The event is limited to a maximum of 1,500 participants, who are being encouraged to don fancy dress for the run. The theme for costumes is ‘Far West’, so perhaps cowboys and cowgirls — but surely not pantomime horses — will be seen running through the streets of the Wallonian municipality during the marathon? The emphasis will be on having fun rather than elite performances. Nonetheless, runners must complete the 42.195- kilometre course in less than six hours and 30 minutes. Though Belgium has a reputation for being relatively flat, the first quarter of the course is undulating. Participants will have to climb the 374 steps of the Buren Stairs, named in honour of Vincent de Buren.

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