Almost eleven thousand people do the ‘Walk of Death’
The annual Walk of Death got under way in Bornem, Antwerp province, on Friday evening. The 100km walk is the ultimate endurance test for ramblers, and a record 10,800 people took part in this year's event.
This year marks the fortieth time that the walk has been organised. The Walk of Death starts and finishes in the town of Bornem about 20km southwest of Antwerp and passes through three Flemish provinces (Antwerp, Flemish Brabant and East Flanders) en route.
The walk got under way at 8pm on Friday evening, when the weather was rather cool, providing ideal conditions for long-distance walking.
However, with daytime temperatures on Saturday expected to exceed 25°C, many anticipated that the heat would overcome participants during the final stages of the walk.
Walk organiser Harry De Ceulaerde told the VRT that "We have distributed around 20,000 litres of drinking water along the route.”
“The section along the dykes on the banks of the River Scheldt is especially tough for the walkers”, Mr De Ceulaerde added.
In previous years, around 60% of participants managed to complete the 100km walk.
By 10am on Saturday around 2,500 people had dropped out, while around 100 others had already completed the walk.
The Flemish Prime Minister Kris Peeters also took part.