Thursday, July 24, 2014

JWOC sprint review by Robbie Graham

The race was held in the city of Samokov, a classic eastern European city with a large canal that cuts right through the middle. There are play structures at every turn and many small buildings with paths and narrow alleyways between.

The quarantine was inside Arena Samokov and was limited to two basketball courts. When we entered, each team got some “warm-up maps” which from an orienteer’s perspective were pretty useless. I will admit though, it did help us find the washrooms. The pre-start and start were actually inside the building with the start triangle just outside.

On the way to the first control I was about to cross a road when I heard the sound of tires squealing from a car that had stopped just a few meters from me. A little too close for comfort.

The western side of the map was quite technical since there were so many tiny buildings and paths leading in every direction. During the training we discussed this, being told by Raphael to look up for the large buildings and use them as our main features. Also during the training, we had looked carefully at the arena as it has an interesting underpass, which payed off since there was a trap there (inside corner at #8).

Leg #9 was a relatively long one so I had some time to plan ahead. As I was running down the main road with my face buried in my map, I heard the sounds of people talking right in front of me. I looked up to see a family walking, two parents and two little kids in between holding hands. I was to close and going too fast to go around them so I just broke straight through the two children’s hands. I didn’t look back but I’m sure they were fine.

By the time I had finished, the rain had turned in to a downpour, people were sliding all over the place on the marble tiles in the finish area (luckily for me I had rubber studs). Also a number of runners missed #15, the spectator control (large pot of flowers); they just ran right past it.

Overall it was a very fun race, I feel I could have pushed a bit more mostly in the first half but I’m glad that no big mistakes were made.


  1. Sounds like a fun race! I love the "O'ing in Canada" photos!

  2. Great story. Well done everyone for some good racing. Good luck in the Middle