A heatwave is heading our way. This made FOD Public Health, police, fire service, municipality of Bornem and us as an organisation sit around the table. We received a negative advice to organise the entire 100 Km Death March. The health risk is too high to do heavy efforts in the announced high temperatures.
But despite the negative advice not to organise the full 100Km, we as the organisation decided not to cancel the event. The first part of the 100Km run will take place in the evening and at night. However, due to the 13 hour limit imposed by the safety cell, we have no choice but to shorten the route by one third. The last hiker is expected back in Bornem around 1 pm, before the heat.
The start in Breeven, the local lap in Bornem and the crossing of Bornem centre will be maintained. As well as the checkpoints in Friesland Campina, Breendonk, Lippelo, Opdorp, Sint-Amands, Branst. However, the checkpoints in Steenhuffel, Opwijk, Buggenhout, Puurs and Oppuurs will not be maintained.
Obviously, this last-minute change has a huge impact on our organisation. All volunteers are currently working overtime to get all changes done in time. The police, fire brigade and municipal services are also doing all they can to reschedule crews, change parking bans and closures, move roadblocks, etc.
In addition to this drastic measure, we are also planning numerous other heat prevention measures:
- Extra watering along the route
- Building of shadow zones at the control posts
- Installation of dispensers with free sun cream at the start zone, arrivals and control posts
We also urge all walkers to:
- Drink enough during the walk
- Wear light clothing
- Protect their eyes against the sun and wear a hat
- Seek refreshment in time
- Be alert for symptoms of overheating
After two years of Covid, this is the third setback for us as organisers of the 100km Death March. Because the desire to walk is so great, we want to do everything to realise this edition. But next to walking pleasure, the safety of our walkers is our main concern.