On Sunday 27 March, Pauwels Consulting joined 10,500 keen runners from 39 countries in the Ghent Marathon 2022. Consultants and back-office colleagues stood on the start line ready for the event they’d spent months training for. And boy, were they ready!
Unlike the glorious weather we enjoyed the day before, it was grey, foggy and chilly on Sunday morning. Runners warmed up on the start line with a chill in the air, but that couldn’t spoil the fun.
Just like every year, the Ghent Marathon 2022 was very well organised. Participants could again rely on the help of pacemakers – experienced runners who all ran at a different, regular pace. They displayed their set speed on their backs and acted as a reference for runners. For inexperienced runners in particular, this was an excellent way of maintaining the pace and not getting too carried away by the music and supporters.
Runners’ times were also recorded using a chip that detected when they passed certain checkpoints, such as the start and finish line, allowing participants to track their time to the second. Supporters could also follow the runners on the Ghent Marathon 2022 website to help them cheer on their favourite athletes at several locations along the route.
The marathon gets underway
7,000 marathon and half-marathon runners were first to start. The starting gun sounded at 10:00, and they were off. Loud, uplifting music was played all along the route, with everyone in great spirits and cheering the runners on everywhere you looked. Runners also received a well-deserved reception in Ghent’s historic city centre.
An hour later, it was time for the 11km run. This route didn’t go through the city centre, but the runners did follow the half-marathon course along the Leie River for the last two kilometres. The race finished with a lap of the Topsporthal arena, where the runners could complete the marathon with music, cheers and applause ringing in their ears.
A great end to a great day
Lahcen El Matougui won the Ghent Marathon 2022 in a time of 2:27:37. The runners that followed were often emotional when crossing the finish line, proud that they’d reached the end. We saw grimaces of pain and tears of joy as well as a whole host of smiles. We had huge respect for all the runners, some of whom had been tackling the route for over five hours.
Once all of our colleagues had finished, we ended the day with a bite to eat and a drink. Tired but satisfied, we returned home that evening with stiff legs and huge smiles on our faces. Congratulations to everyone who took part, and here’s to next year!
Fancy taking up the challenge next year?
If you would like to take part in the next Ghent Marathon, the Corporate Cycling Challenge, the Green Challenge or another event, keep an eye on your mailbox as there are several fun challenges coming up in the near future. We look forward to seeing you soon!