Good suggestion for first marathon anyone?

I've been running for a little over a year after more than 20 years as a couch potato. I've lost quite a bit of weight in the past 18months and ran a few races since last winter finishing with the Brussels 20kms in May. I finished it, I enjoyed and I had no aches or pains afterwards, so success! Next challenge? Well of course a marathon, but which one? I've been talking to people and suggestions of Rotterdam and Zurich have come up as fast races so good for starters, any thoughts or suggestions? It seems that Brussels is a tough one so to be avoided, thoughts on this? (I live 15kms from Brussels so of course this would be the easy option for me!) Thanks and happy running!


  • Yup the Zurich race is a good race, you will have roughly 4.5 months to train for it and should be able to get into  good shape. Some  general training information can be found here:

  • Thanks for that website suggestion, will definitely take a look!
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Hey Tanya,

    It's nice to see some other 'belgian's' on the site. I work in Brussels (Etterbeek) but live between Gent and Antwerp. If you're looking for some suggestions of ones near Belgium have a look at the following:

    - Antwerp (21st May) - flat as a pancake. I'll be running it next year.
    - Gent: this one should be coming back next year (sept) time. They cancelled it this year due to lack of volunteers.

    Brussels isnt tough so to say.... it's just boring. In comparison to the 20km - there's not so many crowds and you tend to take in more of the hills. But if you train and live here - it shouldnt be too much of an issue.

    Some others to consider outside of Belgium:

    - Duesseldorf - April. Flat and speedy course and great German Support
    - Rotterdam - April. Great course and lots of support. 

     Let me know how you get on! Are you planning to do the 20km of Brussels again?

  • Hello, another "Belgian" in Brussels here!   

    I think Emmy's got it right here - 

    Rotterdam was good, pancake flat obviously apart from the bridge, supportive crowd pretty much all the way around - I'll do it again some day.  

    Brussels marathon - much smaller event - 2,000 maybe - felt quite tough and the drag out to Tervuren is long and quiet (partly because we go through the Foret des Soignes) and there are certainly hills including the final long pull up back to the start. Support was good at the end down into the Grand Place which was a good finish. Again, I'm sure I'll do it again soon seeing as we live here - maybe next year.

    Didn't even know about the Brussels 20km until this year - guess it's the big run round here!  I think I'd run an extra 1km to get to a half marathon distance (!)

    Am also running Antwerp this spring - good luck Emmy and Tanya too, whatever you choose to run.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    @Kevin - *waves*. We're getting quite a few of us on here.

    - What did you think of the Brussels Marathon. What sort of time are you running? I found that for the 'slower' runners; they weren't particularly friendly.

    Brussels 20K is absolutely incredible. The run itself is quite flat until 17km along Avenue Tervueren and the hill up to the finish. 20km runs are quite popular here- i've seen.

    If you're looking for a last minute marathon - there's one on Saturday, December 15, 2012 10:00 AM just outside of Brussels.

    This run consists of 6 laps of 7 kms each. It looks pretty "natury" (though not a trail).
    You can participate either individually or in a group of 2-6 people (if less than 6, someone has to run more laps of course). Inscription is EUR 15 for an individual 

    Webpage is

    Good luck to whatever you're running.

  • Hi all, thanks for the comments. I've decided to give myself a bit more time, especially since I didn't run much this summer and now I'm down with asmatic bronchitis... Bummer! I have actually enrolled for the Berlin marathon end of September. I'll definitely be doing the 20kms this year!

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    @Tanya - I'll hopefully see you on the startline for both of those (definitely booked into Berlin but 20km could be difficult if it sells out as quickly as it did this year!).

  • That would be great! It'd be nice not to be alone in Berlin as is first one and my husband doesn't run! For the 20kms I'm lucky as I can enroll via my hubby's company. If u don't get a number I could try to get you one via a club that had a few spares last year!
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Same here. I'm going with a few friends from RW but i'll be alone. Whats your planned marathon time?

    Also, are you with a club in belgium? do they speak english or french? Am trying to find an international club and I didn't "fit" with my local club (i'm under the age of 40, not a housewife and not belgianimage).

    You can enroll with your husbands company? That's fantastic! I'm one of the poor people who is waiting by the internet trying to get a place! Although this year I was lucky to get one a week beforehand.

  • Many thanks for the Kampenhout info - if I have time I may well enter - quite tempted - as I've kept up my running pretty well since my last marathon which was Berlin a couple months ago (you guys will have a great time - it's a top event.)

    Brussels marathon - it was good - no big negatives - support's a bit so/so until the end in the Place but the organisers can't do much about that and it doesn't really bother me either way. Maybe take the ipod next time though. It was a more challenging course too - I seem to mostly do flat marathons so that was a good change.  I ran I think 3hr 50 - I'm pretty average as far as speed goes

    I would certainly do it again - why not - partly because we're in Brussels of course.  I also ran it on a beautiful day (in 2010) which helped.

    Get well soon Tanya!


  • I just came back from 20mins on the treadmill, coughed a bit but not bad, it was mostly the throat bothering me as my lungs seem to have cleared out (finally!). Will try some trails in forget de soignes tomorrow, but need to figure out how to cover my mouth without getting overheated, ideas? Cold air in my lungs / throat is still not very nice!

    Have a great gray day!
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    @Tanya - Try wearing a buff and see if that helps? Good to hear that you're feeling better

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