Friday, July 4, 2014

Alpe Adria Cup

We hope that the Canadian orienteering community follows the philosophy of 'better late than never' as we have now finally returned to a wifi zone and are able to post things written last week! : ) Last weekend we attended the Alpe Adria races (as many of you know, since they were used as selection for the male team). Here's what Will had to say about the sprint:

"The Alpe Adria cup, held two hours North of Venice in the Foresta Del Cansiglio and the town of Conegliano, managed to combine two locations that are so similar in name that its plausible the names of the places could also be Cansigliano, Consigliano, Congalineano, or Congenialitiano. Despite the name confusion, the Canadian team was generally able to find the races, the hotel, and *most* of the time, the controls. 

The sprint went down off the plateau to the downtown streets of Congeliano. The streets are very loosely relevant for World Championships in Venice, so this was a useful tune-up. With the streets closed, we had free reign to emerge from narrow covered passageways at top speed without concern of damaging car hoods. Unlike what is being expected in Venice, there was usually enough time to make a plan for the following controls, but like Venice, it was occasionally difficult to be able to identify from far away exactly where your turn or passageway is. Passageways can often be difficult to spot because they look almost similar to regular doorways and the buildings look very similar. Was it the fourth street or fifth? Just like in the forest, its important to find features that stand out. On one control, for example, the easiest way to be sure of which gap in the wall to go through was to look across the street for when you passed the only passageway in the area. Fountains, staircases or small open areas are examples of features that stick out amongst the confusion."

Also of note was the team’s first use of the touch free Sportident system, which will be used in the team sprint relay at WOC. Although there was some skepticism, the resounding opinion Apres race was that it was actually pretty good. The finger stick both beeps and flashes, and one only needs to get within about 80 cm to punch. The biggest upside is that in many cases it means you don’t need to break stride at all. In addition, it adds a new strategic element to route choice. Now, stopping and going back the way you came is significantly more costly than if you can plan a route choice that runs straight through the control. Just imagine the time difference between running 100 meters without stopping and running that same distance while also coming to a complete stop. Its an interesting new twist, but also requires a bit of practice to get used to, so, like so many things in orienteering, the touch free Sportident system comes with a built-in advantage for European orienteers, so they’ve already used it several times. However, one day we’ll coax them to come to Canada for a World Cup and make them carry bear spray.
This is a copy of the Women's sprint(there was a map exchange)

And Kerstin and Tori's thoughts on the forest races: 

The long, middle and relay all used the same arena and were on similar terrain. As you can see, it was very detailed topography, requiring us to keep contact with the map constantly. It was rocky, with many boulders that were too small to be mapped, but large enough to cause confusion! The long started off by sending us into some thick green. We both had issues here. :) The lesson learned: slow down and pay your compass the attention it deserves. Tori's race improved significantly after leaving the green.
Women's long: Kerstin had to do some serious relocation...
As these were not selection races for the women, we all ran the relay. As per Toni's recommendation, the elite men used the time in the morning to rest for the sprint and middle, but Michael and Toni convinced a french runner to join them for the men's team.  It was a fun experience, with less mistakes for us (Kerstin and Tori) than on the long.  Although Tori still lost a chunk of time going down the wrong spur and ending up at the bottom of a significant slope, instead of the top... Kerstin had good flow and found reading the contours slightly reminiscent of Whitehorse.

Women's relay: Kerstin's route

The last race was the middle. We were both feeling worn out from the weekend, so the goal form the beginning was to take it slow and accurately. We both succeeded in this, more or less :) 

Women's middle: What would be your route choice from 10-11?


  1. Thanks so much for all the posts Tori!!

  2. oh I most certainly can't take all the credit, they are a joint effort - we just use my computer :) But glad you enjoy them:)