Urban Trail Antwerp 2018

Today I ran the Antwerp Urban Trail for the second year in a row.

For those of you who don’t know the Urban Trail concept, it’s a run in the big cities in Belgium, where you run through some of the most beautiful buildings of the city. In Antwerp this includes ‘The Studio’, ‘Photo Museum’, ‘Paleis op de Meir’, …

I don’t run races very often, but I love the vibe around them. Also this one is not really a race since there’s no time registration…

The day started out with rain pouring down non stop. I’m running a marathon in 4 weeks so today I wanted to run 28km. The Urban Trail is 12km, so I planned on doing 16 before the race started… I ended up running for an hour before the race and then I was so soaking wet that I had to go back home and change. Of course by the time I came home, it had stopped raining.

At the start I met up with my friend Tine and 2 of her friends. The starting point was very chaotic, it wasn’t very clear where we had to pick our bibs, the line for bag drop was very long and messy, … But in the end we got our bibs, we picked up our t-shirt and dropped off our bags. We were ready to run!

In general the run was very crowded. A lot of people were walking and because of the bad weather in the morning people had decided to start in later waves… So every time you wanted to enter a building, you had to wait. The first long wait (more than a couple of minutes) was at the Tomorrowland HQ building, but they had also put in the most effort with bubbles, people dressed up, …

The second long wait was at the end, when people had to run/walk over a bridge and had to climb narrow stairs to get there… We skipped the line and climbed them from the wrong side when no one was looking (shame on us), or we would have been there for over 15 minutes. This part of the trail is something they will have to rethink for future Urban trails.

After 1 hour and 50 minutes, lots of walking and a ton of stairs, we got back to the Parkloods in Park Spoor Noord. Only to find out that they had run out of Aquarius. Disappointed we headed to bag pick up, where we were met with more chaos. First it took them forever to find our stuff, then they handed us a wrong bag. Then we headed to pick up our breakfast bags, the line was super long but it went fast… Sadly they were already cleaning up the coffee we were so looking forward to.


In the end I have to say, we had a lot of fun! Crowds weren’t an issue (except for the bridge part at the end), but chaos at the start and finish is definitely a working point for the organization.  If you wanna see some buildings in big Belgian cities while getting a workout, Urban Trail is the way to go. If you’re looking for a new PR, I would choose another race.

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