Thursday, April 5, 2012

Racing Report: Flying Pig

I refrained from writing anything in the aftermath of the US Classic Championships in March since that early in the spring (technically, still winter) the Canadian contingent consisted of no one other than myself (to be clear, "myself" = Jon Torrance, not the pictured Serghei Logvin, as photographed shortly after finishing the third race of the Flying Pig weekend), Gord Hunter and the ubiquitous Alex Kerr. At Flying Pig however, despite several Ottawans being occupied with what sounded like an excellent training weekend rerunning some past A meet courses in central New York, a much larger contingent of Canadians showed up. Also, given a few more weeks to get their terrain running legs working after the winter, significantly more Americans than had been in North Carolina, although the best US competitors were a little bit thin on the ground. Whereas in North Carolina, both men and women from the A and B lists of the US Standing Team ran, at Flying Pig the US team was represented by Hannah Burgess from the B list on the women's side and by three men from the C list, Keith Andersen, Clem McGrath and Nikolay Nachev. It'll be interesting to see how things shake out at the US Team Trials in Georgia in a couple of weekends given that some contenders won't have run in any A meets this year in preparation. Likely the warm winter in much of North America will have given most of them sufficient opportunity to train in snow-free woods - here's hoping everyone took advantage well enough to have no regrets over their preparations.

Returning to last weekend, Orienteering Cinncinnati turned in its usual sterling performance of making the best of the terrain at their disposal, offering three middle distance races, each with its own character, and a sprint that started in fast, open parkland, plunged into the variegated, fairly intricate vegetation of a disc golf course, then returned to open parkland for some more fast running to the finish. Scoring for the weekend was based on scores for each race computed based on time relative to the winner, with the best three of four scores counting. On the women's side, Hannah Burgess won overall with three race victories, with Galyna Petrenko of VO2 a close second with one race win and two second places. The bigger news from a Canadian elite perspective came on the men's side with Serghei Logvin winning three of the four races and coming second in the last to win the weekend handily at the head of a Canadian sweep of the top three positions in which I was second, only a little ahead of Mike Waddington, who managed third overall just ahead of a Swede who has recently popped up living in Indiana, Mattias Eriksson, despite not having run the sprint and therefore not being able to throw out his worst race result. GHO's Hans Fransson also had a respectable weekend, improving in each middle distance race to finish third in the last race of the weekend and seventh overall. All told, not bad for Mike, Hans and I but a stellar result for Serghei - he's been fast before, particularly in sprints, but I don't remember him ever stringing together that many races at that level of excellence before. The terrain may not have been the most technical, although the last race required precise orienteering to hit the right ditch or other feature on bland hillsides in thick vegetation, but if he can perform anywhere near as well in terrain types other than spur and reentrant, I think we can anticipate some very good results from him at the higher profile events on the 2012 North American orienteering calendar.

More immediately, I believe Serghei will be doing GHO's training camp and running in the Giant's Rib Raid over the Easter weekend, as will I. After years of having trouble justifying the travel to run in one, it will be my first time participating in one of GHO's adventure running events so I'm looking forward to finally seeing what they're like in person, and to getting in some intense technical training to prepare for the rest of the spring season.


  1. Sounds like a fabulous set of races. Great write up Jon, and congratulations to Serghei on his steller weekend!