Saturday, July 7, 2012

Look forward to JWOC Sprint!

JWOC, the Junior World Orienteering Championships, starts tomorrow in Kosice, Slovakia. The first race is the Sprint, to be held in Kosice city centre. The terrain is described as urban with almost no climb. There are 2 sections: the City Centre is a combination of streets, passages, courtyards, and squares, with very few vegetation features; and the urban parkland will be detailed vegetation, such as flower beds, and some artificial features, such as statues! The course will be 2.3km with 5m of climb for women, and 2.9km with 5m of climb for the men.

Running for Team Canada (with their start time in Slovakia time) are Alex Bergstrom (14:10), Trevour Bray (15:21), Emily Ross (14:03), Kerstin Burnett (14:39), Kendra Murray (15:03), Molly Kemp (15:20), and Emily Kemp (16:05). Slovakia is on Central European Time, which is +9hr PST, +4hrs EST. If you want to follow the results live, they will be updated frequently on the event website. Unfortunately, this is the only way to follow the race (no GPS tracks, etc).

Stefan Bergstrom (parent helper at JWOC) sat down with Emily Ross and Molly Kemp to chat about their experiences so far, and their thoughts for the race tomorrow. Here's their interviews.

Emily Ross ~ this is her 3rd JWOC!

Emily Ross
How many times have you been to JWOC? "This is my 3rd and last JWOC." (Emily will be too old next year!)

What are your goals for JWOC? "I want to focus on having safe clean races that I can be satisfied with."

What are your impressions of the terrain so far? "The terrain here is a mix between Denmark and Poland (my two previous JWOC experiences), but the Karst terrain with the big depressions is new to me. It is difficult and it is important to use the compass to check direction all the time. We have now trained on 3 different maps in Karst terrain so I am more confident now."

What race are you most looking forward to? "I like the Middle distance the best because of the mix of speed and very technical orienteering."

What is your pre-race strategy? "I focus for the races by thinking about my race plan, relax with music, and read the information in the race bulletin so I am aware of all details."

What do you think of Kosice and Slovakia so far? "The accommodation here in Kosice is good, it is nice everyone is in one place. The food is simple but filling. The heat wave we are having is tough as there is no airconditioning. I drink lots of water and stay in the shade. Besides, it is the same for everyone."

What are your thoughts on the race tomorrow? "I'm excited about the sprint in the old city centre tomorrow. It can be tough with the heat and all small streets and narrow lanes."

Molly Kemp ~ this is her 2nd JWOC

Molly Kemp
How many times have you been to JWOC? "This is my second JWOC, I was in Poland last year."

What are your impressions of the terrain so far? "The woods here are awesome! The orienteering is really good. I never experienced this kind of terrain before. The Karst terrain is so different. You need to know your attackpoint, read ahead, know what you are looking for, and look up in front of you because you can see so far ahead."

What's going to be the biggest challenge this week? "The heat eats you up. I drink tons of water."

What race are you most looking forward to? "The middle event is my favourite because of the technical part. The middle maps are very detailed but the visibility is very good so it is easy to identify what is on the map."

What have you been doing to prepare for the races? "As preparation for the races I look at the training maps and drink lots of water. I'm a little nervous, but confident."

What do you think of Kosice and Slovakia so far? "Kosice looks nice but old. As a vegetarian it is a little harder to find good food. I eat lots of bread and luckily I brought my own peanut butter."

What's the best part of your week so far? "It feels so nice to meet my sister Emily again after 10 months. Awesome!"

Sisters reunited!
 We wish all of Team Canada the best of luck for tomorrow's races. Tune in for post-race coverage tomorrow! GO CANADA GO!

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