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maandag, november 06, 2006

Orienteering in Belgium - Sylvester 5 days

Fancy a trip that has more to offer than just orienteering? Then Belgium is the place to be!

With the fantastic new tool WoO Calender available on World of O it’s time to plan you Christmas Holidays!

The Sylvester 5 days are held every year between Christmas and New Year in the northern part of Belgium. It is an organization from Flemish and 1 Dutch clubs.
With the Scandinavians training in the snow, there will probably be no snow for this event.
Some years we have had a little bit snow, but never enough to keep the runners out of the forest!

You can’t expect very technically difficult maps in an area like Flanders, but the high running speeds combined with a lot of paths will still be a challenge. Some of the maps will have tricky sand areas as well.
It will be fast definitely, with the elites probably running under 5’/km some days, so it's definately good speed-training!
Some of Belgians top elites will be racing there. Usually there are a few international runners present and last year's M21 field was made up of 30 runners.

Besides the orienteering there is a lot to see and taste in our country :

A lot of tourists come to Belgium for our beautiful cities, and cities like Antwerp, Brussels (see picture), Gent, Leuven and of course Brughes are less then 2 hours by car or train and definitely worth a visit!


Belgium is of course famous for our great beers and chocolate. I haven’t been to many orienteering events in other countries where people are drinking strong beers like Leffe after their race :)


Belgium is pretty central in Europe and has very good transport possibilities. Ryanair has an airport in Charleroi and the airport in Eindhoven, Netherlands is even closer to the races. Trains and buses can bring you close to the competition areas from the airport within 2 hours.

The national airport near Brussels, also offers quite cheap flights to Brussels (Try SN Brussels Airlines, Virgin,...)

The website of the event has some suggestions about accommodation.
Because Belgium is so tiny, most orienteers just drive from home every day, so there won’t be a camping site or sports hall or so were everybody stays.
Looking at the maps that they will use, staying near the city of Hasselt probably is a good idea if you would like to have some entertainment as well. (shops, restaurants, cinema…)

If you can’t hire a car, staying near Leopoldsburg is probably your best option as a lot of orienteers live near that little town and you could try to arrange a lift beforehand. There is however not so much to do....

If you still want to spend Christmas at home, you can decide to skip day 1, as only the 4 best results of the 5 days count and travel on the 26th.

Entries have to be made before 2/12. Entry fee is only 20 euro for 5 days of orienteering!!

If you have any questions about this event, add a comment to this post or contact the organizers from the event’s website!

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