Short description of the route The Flanders Fields Marathon runs through the flat landscape of the Westhoek, with its magnificent and wide panorama's and historical heritage reminding World War One. The marathon starts at the Flemish Coast and finishes at the historical city of Ypres.
The departure is at at the fish mine (Vismijn, Kaai) at Nieuwpoort-stad. The city of Nieuwpoort is known for its monument of King Albert I, the Euro yacht port and its impressive block of sluice gates. see "flooding of the polders" (on this course!!) Historically the front line of World War One went from Nieuwpoort to Switserland.
After leaving Ramskapelle the marathon goes immediately in the direction of the river IJzer and goes to the picturesque village of Stuivekenskerke. The marathon passes the reserve "de kleiputten" and continues to follow the IJzer. We pass the "Trench of Death", and reach the city of Diksmuide. Diksmuide (6MB)s famous for the tower of the Belfort, the Beguinage, the West Museum and the Sint-Niklaas church. Other historical sites are the Peace Gate and the IJzer Tower which is a Flemish memorial and a message of peace in Europe.
The Blankaart, at the left, is another nature reserve in the valley of the IJzer. The marathon route goes further through the former fortress Knokkebridge. We leave the IJzer and run along the Ieperlee towards Steenstraete, and pass the statue of the brothers Van Raemdonck.
Steenstraete is known for his memorial on the death of 6000 Belgian soldiers in 1915 as victims of the first poison gas attack. Passing in Boezinge and running along the canal Ieper-IJzer, we see many international military cemeteries, such as the John McRae-memorial, Talana Farm, the Welsh Cemetry, Bard Cottage, Essex Farm and several others reminding visitors the turbulent past of the Westhoek.
At the end of the canal we enter the charming historical city of Ypres, the middle ages Town of Cloth. Through the monumental Menin Gate, we run towards the finish line at the fabulous central market place with the impressive Cloth Hall, the Tower of the Belfort, and the 'In Flanders Fields' museum.
The "In Flanders Fields-marathon" runs through a flat and open landscape, follows mostly rivers and passes through picturesque small villages and historical towns. The many war memorials remember the thousands of soldiers from all over the world who offered their life in the Westhoek.
"We shall remember them"
Arthur Halestrap, 100-year old veteran of '14-'18, at the Menin Gate,
November 11, 1998 "