Long Course Weekend Nieuwpoort
A relatively new concept is the Long Course Weekend. You have it already in several locations and it’s a great event with a marvellous organistation. Marie-Claire competed in the 2022 edition as a test for a real full distance triathlon. Such incredible races demand hours of training and you need to figure out how your body will react to that.
The race contains out of 3.8 km of swimming on Friday evening, 180 km of biking in Flanders Fields on Saturday and it ends on Sunday with a marathon.
In 2022 the timing was a little strange due to rules of UCI which needs to be followed. It’s not allowed to organise a timed races when the track is not fully closed for traffic. Obviously this isn’t a big deal for swimming and also a marathon track is relatively easy to secure and hold back traffic with some signalmans. But for a bike race of over 180 km through Flanders Fields that’s very difficult to organise and mostly reserved for very big cycling events like Ghent – Wevelgem to name one. As a result the biking is not timed over the entire distance but only a shorter part of the race is closed for traffic and is timed. It’s understandable that safety comes first, but it’s still a pity that this has an impac on the end result if you are a very strong biker.
Update 2023: In this year the timing for all full disciplines was taken into account, which is more fair. Marie-Claire had a great cycling day and finished the 180 km with 1000 altitude meters with an average just below 30 km/h. It gave here a nice advantage to start the marathon, which was good as she fell ill overnight. The marathon was a struggle and she had to vomit 3 times. Luckily the margin she created during cycling was big enough to win the 2023 edition.
Marie-Claire managed to compete strong in all disciplines of the race and was the winner in the female category! A very strong result and this gave a lot of confidence to keep on trainining for a full distance triathlon but then on 1 day and within the time limit of 17 hours!
Marie-Claire managed to win 2 times in a row. First time in 2022 and consecutive in 2023. The podium ceremonie is really impressive, as you can see in the 2023 movie. There is a guard of honor of all athletes competing in the Long Course Weekend before the first 3 male and female athletes can step up the podium.