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Luxembourg : the ING Night Marathon Luxembourg is coming!

As an intercultural as well as intergenerational event, the ING Night Marathon has become, since its inception in 2006, the must-see sporting event in Luxembourg. Want to learn more about this event? Just Arrived offers you an interview of Karen Urbani and Christophe Rahier, Marathon Project Coordinators for ING Luxembourg.

  • What is the history of the ING Night Marathon Luxembourg, when did it start? For what purpose?

It all started when in 2006, ING Luxembourg has decided to support the project of the marathon led by Erich François and his company Step By Step, the ING Group was actively conducting an international program around running : "Globe Runners”. ING wanted therefore to encourage the runners around the world to participate in the various races it sponsored and in this way help each one of us to improve our physical condition. 

Supporting the marathon of Luxembourg was a new project which perfectly matched to the “Globe Runners” program, but which was also particularly conform to the ING Luxembourg mission, which aims to be THE partner of its customers, always at their side, supporting them in their projects and advising them first and foremost. A mission which also requires a fair amount of endurance and perseverance, just like running!

All these reasons have made that ING Luxembourg did not hesitate one second to embark on this great adventure!

Since its first edition, ING Luxembourg therefore supports this sporting event that arouses the enthusiasm of the participants as well as the supporters. It is now much more than a great feast, it is an actual annual appointment, deeply rooted in the local life of the Grand Duchy.

ING Luxembourg will remain the title sponsor of the event until 2020 ! Based on its experience in the matter, ING wants to maintain the proximity it has with the public, to strengthen its position on the financial market but also, of course, to promote sport and well-being for all.

  • Today, ING Night Marathon Luxembourg has become a real institution in Luxembourg : how do you explain such a success?

Since its inception in 2006, ING Night Marathon Luxembourg has grown in popularity. Each year, the event is a sell-out and the enrolment is closed much earlier. Again this year, we sold out as early as the end of January (6 weeks earlier than in 2015). A waiting list of more than 3.000 candidates had to be closed after only a few days.

The popularity of running in the recent years benefits the event. But its success is also due to the quality of the organization orchestrated by Step by Step and to the different facilities made available to the runners. We also should not forget the guidelines implemented around the race. More than 1.000 volunteers, the police services, the fire fighters, the emergency services as well as those of the city of Luxembourg make every effort to contribute to the success of the event.

  • Is this a truly intercultural event?

It is indeed an intercultural event since we welcome runners from the Grand Duchy but also from the neighboring countries. One might even call this event intergenerational as the youngest runner is 3 years old and the oldest 83 years old (Josy Simon who established in 2013 a new 100 km world record in the M80 category)

  • How would you describe this event to an expat who has just arrived?

It is an appointment that has become inescapable in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The atypical side of this event is that it takes place on a Saturday night and allows therefore each and everyone to watch the race while taking advantage of the numerous activities and entertainment organized in the city, all in a friendly and festive atmosphere.

Regarding the runners, it is a unique experience to live. Almost all along the race circuit, samba groups, DJs and fans are present to encourage the athletes. The end of the race takes place in the hall of the Luxexpo which is totally redecorated for the occasion (light, pyrotechnics, PA) in order to welcome every runner as it should be. Some of them have told us that it was like being in Disneyland.

  • Looking at the magnitude of the event, it should not be easy to organize ! How much time and human resources are needed to prepare for the marathon?

Indeed, the implementation of the event is a work which starts from the next day of the last edition, but we are not dealing with the race itself ! We leave this task to our partner expert on the subject, Erich François, and his team from Step by Step!

By ING, as a main partner of the race, we take charge of the promotion of the event, the coordination of the visibility of ING and the "ING Night Marathon Luxembourg" brand through the media, public relations, or even campaigns and street marketing actions before or during the event. We also manage the various registrations of the ING Luxembourg guests and their coaching the day of the race. We produce thousands of "goodies" for fans and runners. We also carry the internal corporate communication to mobilize our employees so that they will become runners or volunteers (nearly a quarter of the staff of our company is mobilized for this beautiful project).

Finally, we are involved in the different stages of the organization of the event to ensure that the 12.000 runners will be greeted and framed in the best conditions.

  • How many participants do you expect this year?

14.000 runners in all disciplines are expected this year (15% more registrations than the marathon of 2015). The organizer has reviewed this year the departure as well as all the facilities in order to welcome more participants in the future.

  • Many companies take advantage of this event to run in Team runs, is the phenomenon increasing year by year?

ING Night Marathon Luxembourg has become THE EVENT for each company, the sporting event of the year which is not to be missed. It became a yearly important moment during which the employees of each company live together a unique and sporting moment. It's a bit like a team-building!

Before D-day, trainings are organized in the companies, sportswear are offered, and many other initiatives are taken by the collaborators as a preparation.

  • What are the ingredients of a successful ING marathon for you?

Sun, joy, supporters pumped to encourage our thousands of motivated runners. An ingredient especially not to be forgotten is... orange!

  • Any innovations or new animations for this 2016 edition? What will the spectators be entitled to this year?

Each year, we rethink our concepts, we are trying to innovate just as our company usually does.

In downtown, for example, we will offer this year entertainment for children but also an interactive game on the kiosk, allowing each one to establish a record during a final sprint. We will also organize a game using social networks in the pedestrian part of the city. It will be possible for the runners to take a picture and create a "gif" (an animated picture to be shared on social networks). Of course, we keep our traditional goodies : a texan hat and a hand foam. Within several hours, the city of Luxembourg will be orange!

  • What would you advise the people who wish to take part in the marathon for the first time, both runners and spectators?

For runners wishing to compete in the event, the only piece of advice I’ll give is : be on time ! From the beginning of the registrations in September, don’t wait! Sign without any further delay on

With regard to the spectators, feel free to invest the streets of Luxembourg-City the day of the event. You’ll have fun! Enjoy!

* article written in partnership with ING Luxembourg