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Eddy Feliers has run every Brussels 20km since 1980
When registrations opened for the Brussels 20km race on 28 May, there was one familiar name signing up, reports BRUZZ.
Since the first edition in 1980 when he was 11-years-old, Eddy Feliers has not missed a single one. “Everyone around me knows that I participate the last weekend of May. I have often missed family celebrations, but for me the 20 kilometres through Brussels is a holy Sunday."
Feliers, who lives in Tervuren, grew up in the city. Participating in the 20km is like walking in his backyard, he says. “Every year it's a big party for me to be able to participate."
It also brings out his competitive spirit. In his glory years, Feliers clocked up a time of 1:07, although he’s now happy to finish with a time of 1:30.
The runner believes Brussels residents should participate at least once: "The whole city is car-free for a day and you pass great sites such as Bois de la Cambre, you can certainly participate as a walker."
While the current event starts and finishes in Cinquantenaire Park, the inaugural one set off from the Atomium with 4,659 pioneering runners. It had been an uphill battle to stage the event and surrounding roads remained open to traffic. Participants had to stick to the pavements and wait at each set of traffic lights.
Today’s inclusive event draws thousands and transforms the city into a festive occasion. Many participants raise money for their favourite charities.
In total, 40,000 people are allowed to participate in the race. Registrations are currently open online.