Alpro Leiemarathon 2017


The scene along parts of the course.

After a few marathons all over Europe recently, I felt I needed to run one close to home again. The Alpro Leiemarathon 2017 was very conveniently located in Wevelgem, Belgium. I could not resist running this race on Sunday, September 24, 2017.

The race was sponsored by Alpro, the giant Belgian company specializing in plant-based food alternative to dairy. All their products are made from the Flemish soya bean. I must say they are good! I could not even tell the difference when I tried the the different yogurt flavors and yogurt drinks that were included in the finisher’s loot bag.

The race start was at 11:30 AM with a time limit of five hours and 30 minutes. The start area in Porseleinhallen was only an hour away from our house. Registration is from 25 – 35 euros, depending on the day you register. Race day was also possible for 45 euros. I picked up my pre-registered race bib just a few minutes before the race start.

Full and half marathoners started at the same time.

We had to do two flat loops along the Leie river. We passed the Alpro plant twice. It was a small race with just 328 marathoners and 618 marathoners. The aid stations had the usual water, sports drink, banana, and oranges. They also provided Isogel Extreme which I didn’t know had 100 milligrams of caffeine in it per packet! I had two before I realized each packet was more than my usual 35mg caffeine of GU Roctane Gel. I was worried with heart palpitations from too much caffeine but thankfully I was okay. Word of advice to you runners: check the caffeine content of the gels they provide at the aid stations!

The day started cool but heated up quickly. Aid stations also had sponge areas, and the local fire department had its hose running for help people cool down.

The finisher’s kit included a backpack, three soya drinks, three yogurts, and two Isogel Extremes that I took from the aid stations but did not use. The finisher’s medal was a colored metal cut-out highlighting the Leie river and the Alpro brand. It was a productive Sunday overall!

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