In Flanders Fields Marathon - September. The marathon is between the cities of Nieuwpoort, Diksmuide and Ieper (Ypres) along the battlefields of the first World War (1914-1918). It is a flat course, winding along an asphalt trail through farms, far away from any cars, with old churches, stone houses, peacefully grazing cows, along the way. And mostly along a river. At one point you will see some of the trenches wherein World War I soldiers had spent endless, wet, cold and miserable months so many years ago. At about the 14 mile mark, the course begin to follow a path along a river, with trees on both banks. A welcome sight as one approaches Ieper (Ypres), the finish line is the spires of the town hall and the cathedral. The last mile is in the town of Ypres, where there is a museum dedicated to the memory of all those who died in World War I. This final part of the race course into a large town square, surrounded by shops and restaurants at three sides, and a large old church on another. A different twist to the traditional bagel and yogurt finish line fuel is the more appropriately traditional Belgian fare of beer and a box of chocolates to each runner. Probably the most striking difference in the race however is the unexploded ordinance. I suspect that you will think this to be an exaggeration but this is a most common finding in this part of Belgium. Farmers are continually tilling up unexploded bombs. They simply pick them up, place them beside the road and call the bomb disposal crew who have a weekly round (but they come immediately if a mustard gas canister is found). The young farmers have their tractors fitted with metal detectors on the front bumpers. The older farmers can't be bothered.