Belgian and British runners win Brussels 20km race

Belgian and British runners win Brussels 20km race
© Belga

Belgium’s Amaury Paquet and Britain’s Sophie Wood won the men’s and women’s titles respectively at the 42nd edition of the Brussels 20km race on Sunday.

Paquet (31), who also won the title last year, finished in 1 hour and 1 second (1:00:01) ahead of duathlon athlete Arnaud Dely (1:00:22) and Pierre Denays (1:01:44).

In the women’s race, Sophie Wood, who succeeds 2021 winner Florence De Cock, clocked 1:11:11. Belgium’s Roxanne Cleppe (1:12:30) placed second and Irene Tozi of Italy (1:13:56) was third.

Over 31,000 people took part in the race, which started and ended at the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels. It was relatively incident free, with the Red Cross reporting that it only had to intervene to treat minor conditions such as small injuries and bladders on feet.

By 2.00 p.m., the organisation said, it had treated 249 persons, including 98 at the advanced medical outpost at the Cinquantenaire Park. However, four persons had to be taken to hospital for more advanced care, according to Red Cross Spokesperson Nancy Ferroni.

Sunday’s racers included Queen Mathilde, who took part in the “Marchers” category, and her son, Prince Emmanuel, who ran the 20 kms.

The environmental group Greenpeace organised a protest on the margins of the race against sponsoring by the oil and gas multinational TotalEnergies, which donates a cheque for 50,000 U.S. dollars towards the organization of the race each year.

Greenpeace activists climbed the buildings adjacent to the arrival line, displaying two large banners bearing the message: "Congrats runners, you did it! Next year without toxic sponsor TotalEnergies?".

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