Centurions Sandra Brown and Kathy Crilley travelled to Belgium for this little known 24 hour race. Wadelincourt is the first of this seasons (2014-15) Paris Colmar qualifying races and whilst the field was small, the quality, as proved by the results, was very high.
The race was only the 2nd edition and organised by Paris Colmar finisher Pascal Biebuyck and his excellent team. Information about the race was a bit scarce and there was concern that having to book travel well in advance, the race may not take place. However, a quick email to Pascal ensured that all was well, and knowing that we were arriving by train - he sent two of his team to pick us up at the nearest station (Peruwelz). Pauline, the local English teacher, meant that we also had an instant translator on the spot virtually for the whole weekend!
The organisers booked us (and a few other walkers) into a local gite for 20 euros a room - good value. They also provided an excellent evening meal for 10 euros, drove us to the accommodation, picked us the next morning and provided an excellent breakfast for everyone (4 euros). Lunch was also provided. All this in the small village hall.
The organisers also provided small wooden chalets for those who didn't have a vehicle/tent - this was an absolute godsend when the rain and thunderstorm broke just after midnight!
To the race: after a small lap of just under 500 metres round the village, the course then went on a tour of the country side and local villages with a lap 3685 metres, finally to close with a small lap of 683 metres for the last 45 minutes.
With a field of 28 competitors and a largish lap it coukd have been lonely, but somehow it didn't seem so (especially when one was lapped!).
The lap recording was good - no chip timing but 3 or 4 recorders on laptops which showed on the screen immediately after crossing the start/finish line. Only drawback was that, whilst showing individual placings, there was no indication of where the "competition" was!!
Despie the rain, thunderstorm and extremely cold night (9 degrees C), Sunday morning was thankfully warm and dry. The finish came around far too soon (did I really say that!). We managed to wipe down and get changed in our chalet (no showers, but still very adequate!) then off to the BBQ (frites and beer for me!!) followed at 3pm by the presentation.
After a lift back to Peruweltz (thank you Pauline et Maman) a 45 minue journey to Lille and then Eurostar home. All the finishers were presented with 3 bottles of the lcoal beer (pints) ...heaven!
Unfortunately, as ths race alternates with Vallorbe (SUI), we are gong to have to wait until August 2016 to do it all over again. Both Sandra and myself hope you will join us for what has been one of the most enjoyable races we have both experienced.
1st Lady (6th overall ) - Sandra Brown 189.949km (W65 age World Record)
4th lady (15th overall) Kathy Crilley 132.588km
The fist three men completed over 200km - a good result these days.