History

An age-old tradition

Check out our timeline here

  • August 14th, 1970

    65 hikers line up for the first 100 km Dodentocht of ‘Kadee-Bornem’. 47 participants reached the finish line 24 hours later. The participation of Ms Dirven from the Netherlands immediately gave the first edition an international aspect.

  • 1971

    202 participants attend the second edition. Café ‘t Kelderke, the site of departure, quickly becomes too small for the growing number of participants.

  • 1972

    The starting line moves to the Jan Hammeneckerstraat (where you can now find the Cultural Centre Ter Dilft). 397 participants line up for their 100 km Dodentocht. The casket is introduced.

  • 1973

    Because of the large number of advance registrations (782 participants), the hikers start from the Kerkplein. The tent on the Kerkplein has since become a fixed component of the Dodentocht week.

  • 1974

    The organisation reaches the milestone of thousand participants during the fifth edition. The residents of Bornem are also infected with the Dodentocht bug. Many of them make rooms available in their homes and arrange provisions along the route.

  • 1977

    An adjusted route, more extensive accommodation options and greater coordination allow the organisation to grow past the milestone of two thousand participants. Despite the horrible weather, 65% of the participants reach the finish line.

  • 1979

    Children between 6 and 16 years old can get an impression of the Dodentocht during the Mini-Dodentocht.

  • 1983

    The festivities surrounding the 100 km Dodentocht are expanded significantly. The 100 km bike ride was introduced in 1982 and is now joined by ‘Castle Jogging’. The Cartoenale, in cooperation with CC Ter Dilft, offers a fun advertising option. This is the first time the Red Cross offers its services to alleviate hurt feet and other body parts.

  • 1984

    This is the first year in which the number of participants of the 100 km Dodentocht drops slightly.

  • 1985

    The organisation introduces a completely new route. The midway turnaround point moves from Aalst to Strombeek and more attention is paid to the safety aspects along the picturesque spots. Computers are introduced: no more browsing in filing trays. The number of participants increased by no less than 500.

  • 1986

    The ‘Plus 10 Club’, for participants who complete the 100 km Dodentocht more than ten times, is set up to celebrate loyal participants.

  • 1987

    The 100 km Dodentocht becomes the largest 100 km hike in Europe with 4518 participants.

  • 1992

    The milestone of five thousand hikers is achieved. 3165 hikers successfully complete the event.

  • 1994

    An anniversary year for the 100 km Dodentocht: the 25th edition with a double milestone with 5203 participants and 3538 finishers.

  • 1995

    The first introduction of an additional 40 km route. 1060 people line up for this route.

  • 1997

    A new Dodentocht casket is introduced after the former casket is burned symbolically after 25 years of service.

  • 1998

    The Dodentocht name and logo are registered as a brand.

  • 2001

    8053 hikers walk out into the night during this 32nd edition. A beautiful edition according to the hikers, and a successful one for the organisation.

  • 2002

    The Dodentocht continues to grow as it welcomes 8131 participants. The Night of the Youth Centres is born.

  • 2003

    A heatwave scourges the 100 km Dodentocht. Ten thousand bags of water cool down the 8717 participants.

  • 2004

    The event experiences a downpour from the start until early morning. This leads to a record number of people giving up among the 9000 hikers. This is also the year of the first DOTO-A-LIVE.

  • 2005

    The poor weather of last year has stuck with the hikers. The number of participants drops to 8595. It is the coldest 100 km Dodentocht ever, and we achieve the second-highest number of finishers. Marc Herremans completes this edition for ‘To Walk Again’.

  • 2006

    8413 hikers sign up this year. ‘Walking for a better world’ is the new motto as of this year. Dixie Dansercoer, the pole traveller, participates for Unicef. The Flemish Minister Kris Peeters also completes his first 100 km Dodentocht.

  • 2007

    We almost reach a new milestone with 8958 participants. 800 hikers test an RF-ID chip which makes scanning unnecessary.

  • 2009

    The 40th edition breaks records. No fewer than 10,796 hikers left the starting line of their 100 km hike. 6406 participants finished in Bornem, resulting in a finishing rate of 59.35%. Jef Kuppens, who participates for the 40th time, arrives early afternoon.

  • 2010

    The 41st edition is one for the books as the threshold of 10,000 hikers is surpassed again (10,605). The very unfortunate death of a participant is also engraved in our memories. We seek solace in the fact that this unfortunate event happened while participating in the hobby he loved.

  • 2012

    The 43rd edition attracts a record number of participants. No fewer than 10,957 hikers lined up for the start, of which 6,815 reach the finish line. They were rewarded a delicious and fitting gingerbread heart to celebrate the 145th birthday of Vondelmolen.

  • 2013

    The record number of participants is broken again with 11,157 participants departing for the 100 km Dodentocht, of which 62.1% finish. The weather was perfect for hiking and the Red Cross had less to do than in other years.

  • 2014

    The downpour was brutal during the first part of the hike. Only 6,873 of the record number of 11,681 hikers returned to Bornem. Karel Suyken, the Bornem resident who had completed 42 editions, arrived at the finish line at 20:00.

  • 2015

    The record of the past edition was broken again this year. No fewer than 12,017 editions participated in the 46th edition. Many people are truly caught by the participation bug.

  • 2018

    Because of the large number of participants in 2017, just shy of 14,000, the organisation decides to impose a limit of 13,000 participants with effect from this year. The maximum number of participants is reached within one month after the online registration option becomes available.

  • 2019

    The 13,000 tickets for the anniversary edition of the 100 km Dodentocht are sold out within two hours. King Filip grants the organisation the title of ‘Royal International 100 km Dodentocht’. No less than 78% of the participants reach the finish line.

Did you know ...

The 100km Dodentocht is organized annually by volunteers? Last year, more than 1,300 volunteers participated in a fantastic edition! Do you also want to contribute? Then take a look at our vacancies.