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Dodentocht: 8,582 participants made it, 5,370 threw in the towel

Just over 61 percent of those trying to complete the 100 kilometre course in 24 hours’ time, succeeded, while almost 40 percent didn’t make it. There were more people suffering from blisters due to the wet weather this year.

A record number of almost 14,000 people (13,952) was prepared to take the challenge to walk 100 kilometres in and around Bornem, a town situated on the edge of Flemish Brabant and Antwerp province.

Most of the participants were Belgians, but there was also a big delegation from Germany (960) and the Netherlands (718). People even came from South Korea, Russia, Sri Lanka and the United States in an attempt to complete the feat.

Hugo (76) did for the 46th time

The start was given at 8pm on Friday. The first enthusiasts, the runners, arrived around 7am on Saturday, covering 100 km (60 miles) in about 11 hours.

Others had until 8pm yesterday to reach the finishline. Some 60 percent eventually did. More people were nursing blisters because of the rain. Others fainted while one man had to be reanimated.

Hugo Bonnyns (76) completed the course for the 46th time and holds the overall record. “I do it for the feeling of satisfaction afterwards”, he told the VRT.


Flandersnews.be / Expatica