Are you looking for a way to keep fit while visiting the length and breadth of Luxembourg? Trails through woodland and rocky terrain, races amidst buildings listed for their industrial and architectural heritage, routes along the Moselle... Here is a small selection of organised running events in Luxembourg – a great option for keeping active all year round while taking in some of the country's memorable sights!
The unmissable ING Night Marathon in Luxembourg City
Every year in May, the country's biggest running event, the ING Night Marathon, takes place in Luxembourg City. The route starts in Kirchberg and crosses through several of the city's districts, giving runners a chance to appreciate the contrast between the ultra-modern Kirchberg quarter and the historical Upper Town, perched on a rocky plateau. In 2024, the marathon will be held on Saturday 11th May.
Participants can choose between several disciplines: the traditional marathon, the half marathon, the team run (a four-person relay on the marathon route) and the 5k run for success (5km in teams of three).
There are also specific races for children and teenagers: the mini minimarathon (1km, ages 5 and over) and the minimarathon (4.2km, ages 12 and over).
A new race for fans of sport on wheels has recently been introduced: Roll & Run. Wheelchairs, racing wheelchairs, prams, pushchairs and skateboards are among the modes of transport accepted for this short-distance race.
Even if you're not a runner, you can still get involved in the event by cheering on the participants and taking advantage of the live music and refreshment stands along the route.
Other popular classics in Luxembourg City
Apart from the ING marathon, there are a number of other popular races in and around the capital that have become firm favourites for Luxembourgers:
- Postlaf (10km): the next edition will take place on 10th March 2024.
- DKV-UrbanTrail (5km, 10km and 18km): walking and running routes. The next edition will take place on 20th and 21st April 2024.
- City Jogging – City Walking (6km, 10km): held on the first Sunday in July.
- Luxembourg Times BusinessRun (5.5km): running through the Kirchberg, the next edition will take place on 19th September 2024.
Luxembourg Pride Run
The first edition of the Luxembourg Pride Run takes place on 5th July 2023. The aim of this festive sporting event is to celebrate diversity and inclusion. It is a charity race for companies, organisations and anyone who wants to show their support for the LGBTIQ+ community. All proceeds from the event will go to the organisations Rosa Lëtzebuerg and Centre LGBTIQ+ Cigale.
Äischdall Trail to explore Guttland's valleys and woodland
In August, a sporting challenge awaits you in the Eisch Valley, or Äischdall, in western Luxembourg, near the Belgian border. The valley is named after the Eisch river, which flows through Belgium and Luxembourg, and the Äischdall Trail, open to runners and Nordic walkers, is a great way to discover the area. The route starts in Eischen/Äischen and crosses through forests and meadows, giving you a taste of the region's unspoilt countryside. In 2024, the race will take place on Tuesday 15th August, a public holiday.
Participants can choose between several disciplines:
- Running: 6km (age 12 and over), 11km (age 15 and over) and 21km (age 18 and over). There are also 500m and 1000m races for children.
- Nordic walking: 6km, 11km and 21km.
The region is particularly known for its castles, earning it the name of Valley of the Seven Castles. So even if you don't want to run the race, this is a great opportunity to come along and discover the area while cheering on the participants. Refreshment stands and live music are organised for the occasion.
Escher Kulturlaf – a glimpse of the industrial and cultural heritage of the Minett
What better way to get back into the swing of things after the summer than by taking part in a race in southern Luxembourg? The Sudstroum escher kulturlaf crosses through the Belval district and the town of Esch-sur-Alzette, former iron ore mining areas that were crucial for Luxembourg's economic development in the 20th century, giving the region its characteristic red colour – and its name! In 2024, the race will be held on Saturday 7th September.
Participants can choose between three distances: half marathon (21km), 10 miles (16km) and 10km.
Younger family members are also welcome. The SUDenergie Mini-kulturlaf is a 1000m race for children aged between 5 and 12. The main aim of this children's race is to have fun, so it isn't timed.
The event is also about celebrating culture – not only are the runners surrounded by impressive examples of converted industrial heritage, but a variety of live music acts also liven up the route.
Leopard Ultratrail Mullerthal, through the rocks in Luxembourg's Little Switzerland
If you have a taste for a challenge, then make sure you add the Leopard Ultratrail Mullerthal to your diary. Participants can choose from a series of semi self-sufficient trails among the unspoilt nature and imposing rocks of the Mullerthal. The start is at Heringer Millen. In 2023, the race took place on Saturday 9th September.
Several distances are available:
- Ultratrail: 111km, 3500m elevation gain.
- Long trail: 75km, 1900m elevation gain.
- Trail: 35km, 1100m elevation gain.
- Shorty trail: 21km, 600m elevation gain.
The principle of these individual races is semi self-sufficiency, in other words the ability to manage your own needs between any two refreshment points, in terms of food and drink and also clothes and safety equipment, so that you can adapt to any problems or unforeseen events (bad weather, injuries, etc.).
There are also races for children aged 4 and over with the Kids Adventure Run.
Route du Vin along the Moselle
At the end of September, the ING Route du Vin takes runners through the vine-covered hillsides of the Luxembourg Moselle. All the distances start and finish in Remich. In 2023, the race took place on Sunday 24th September.
There are several options: half marathon (which can be run individually or in teams of three or more runners), 10km and 5km. Two non-timed races are also organised for children: 700m (ages 6-8) and 1500m (ages 9-12).
A little anecdote
Paul Frieden, Luxembourg's great post-war long-distance running champion, came up with the idea of the Route du Vin. The concept was based on a simple observation: if the public weren't coming to stadiums to watch athletics, it was up to athletes to go to where the public were. And so he suggested a race along the Moselle during the grape harvest. This idea seemed far-fetched in 1962, but the race has proven hugely popular over the years, and the Route du Vin is now Luxembourg's oldest road race.
Sylvesterlaf Rambrouch – bringing the year to a close in the peaks of the Éislek region
To finish the year in sporting fashion, what better way than the Sylvesterlaf Rambrouch in the Luxembourg Ardennes, on the afternoon of 31st December. The race starts at the Cultural Centre in Rambrouch.
The main distance is 10km. Shorter races are also organised for younger participants: 900m (ages 5-10) and 1800m (ages 11-14).
All participants receive a souvenir gift after the race. And once you've finished, all that's left is to ring in the new year in style!