Well another JWOC has come and gone and it was a blast! First, a big thanks to Brian Graham and Stefan Bergstrom for helping out. So looking back at the races, I figured I could share some of my insight into what went well and what needs some improvement. Starting on the first day of JWOC, we had the brutal long, 9.9 km with 620 meters of climb! The race was far from even being good. Small avoidable mistakes early on continued into catastrophic route choices and many other problems. On the physical side of the race, I don’t think any of the Canadian men were prepared for the insane amount of climb.
To say I was disappointed at the end of my race would be an understatement. I had been super psyched for this race and having an underwhelming performance was a blow to my confidence.
Following the long we had the middle qualifier and middle final. First, congratulations to Alex and all the girls for making the B-Final! While doing some race analysis on the middle qualifier I realized how close I was to making the B-Final. One mistake on a relatively easy control cost me far to much time.
I lost 2 minutes (on control 2) due to a bad attackpoint and not relocating early enough
However, trying to stay optimistic here, I managed to orienteer through the rest of the course without any mistakes!
During the Middle Final I had a bit of deja vu from the Middle Qualifier. I lost tremendous amounts of time on one control but was able to refocus afterwards. Looking back at both my middle races I was happy with my performances. I was able to follow my goals throughout the race and physically push myself even though it was very technical.
Our last individual race was the sprint which was in downtown Hradec Kralove. I think everyone was surprised at how technical the race ended up being. We started in a garden with an intricate path network before heading over to the staircases where a majority of the race took place.
Technical right from the start!
I was surprisingly happy with my sprint. It is not a discipline we get a lot of practice up here in Whitehorse and I felt that I performed above my sprint standard. It was also exciting to see New Zealand and Belarus receive bronze medals!
So finally we come to one of the most exciting races of the week, the relay. We all knew that the relay terrain was very difficult due to lack of strong features. In other words there was no contour detail and all we had to navigate by was vegetation and a trail network. Adam was the first leg runner, he had a stellar performance and tagged off to me not far behind some of the big teams. What started out as a relatively okay race quickly turned into me running around like a chicken without a head. I lost time simple controls and was never able to truly refocus back onto my race. I truly feel that I should have been a lot more focused on my race and my goals because it wasn't just my name on that result.
Now that you have read about all my up's and down's during JWOC it is time to look at what really needs improvement and how I am going to do that before next year. On the positive side it was an incredible learning experience. Not only was it great being on new terrain but every time you race at a big competition you learn about your habits as a competitor and how those affect your orienteering. Again thanks to everyone who helped out at JWOC and congratulations to all the other athletes at JWOC and WOC!