The fiftieth edition of the Dodentocht ended in Bornem. The hikers had until 21:30 to complete the 100-kilometre hike. 13,000 hikers accepted the challenge, and 9,755 reached the finish line. The organisation is satisfied.
The participants came from no fewer than 38 countries this year. The oldest participant was 98, and the youngest ones 15. Another remarkable fact: 35 participants completed the Dodentocht in the opposite direction on Thursday to celebrate its anniversary, and 28 of them wanted to also complete the real Dodentocht on Friday night.
“We are surprised by the enormous interest in the 50th edition this year. Unfortunately, we had to refuse many people as a result”, says spokesperson Ilse Robyn. “For safety reasons, we are unable to accept more than 13,000 participants. Some roads are too narrow and many people have asked us not to let the event become too large. We have imposed a limit on the number of participants since last year.”
The organisation deployed 1,300 volunteers to ensure the event went well, including at checkpoint and first aid stations along the route and as signallers on intersections. The Red Cross provided 300 volunteers who helped the 13,000 hikers where necessary. The hikers mainly suffered from blisters and sore muscles. A total of 2,500 participants were offered first aid. 6 people were brought to the hospital.
The Dodentocht started on Friday at around 21:00. The participants could finish after 07:00 on Saturday morning – not sooner, as the event is not a race. Participants who wanted to take their time could finish until 21:00.