A moment ago, the new course of the Sofico Gent Marathon was presented in the offices of software provider Sofico, who is tying its name to the event as title partner for two years. It will be the first time in the history of the Gent Marathon that it will run through the art-historic city centre of Ghent!
Sunday 29th March is a date that many runners have marked in permanent ink in their diaries. That is when the 4th edition of the Sofico Gent Marathon will take place. "We are extremely delighted to tie Sofico's name to the biggest spring marathon in the country," says founder and CTO Piet Maes. "It gives an enormous boost to our colleagues, dozens of them have already registered. We have made a conscious choice for a participation sport, which fits in nicely with our company's vision for a healthy work-life balance."
"Icing on the cake for us of course the passage through the Technologiepark, the hub of the future, and site of Sofico's headquarters. It goes without saying that it is our ambition to gain more visibility as an employer in the region. We are growing fast and are constantly looking for talent! Thanks to our offices in Tokyo, the Olympic Games feature strongly at Sofico. We wish Ghent's own Bashir Abdi the very best for this summer. We will be there to watch him, " says Maes.
A RUN WITH A VIEW OVER THE UNIQUE GHENT SKYLINE
After the first kilometre along the Watersportbaan, the route dives straight into the city centre via the Nieuwewandeling passing by the most famous Ghent historic buildings and St Michael's Bridge. This will provide the participants with a beautiful view over the Ghent skyline defined by St Nicholas Church, the Belfry and St Bavo's Cathedral. The runners will go past the Vrijdagmarkt and the Van Eyck swimming pool; along the Visserij and after a passage along the banks of the Scheldt they will go in the direction of the Ghelamco Arena.
The route through the AA Ghent football stadium adds a nice little extra novelty before the participants of the longest distance continue their run along the Scheldt and Lys and discover the budding green open spaces of Sint-Denijs-Westrem and Afsnee. As tradition dictates, the Sofico Ghent Marathon finishes in the impressive Topsporthal where the runners will be welcomed with a warm applause from the many supporters, and where every participant will receive a unique Jan van Eyck medal to mark the Jan Van Eyck theme year 2020. This is a unique occasion for Ghent and a top experience for the participants as part of the festivities of the Jan Van Eyck year 2020!
"The marathon of Ghent has become a household name on the running calendar. And rightly so. A route that crosses the city centre for the first time and passes by some of the highlights of the Van Eyck programme, has made the next edition one to look forward to already", says Sofie Bracke, City Councillor for Sport.
BASHIR ABDI & SPORTAROUND VZW
Bashir Abdi, Belgian marathon record holder, took some time out of his preparation schedule for Tokyo 2020 to proudly present Sportaround vzw as the official charity of the Sofico Gent Marathon. "Sportaround was created in Ghent in 2013. On sports afternoons, we got children from disadvantaged areas to exercise. In the meantime, the organisation offers after-school sports to nearly 50 schools, visits squares with a sports cart in the summer months, organises neighbourhood sports camps and has developed plenty of easily accessible sports activities and events. It is really amazing to be able to enter into this partnership with the Sofico Gent Marathon. The new course straight through my hometown Ghent promises to be a truly excellent experience for the many participants" says ambassador Bashir Abdi.