Last week worldofo organised the election for the international course of the year. No Belgian courses or maps were selected. Eventhough we had some interesting and challenging competitions in 2013. Below Delaatstepost-team made a selection from some races which were really demanding and which are worth some attention:
1. Oostelbeersche Heide (26/05/2013)
This map is located close to Eindhoven in the Netherlands (so not in Belgium). But many Belgian athletes participated in the Brabant 3-days and also the coursesetter was Belgian. Jeremy Genar made the courses for the last stage of the Brabant 3-days and got a lot of compliments afterwards. Wiet Laenen described this course as the best of the year: some interesting long legs and many technical short legs, it included everything what an orienteering event needs.
Sergey Fedatsenka (Belarus) and Miek Fabré (Belgium) were the winners in men and women elite. Fedatsenka was almost 8 minutes faster than Frank Buytaert. Also the Hendrickx' brothers didn't succeed in beating Fedatsenka in this technical terrain.
|On the mapfragment you can see the detailed microrelief at the Oostelbeersche Heide|
2. Zwarte Bergen (19/05/2013)
Also this map isn't located in Belgium, but it's stituated in Luycksgestel (also in the Netherlands). The map 'Zwarte Bergen' was the 2nd stage of the Belgian 3-days, so it also can be part of 'Belgian course of the year 2013'. This race was a middle distance world ranking event and had an international coursesetter: Henrik Lisby. Yannick Michiels (Belgium) and Anna Serrallonga (Spain) were victorious in men and women elite class. The Belgian toporienteer Michiels had chosen this map as the best course of year in Belgium (he spent half of the year in Sweden and didn't run many competitions here). Also the Belgian relay champs (Sonnis) and the Belgian sprint champs (Konijnenberg) were interesting races, he continued. But if he had to pick one, Zwarte Bergen was his favourit.
3. Gp Melis Galbergen (10/11/2013)
|In the middle of the WRE race the runners had to pass a technical open area|
Individual mass start races don't often take place in Belgium. Thanks to the concept this race got nominated for course of the year in Belgium. The map Galbergen isn't the most demanding which you can find in Flanders, but the qualification race was a positive surprise for all participants. All athletes who were present at this event, agreed that they have enjoyed the head-to-head fight during this race.
The qualification race was won by Benjamin Anciaux (Bel), ahead of Ivar Lundanes (Nor) and Jiri Bouchal (Cze). Evert Leeuws won the finals in the afternoon.
When we asked Winston Franssen about the 'course of the year', he answered immediately that Gp Melis was for sure the best event of the year. We need more organisations like this. It was a good example from how creating a great event with a low quality map. Also the Belgian relay champs were among his favourit races in 2013.
4. Athus (27/04/2013)
|An interesting routechoice between control 1 and 2. Some runners opted to take the path in the south and other runners went straight avoiding the private areas.|
This map was used for both jwoc as woc middle distance selection race for the Belgian national team. When the juniors were running here in early spring the visibility was still good and the terrain was fast. When the woc selection race took place, the map was changed into a technical area with many vegetationdetails.
Originally the woc selectionraces would take place in Finland, but they got cancelled because of the snow. Now it took place in less relevant terrain close to Arlon with Jean-Noel Debehogne as coursesetter. Tomas Hendrickx was in his best shape of the year at that moment and won the middle selection race in Athus. Fabien Pasquasy became 2nd and Johan Goubau 3rd.
|Athus was a new map in 2013 and hopefully it will be used for another competiton in the future.|
5. Gruitroderbos (08/09/2013)
The map Gruitrode is famous for the Jwoc 1997 long distance race. Also in 2013 it was used for a long distance national race with a coursesetting from Jozef Den Trooster. This map got selected by Toon Melis. He didn't run the elite course, but H21A (this class was easily won by the revelation of 2013: Michael Van Baelen). Also the current bronze medal from the world university champs (Anna Serrallonga) described the terrain as very demanding. It was her worst race in Belgium up to now, but still she enjoyed. Actually in general she's positive about the terrain in Flanders, perfect for improving her skills in microrelief and keeping direction with the compass. About the quality and accuracy of the Gruitroderbosmap itself she was a bit more critical. She had difficulties to always understand it (map D21E
). Actually she was not the only runner who prefered the map to be more uptodate (with vegetations).
In H21E Sergey Fedatsenka won the race ahead of Tomas Hendrickx and Jeroen Hoekx. Miek Fabré won the D21E race with more than 10 minutes ahead of Greet Oeyen.
|After the mapchange the H21E athletes entered the technical zones with detailed microrelief.|
(H21E part 2)
Maps which almost made it to our top5 selection:
- Raid-o-lux Chiny (map
) with a great performance from Michel Bastin,
- Belgian sprint champs Konijneberg
with a nice dune on the map,
- Belgian relay champs in Sonnis
(this race got some compliments but also some critics. 2 controls, seperated by only 20m, with the same controldescription caused some disqualifications),
- a test race in Ossendrecht noord
(a lot of positive comments about this race, but 3 out of 5 maps from the Netherlands would have been too much),
- the 5th stage of the Sylvester 5-days in Oirschot
(but this was the last race from 2012).
This selection from maps and courses is ofcourse not complete. So feel free to comment about an interesting orienteering competition which you've run in Belgium in 2013. It would be nice if you can add a link to the map and write down some (positive) comments why you've liked that specific course/map/race.