on 30 January.
According to Erich François, head of the organising company Step by Step, the goal is to get 20,000 runners to participate. According to him, this year has already been exceptional because, even though 1,500 more participant were allowed this year, some 2,000 are still on the waiting lists.
The duel of the favourites announces itself. Kenians John Komen, winner in 2015 and 2016, and Bellor Yator, winner in 2012 and 2013, will be among the starters lining up outside the LuxExpo The Box in order to embark on the 42.195km long circuit winding through the streets of the capital. For Luxembourg, Yannick Lieners, Frazer Alexander, Bertl Muller and Fabienne Gehlen will be participating.
'Roll&Run': the 2017 edition's innovation
The distance of 42.195km leads through the boroughs of Kirchberg, Limpertsberg, Belair, Merl, Hollerich, the train station district, as well as the city centre, with its parks and narrow streets in the old city centre. The participants will thus be able to discover the capital in all its diversity: the historic city with its fortifications, residential areas, business districts, its European institutions, etc.Considering the topographical features of Luxembourg City, the marathon's altitude profile is very demanding. Apart from the classic marathon, the organisers offer a number of alternatives:
- a half-marathon (21.0975 km);
- a minimarathon over 4.2 km for children of 10 years and up;
- a mini-minimarathon over 1 km for children under the age of 10;
- the Team Run over the complete length, in 4 stages;
- the 5K Run for Success over 5 km (teams of 3);
- the Roll&Run for lovers of sports on wheels (except bicycles, skates and motorised vehicles).
The 'Roll&Run' is indeed this year's innovation: a marathon for persons with reduced mobility as well as simple wheeled vehicles (i.e. pushchairs, skateboards, scooters) which starts and ends on the Glacis. Contrary to recent editions, the circuit has been somewhat adapted, leading for example over the newly renovated Pont Adolphe and taking a detour around the grand ducal palace due to roadworks.
The marathon, semi-marathon and Team Run will start at 7 p.m. outside the LuxExpo.
The organisers await some 150,000 spectators - for due reasons: every year, the Luxembourg marathon takes the form of a huge popular festival. 23 DJs, 300 samba musicians, 4 Portuguese folklore groups and other music groups are going to play for runners and spectators alike.
In 12 years, the ING Europe Marathon Luxembourg 'Night Marathon Luxembourg' has become Luxembourg's most important sports event. It does not fail to elicit a growing appeal, for athletes as well as for spectators.
(article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)