20 km of Brussels
The 20 km of Brussels (French: 20 km de Bruxelles, Dutch: 20 km door Brussel) is a 20.1 km race that has been held each year in Brussels since 1980, usually in May. It used to have a maximum number of 25,000 entries, which were normally sold out quite quickly after places go on sale in March, but in 2010 a staggered start-time approach led to an increased maximum number of entries of 30,000.
The race is a major event in Brussels, with a large turnout of supporters. The course is quite challenging for newcomers, particularly due to the gentle, and largely invisible, climb that covers most of the first seven kilometres. The biggest drawback of the event is the organisation of the start, namely two bottlenecks, where the tens of thousands of participants have to squeeze through the Cinquantenaire arches and then two comparatively small gateways. Apart from this, and the surprise experienced by tired runners finding the 20 km marker 100 m away from the finish, it is a very popular event, proven by the speed with which the places are snapped up every year.
The course often did not cover a complete 20 km circuit in its early history. The 2000 race was significantly shorter than the full distance and both the men's and women's winners finished the race more than three minutes ahead of the world records at the time.
KEY: Course record
- Italics = Short course