20-22 Sep 2024

Let’s Race… Long Course Weekend Belgium

The ultimate weekend for athletes of any level. Choose from three disciplines, swimming, cycling and running, over a range of distances or go triple threat, with the full Long Course Weekend.
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Katherine Brook

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Long Course Weekend Belgium is a unique festival of sport, part of the global series originating in Pembrokeshire, Wales, set in the historic city of Nieuwpoort. Unlike your usual triathlon events, this one is split over three days with the swim on Friday, bike on Saturday, and run on Sunday. And to make it accessible to athletes of every level (and even children), there are also multiple distances to choose from – specifically the run – which is anything from 5 kms to a marathon.

For those training for a full or half distance triathlon, this is a great opportunity to test yourself on all three disciplines but in a slightly kinder environment, as you get to refuel and rest in between. Otherwise, pick and choose and you like!

Events for everyone over 3 days

Location - race through history

The historic seaside town of Nieuwpoort, in Belgium is bursting with culture, from the memorial dating back to the First World War to the monument of King Albert. As athletes bike and run their way around the city, they’re sure to go past at least one of these popular attractions. Flowing through the middle of the town is the river delta, which flows out to the north sea, providing the perfect, calm water for the swim events.

Getting to Nieuwpoort should be fairly easy for most, with good links from from the nearby Oostende-Brugge or Brussels airports by train, as well as from Calais, via the coastal tram. If you’re hiring a car, it’s just over 1 hour and 30 minutes drive from Brussels to Nieuwpoort or just under 1 hour from Calais.

There are plenty of hotels and apartments in the city, but LCW Belgium recommends using Holiday Suites to book your stay. If you’d like to stay somewhere a little more fancy, Hotel Cosmopolite is the only 4-star hotel in the city – guests can also make use of the private sauna, too.

As the city is such a popular town with tourists, there are plenty of shops, cafes and delicious restaurants to make sure you are well-fed before your race. Chagall is open from 10am – 10pm, providing the perfect spot for morning coffee and a delicious evening meal. Restaurant Claudio is a highly rated Italian (it’s also a B&B), offering a wide selection of traditional Italian dishes. There are also bistros and many great spots in the port, perfect for an evening drink overlooking the sea.


Course - something for everyone

The beautiful thing about LCW Belgium is that it’s a real family friendly event, even if that means being a spectator and not taking part – there’s just so much to see and do! With the distances split up over three days, athletes can pick and choose what they’d like to participate in, creating their own, personal challenge. It’s a great race for triathletes in training too, as they have the opportunity to really focus on each discipline separately.

Swim - 1.9 / 3.8km

The swim is the first event of the weekend, taking place in the centre of the city, in the harbour. Athletes will swim either one or two loops in the river delta, following the river bank as they go, moving to the sound of the cheering crowd. Set back from the sea, the water is calm but it can get a little chilly, so you may need a wetsuit.

BIke - 45 / 90 / 180km

Cycle Flanders Fields: All three distances start and finish in the city centre, with each route following the World War 1 front line towards Diksmuide, Ypres and the sobering Menin Gate, and passing historic monuments and cemeteries. Each distance is one single loop, taking in ocean views, towns, and country roads, all while following in your hero’s footsteps.

Run - 5 / 10 / 21.1 / 42.2km + Kids run

If you’ve always wanted to walk (or run) the red carpet, now is your chance. The longer the distance, the more of this beautiful city you’ll be able to see, from coastal landscapes and dunes to quaint local towns. Finish on the red carpet, to a roaring crowd!

Spectators - bring the noise

As this is such a big event, there are always a lot of spectators, which makes for a fantastic atmosphere for the athletes. The start and finish is in the same place of each discipline, and you can actually run or cycle along the whole swim course, cheering along your competitor as they go.

To see them mid-way on the bike, if you have a car, head to Menin Gate in Ypres, where you can set up camp at one of the monuments or cafes and cheer the athletes as they race past. Nieuwpoort Bad is the best place to watch the run but make sure you head along the boardwalk in time for the finish, to cheer them over the red carpet!

Race-cation - so much to see

When you’re speeding along on the bike or running through the city, it’s quite hard to really take in the incredible monuments you’re passing. Belgium is incredibly proud of its history, and by spending a few extra days in the city after the race, you can really soak it all in. If you drive out to Ypres, you’ll be able to see the Menin Gate Memorial as well as many other key monuments, and don’t forget to walk along the port and visit The King Albert Memorial.

About a 40 minute drive from Nieuwpoort is Bruges, which if you’ve never been to is a beautiful city to explore. Jam-packed with captivating heritage, picturesque cobblestone alleys, quaint Belgium chocolate shops and of course plenty of bars and restaurants serving that delicious Belgium beer! You could spend hours meandering through the mediaeval streets or take a boat trip on the canal and see the city from a different perspective.

Events for everyone over 3 days

Swim with the sea, cycle with the wind and run into history at LCW Belgium. 3 days. 11 Races. 1 Weekend. Enter now!

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