The Eindhoven Marathon may also be open to walking participants next year, the organisation says.
“We’re thinking about introducing walking during the marathon weekend next year. We noticed walking is becoming increasingly popular and we’d like to offer this in various distance categories”, Marathon director Edgar de Veer said.
Running would take place on Sunday, while Saturday would be devoted to walking, de Veer explained, adding that the usual 10km run on Saturday evening would be moved to Sunday.
The move could lead to an increase in participants. This year’s event saw 23,500 participants, roughly the same as 2017. Most runners join at the beginning of the half marathon.
This year, the organisation is aiming for a finish time of 2 hours and 6 minutes. A number of Kenyan and Ethiopian participants are expected to manage that goal.
“It’s a great goal”, de Veer says. “We can’t bring the top guys in. We don’t have the budget of the Berlin or London marathons, but we’ve been part of the global top 10 for years.”
Innovative projects surround the Marathon every year, and 2018 is no different. Ten participants in this year’s race will run with a “heat pill” that allows researchers from Radboud University and UMC Utrecht to measure their core temperatures. This will make it easier to determine when a runner should hydrate to cool their body.
Last weekend, two runners died while taking part in the Cardiff Marathon in Wales. The Eindhoven Marathon has also seen one death several years ago. According to de Veer, the organisation is doing everything it can to prevent these incidents.
“It’s the power of big numbers, that makes it hard to prevent tragic accidents”, the director says. “However, we ensure emergency services are available as quickly as possible. Also, advising runners to make adequate preparations is helpful.”
Translation: Nicola W