Sofico Gent Marathon reaches 15,000 participants making it the biggest marathon in the country, mobility gets extra focus


On Sunday 24 March, the Sofico Gent Marathon is set for another record edition. All entries for the 10 km, half marathon and marathon have sold out. 15,000 runners will be able to enjoy a completely revamped course taking in the city’s most beautiful spots on Sunday. Never have there been so many runners at the start of a marathon in Belgium. So it promises to be busy and the organisers are asking to pay extra attention to mobility. Residents and visitors should take into account that on Sunday morning and part of the afternoon many streets will be free of traffic.

With over 4350 marathon runners, almost 10,000 participants in the half marathon and almost 1000 in the 10 km, the Sofico Gent Marathon is more popular than ever. Never before have so many runners been at the start of a Belgian marathon. About 15 per cent of all participants are from abroad, including almost 1,000 Dutch. This highlights the international appeal of the Sofico Gent Marathon and has a huge positive impact on tourism and the number of hotel stays in the city.

Start and finish of all distances are at the Topsporthal. From there, the marathon runners literally take in all directions, with one constant: after each loop, they can look forward to passing through Ghent’s historic city centre. During the southern loop, marathon participants even run right through the KAA Gent Arena. The half marathon includes the Nieuwe Wandeling, Coupure and New Docks. The course of the 10 km runs along the meandering Lys and nature reserve De Assels.

The Sofico Gent Marathon promises to be a wonderful city trip in running shoes for everyone. There will also be the expected ambiance along the way, as there will be numerous entertainment hotspots along the course. Moreover, the loop course makes it easy for relatives and friends to cheer on their favourite runner(s) at various locations.

Sofie Bracke, Councillor for Sport in Ghent: “Great sporting events make people dream and encourage them to exercise. Therefore, we give the Sofico Gent Marathon every chance to evolve into a top international race. The new course will appeal to many more runners, I am convinced of that. There will be more disruption to traffic though, but the organisers are doing everything they can to limit the impact.”


With a record number of runners and a multitude of spectators, it does look like Ghent will be extremely busy. Organiser Golazo advises participants to pick up their bib number on Friday or Saturday from the Topsporthal site. Whilst you’re there, why not combine it with a visit to the Runners’ Lab Marathon Expo. Collection of your start package is also possible on Sunday morning.

The most efficient way of getting to the start and finish is on foot or by (shared) bike. Those arriving at Ghent-Sint-Pieters by train on Sunday can use the free shuttle buses going to the Topsporthal. Also new this year are the Event Shuttles, which will transport participants and supporters from 20 departure points across Flanders and Brussels to the start and back from the finish.

Important for supporters and residents: cyclists are not allowed on the course on Sunday, pedestrians are allowed to cross the course if possible. Many of De Lijn bus and tram lines will not run or operate a modified schedule on Sunday morning. Tram 2 is the best option to get to the city centre. Those wishing to travel through Ghent by car should do so using Waze. The impact of the course of the Sofico Gent Marathon will be updated in this navigation app. Ghent’s parking guidance system will also be continuously adjusted.

Click hier (here) for all info on how best to get runners to the start and hier (here) for all details on the impact for Ghent residents.

Loyal title partner Sofico

Sofico has been the event’s loyal title partner for many years. Piet Maes, CTO of Sofico: “It’s hard to imagine talking about the ‘Ghent Marathon’ without mentioning Sofico – and vice versa. Both are as inseparable as runners and their pace. The Sofico Gent Marathon is not just an event, it is an institution. Also within the company. On Sunday 24 March, around 200 sporty Sofico enthusiasts – staff, friends, family, customers and partners – will participate and push their limits.”

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