In a year where everything is different than usual, the organization of CHALLENGEGERAARDSBERGEN is doing its utmost to make the iconic race in Belgium go ahead. That’s why a number of necessary adjustments were made – such as a change in the course and a new finish location – so that athletes can look forward to June 6, the day CHALLENGEGERAARDSBERGEN is scheduled to take place, with a positive feeling.
“We – as organization – have the best intentions of keeping our race as planned on June 6, 2021,” said Race Director Tim Vidts. “Currently we are working very hard to offer our athletes a nice and above all safe race. Of course, our race will look different than previous editions but we are committed to provide a COVID-proof event. We will work together with stewards who will only have the task to assist our organization in organizing the COVID-proof event. Due to all the COVID-measures we will focus on our main race: all side events will be cancelled. There will be no ‘Womens Run’, ‘Walk the Muur’, ‘Challenge Swim’ or ‘3uur De Muur’ on Saturday. This year we will only organize the Middle Distance for individuals and teams. During this race, spectators will be excluded at the start, transition areas and finish area if necessary according to the COVID-measures.”
So things are changing, including some parts of the course. The swim, however, remains the same as in previous years and will therefore still take place in the water of Provincial Domain De Gavers. “We’ll use a rolling start, whereby we are paying particular attention this year to the safety distance when lining up on the beach.” The bike course also remains largely unchanged, although the athletes will not finish in the centre of Geraardsbergen, but in T1 – which then also servers as T2 – in De Gavers. The run course, on the other hand, will be largely different to previous years. “The run will consists out of two laps in nature reserve. The finish will be at De Gavers, on closed terrain.”
Measures will also be taken after the race to ensure everything is safe. “In this way we hope to offer you a perspective for further training towards our race. Of course we hope to be able to count on the necessary discipline from all our participants so that together we can ensure a safe happening of our race,” Vidts concludes.