Enschede Marathon: marathon becomes one big round

Enschede Marathon continues to innovate. One of the most important changes is that on Sunday, April 16, 2023, when the 54th edition will be organized, the Demcon Hele Marathon will consist of one big round. “We do all marathon runners a great favor with that,” says Sandra Melief, director of Enschede Marathon. “In addition, the start and finish have been moved to the Boulevard, so the runners have much more space there.”

With the new course, the marathon returns to its origins, when the participants ran a grand tour through Twente. The marathon route includes a loop north of Lonneker and also runs for more than seven kilometers through the rural area of ​​Twekkelo. “Although the two rounds of the entire marathon were not completely the same, we regularly received requests to make it one big round,” says Melief. “In addition, last year we saw that the runners of the full and half marathon got in each other’s way due to the crowds on the course.”

More space
An additional point is that the head of Enschede is going to be renovated. “That’s not happening yet this year,” says Melief, “but we’ve had the wish for a new route for some time. That is why we choose to set up a new course now that is ‘future-proof’. Enschede Marathon has carried the Elite Label since 2018. This means that runners can qualify for the Olympic Games and the World Cup at Enschede Marathon. We are therefore obliged to offer a fast, flat and spacious course for these top runners at our stand. And it is now much nicer for the recreational runner as well.”

Start and finish
Another change is the start and finish location. “Because the number of participants continues to grow, it became too cramped on the Van Heekplein,” explains Melief. “Starting and finishing on the Boulevard creates more space in all areas. This is how the runners were able to run through the Klanderij last year. That in itself was very nice, but it took too long before the runners could get to the care. There is now more room for that care as well. And another advantage: more spectators can now stand along the sidelines to encourage the runners.”

Connection with the city center
By choosing a different start time for the Univé 5 km FitRUN – this now starts at 1 p.m. – runners will come and go on the Boulevard between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. “Because of all those starting and finishing runners, there is always something to see,” says Melief. “Of course it is a pity that we have to leave the Van Heekplein for start and finish, but don’t worry: the festivities, stands and catering will remain on the square. Moreover, all distances go over the Oude Markt, which means that the long-standing bond with the city center is maintained.”