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woensdag, november 12, 2014

Welcome to Sylvester 5-days in Belgium

Interested in participating in the last world ranking event (WRE) in 2014? Then the north of Belgium will be the place to be at the end of december.

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!

The Weyervlakte terrain is waiting for you at Sylvester 5days 2014

Fast terrain and high level:
You can’t expect very technically difficult maps in an area like Flanders, but the high running speeds combined with a lot of paths and details will still be a challenge. Some of the maps will have tricky sand areas and detailed countourlines as well (specially the first 3 stages in 2014). The terrains can be a perfect preparation for the WOC 2015 middle distance race in Scotland. The first stage of the Sylvester 5-days will take place in the Netherlands and will be the last world ranking event in 2014.

It will be fast definitely, with the elites probably running under 5’/km some days, so it's definately good speed-training! Ofcourse most of the Belgians top elites will be racing there. The previous years always some strong international runners showed up in the elite classes. In class H21E Philippe Adamski (France), Hannu Airila (Finland) and Yannick Michiels (Belgium) were the 3 last winners of the world ranking event. In women's class Amelie Chataing (France) and 2 times Miek Fabré (Belgium) took the victory in 2011-2013 at the Sylvester 5 days WRE.

Evert Leeuws in action on De Weyervlakte

JEC 2014:
Some months ago the Junior European Cup took place in the same area (JEC 2014 maps). Most junior athletes from different countries enjoyed the competitions and gave positive feedback. If you want to feel the atmosphere again you can take a look at the JEC2014 aftermovie. During Sylvester 5-days you'll even have the opportunity to race on the JEC2014 long distance map again.

Maelle Beauvir passing the spectatorscontrol in the sandy area from De Weyervlakte

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.

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....

Entries have to be made before 1st of decembe. Entry fee is only 30 euro for 5 days of orienteering!! (late entry is more expensive)
Registration is possible on the orienteeringonline website.

New is the ranking system. The winner of the sylvester 5-days is the man/woman in his/her category who will realise the best time after counting the running-times from the 5 days.

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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