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Belgium

Queen Mathilde runs 20-kilometre race around Brussels


By Martin Kraft, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wiki Commons

On a rare Sunday engagement, Queen Mathilde of the Belgians took it to the streets of Brussels on 12 September for the 41st edition of the 20 kilometres of Brussels race. 

The sporting event should have seen its 2021 edition taking place on the 31st of May, but because of the health safety restrictions in place in Belgium and in the Brussels region at the time, the event was postponed to September. 

So yesterday, Her Majesty and other 35,000 participants began their journey through the most beautiful and significant monuments of the city of Brussels and the surrounding region. 

Queen Mathilde even managed to finish the race, placing 15050th with a time of 3:16:31. 

The event essentially runs a ring that touches one side of the city of Brussels before moving on to Uccle, Woluwe-St Pierre and other small areas that surround the European capital. 

The race management organised four water and snack distribution points, spread at more or less equal distances, as well as fourteen Red Cross stations, in case some of the race participants started to feel unwell. 

The race also ran close to several tube stops so that anyone who did not feel comfortable continuing could return home easily. 

The race had its first edition on 8 June 1980 and saw the participation of 4,179 people. In 1996, with the beginning of internet diffusion, the race got its first website. In 2010, the event capped the number of participants to 30,000, an improvement over the 25,000 maximum of the previous editions. 

In 2013, following his ascension to the throne, King Philippe took part in his first edition of the race to the surprise of everyone, introducing the presence of the Royal Family in the event; since then, a member of the Royal Family has at least given the start to the race. 

Queen Mathilde has shown a love of sports and physical activity, which she has infused to all of her children, who all practice different sports.