Sunday, August 17, 2014

WUOC Sprint

We got to do a bit of a different style of sprint this year, in that the races started in a zoo(!), was a mixed forest and urban sprint and had 115m of elevation (more than double our middle course the next day…)

Click here for a high resolution map.
The start triangle flag was about 10m from where we got our maps and the first legs were short, so you got thrown into fast decision making mode right off the bat. No room for errors! We then had a mixture of short and rout choice legs before a long leg in the middle that involved a right and left rout choice, but you had to make the decision before leaving the control.  Because it was a long leg (even the winning man took 3.21 mins to complete), you really had to choose wisely or could loose quite a bit of time! I came to the decision control just after seeing Frederic Tranchand taking off,(a top French runner who ended up placing third) and it was reassuring to see him also come to a full stop when making the rout choice. (oh course at the time I didn't know he was looking at the same rout choice I was).

On this leg, not only were you trying to quickly judge which one was shorter you also had to take into account the elevation in the town- not something you always have to for a sprint! I took what felt like eternity deciding and in the end I think I chose right(which was running left…J, although when I was pounding down the downhill cobble stone streets trying to maintain control over the uneven surface, I wasn’t sure...

The end of the course was more basic with rout choices that were slightly less punishing BUT the elevation was enough! I kept having to tell myself “just keep running” on the uphill leg between 8, 9 and 10, telling myself that it was completely inexcusable to walk in a sprint. It was at this point my legs were really feeling running the long from the day before. I think I am going to blame my legs, which  were requiring all the oxygen that I was breathing in,  and therefore leaving none for my brain and resulting in me running right past my 11th control and a 45 second error right before the finish. Although I wished I was able to run faster, (and cleaner) everyone else was hurting too and it ended up being my top result in the week.

Graeme coming down the finish -picture taken by Robert Svoboda
Damian and Graeme also ran the sprint. Both the boys got caught by the fast paced short legs in the beginning and in the unforgiving time restraints of a sprint unfortunately that is all it takes to harm a sprint race.

in quarantine before the start.  -picture taken by Robert Svoboda
As the closing ceremonies happened yesterday we have now wrapped up an action packed week for the Canadian University Orienteering team. A big thank you to Toni, for his helpful coaching throughout the week, to Jared for his help as a team lead, Robert Svoboda for all the fantastic photos and to all the tireless volunteers and organizers who helped make WUOC 2014 such a success!

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