LuxOC misses Top 10 by a whisker at Belgian Club Relay championships

 June 24th        Belgium  orienteering  race       

LuxOC fielded two teams in the Belgian Club Relay championships last weekend, and came within seconds of notching a Top 10 result. LuxOC 1 (Jonas, Ondra, Staffan, Jan, Marjanka and Misa) finished 11th out of 42 teams, six seconds behind the 10th spot and a mere 45 seconds shy of the 8th place. LuxOC 2 (Gabi, Sasha, Elisabet, Inga, Brigitta, Chris) came in 21st despite a mishap on the first leg where a dubiously placed control cost many teams lots of time.

The race took place near Vielsalm in eastern Belgium, as close as to our borders as it gets, in perfect weather in a forest that was last used for a competition many years ago. The updated map featured every shade of green, with thickets galore and barely discernible vegetation boundaries. The terrain was difficult physically; part of the forest was covered in branches, while the northwestern part of the map featured a large depression overgrown by an impermeable thicket.

The star of the day was 10-year-old Marjánka Kotecká, the youngest of all 252 competitors, who covered an adult leg of 3,3K in 44 minutes and had the second fastest finish of all runners on her leg, covering the distance between the last control and the finish line in the same time as her dad!  The day was wrapped up with a lovely barbecue courtesy of the Kotecký family. LuxOC members will now soon disperse into their respective summer destinations, with lots of orienteering planned in various countries. A good holiday to all!


A footnote on after the race

The archives reveal that on 19 January 2009, on the day of a regional event at the map Hinter den Sandgruben, Orsi, Chris and Ondra (Marjánka was about -3 months at that time) undertook an expedition to the Kneiff mountain, believed today to be the higest point of the country. (It must be very tall – you remark that the expedition members stand above the trees!)

As since hundred years extensive efforts are carried out by the Administration du cadastre et de la topographie make the location and the height of the highest point change every few years, Jáchym, Marjánka, Jonáš and Ondra undertook a proactive expedition to the Buurgplaatz after the race. In fact, there is a reason to belive that it is precisely this place that will hold the title once again, as soon as the new lidar data is released later in fall.

Below is a panel installed in front of the water tower at Buurgplaatz before the 1997 change, claiming for it the title.

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