Tuesday, July 27, 2010

O-Ringen Day 3: Grey Skies Are Going to Clear Up...

There was a notable change in mood today in Orebro, because the rain has stopped, the sun is out, and the weather was glorious. Today's stage took us back to the terrain of Day 2, for a long-ish race, not quite as long as a long, but on a 1:15000 map, and all the navigational chaos as yesterday. Everyone came back saying that the terrain and map were really great, but all had quite a tough time. Carol noted at one point that she relocated off a moose. Emily Ross and Graeme Rennie were the sole Canadians today who rose up in the overall standings, Emily vaulting to 86th and Graeme jumping 5 places to 74th. Even now, every day is as important as the one before it, small mistakes of 30 seconds can mean 5 places. No one is too far out of a battle!

My sprint in the evening was a very exciting experience! Held in a park near the centre of town, it was a high speed, and high crowd sprint. Each day I say that O-Ringen can't get any crazier, but when I turned the corner of the building and saw the crowds milling around the hill top that I was about to run over, I was again astounded. At control 5 we flipped our map over (to the confusion of some runners, in fact!), ran underneath the BIG screen, and headed out for another loop. The sprint concluded with us first running across a fake bridge created solely for the race, and then up the stairs and finishing right on stage! I was a little disappointed, though, I made a few poor route choices and decisions which probably cost a solid 30 seconds of errors, I could likely chalk that up to my inexperience in such.... experiences. I think I was mostly spectating myself while racing, because it was just so exciting.

It was unquestionably the most fun race I've ever done. It was apparently broadcast online, so hopefully there will be a replay of it posted somewhere I can post a link. I will also attempt to post some pictures later.

For now, though, its our day off! Tentative plans include locating an alleged beach, or perhaps going to see a movie. Robbie and Eric are also competing in the orienteering biathlon at 4PM, so we may all go and attempt to distract them while trying to shoot.

Monday, July 26, 2010

O-Ringen Day 2: Rough Day at the Office

Day 2 opened with, you guess it, rain! But, its not as bad as it sounds, the rain has petered out, less of a downpour and more of a drizzle. You most definitely came back wet, but this time around your stuff wasn't soaked when you got back. A pleasant change, nonetheless.

Today truly displayed the chaos that is O-Ringen. While yesterday had plenty of people, it was a long distance, and on a 1:15000 map, so people were more spread out. Today, being a middle distance, was madness like I'd never seen. There were people everywhere. The most difficult part of it was the fact that elephant tracks so readily appeared that looked like genuine trails. The actual trails on the maps turned into 2 metre wide highways, while single-track trails appeared everywhere, making it extremely confusing.

I had the (possibly unfortunate?) opportunity of wearing a GPS for the first time in this race. Unfortunately it was middle, which is not my strongest, and was unquestionably the toughest middle I've experienced in my short career. If you're the kind of person who likes to learn from other people's mistakes, then look up my GPS tracking and take notes. Catastrophic! However, I am still leading the North American battle for not last place in H21 elite, and am within 15 minutes of a European, so there's hope for me yet!

But, its not all doom and gloom! Once again, Carol Ross is whipping out awesome race after race, placing 12th today, bringing her up to 24th overall in D21. Robbie Anders(s)on also clearly has a grasp on this terrain, placing 12th today to bring him to 11th overall in H21. Also, there are 265 runners in H21 and 149 in D21. Madness! And also mad Canadian dominance.

Tomorrow O-Ringen is back to the same arena tomorrow, for a longer distance race, and I'm getting the morning off to race in the evening at the event I've been most looking forward to, the downtown sprint. Its really the main reason why I entered H21 Elite to begin with, so I'm very excited and hope to do myself proud.

Remember to follow live results and video feed at oringen.se, and the evening elite sprint may be broadcast as well, so keep an eye out for that!

Finally, if you're wondering, the reason I (Will Critchley) am the only one posting about O-Ringen, its because I was very lucky and am staying in an apartment of a friend of a friend of my Swedish Roommate, so I'm the only one with internet, electricity, heat and.... not rain.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

O-Ringen Day 1: Rain. Just, rain.

Post-WUOC, the Canada crew has taken the two hour trip over to Orebro for O-Ringen, meeting up with fellow HPP members Graeme Rennie and Emily Ross. Essentially everyone's reaction was one of awe in the sheer numbers and the size of the event (except for Magnus, for whom O-Ringen is old hat!). Today was Stage 1, a long distance, results can be found the o-ringen website, just sort by country and you'll find everyone (except for me, who has been lumped in with the Brits, not quite sure why). Notable shout outs to Robbie who is 24th and Eric who's 35th in H21, and Carol who's 36th in D21.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to speak to much of the team in regards to their race, because the weather has been atrocious! It has rained solidly since last night and became a torrential downpour at occasions while the crew was trying to get ready. And, in addition to everyone's entire possessions being soaking wet, the entire world appears to have turned into a mud-pit! The walk to and from the buses is immensely muddy, and apparently the camping area is rapidly transforming from firm ground to soft ground to.. whatever happens after soft ground. And at the moment, its still raining! In fact, the front page of several Swedish newspapers exclaims about the big weather front that's coming on, so this could be a long week!

If you're a nightowl or just can't sleep, you can also follow a live video of the race, just head to the O-Ringen website!

Friday, July 23, 2010

WUOC Relay

The grand finale of WUOC was the relay today in the same arena in Gustafs. This was a great race to follow as a spectator. Ultra fast terrain, with some negative topography and many trails. Radio control from the forest and spectator loop towards the end with less than 10 minutes running remaining. Robbie was running first leg for the Canadian team and Carol was running the first leg for a mixed team together with Denmark. The men started first, and they were unbelievably fast! Frederic Tranchard of France came in first and he did the 8.2 km course in under 40 minutes. Robbie was fighting it out with Jordan on the US team and Jordan had the last word and came in about 1 minute ahead. Carol had an amazing run on her leg and came in just over 3 minutes after Sarka Svobodna of the Czech Republic.

Eric Kemp went out fast to chase down the American and succeeded! Check out this great picture of Eric's fighting face. Jeff Teutsch also had a great run on the second leg on a mixed team with the US, coming in only a few minutes behind Eric. Will went out about one minute ahead of Leif and they kept trading positions out in the forest, but when Will made a little hook on the control just before the spectator control, Leif could create a small gap that he was able to hold all the way in.

After the relay was over, the day ended with an exciting VIP race for coaches, officials and other guests. This was a mass start in full race speed without forking. Samantha Seager continued the US dominance over the Canucks outrunning Magnus with over 2 minutes, despite a pretty clean race for the Canadian coach. Looks like Sam will kick some ass in Trondheim! Andrea had a fight with an Austrian team leader and clearly outrun the head FISU official.

Here is the team picture! Now we are all off to O-ringen tomorrow!

WUOC Middle

The WUOC Middle distance was held just outside the village of Gustafs, 20 km south of Borlänge. The day started out with gray skies and rainfall for the early starters, but towards the end of the long start window, the sun came out and it was hot. The terrain was rather hilly, with rocky slopes and a fair amount of green. The courses were excellent, with a couple of great route choice legs and some control picking in between.

First out for the Canadians was Jeff Teutsch, who had a pretty good run in the rain, but had some trouble with the 3rd control. A story that would repeat for all men on the Canadian team! There was a small trail in the terrain, with a mountain bike jump on it, which was not marked on the map. This trail was just outside the circle of the control and threw many runners off. Robbie, Eric and Will all came back with similar reports of a few difficult controls. Robbie was the fastest Canadian, just under 45 min. Again, Carol had the best run of the day, despite making a large 5 minute mistake on one control. Without this mistake she had a top 20 time in sight!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

WUOC Sprint

Yesterday was the WUOC Sprint day in the town of Borlänge. The start was in the middle of downtown and the course then worked it's way through residential areas and finally ended up in the historic village and a slope of gullies down to the river. This last part of the race was absolutely brilliant for spectators. There was plenty of route choice through the buildings, the fences and steep re-entrants. Those who had not been able to plan this last section ahead got into trouble, and it was in view of all the spectators and race announcers.

Carol again had a good run with a finish in 46th place. She did drop a few positions in the very tricky last part of the course, but was holding good pace and ended up 2:31 behind the winner, Amelie Chataing from France. Will Critchley had the best result on the men's side in 58th, also holding good pace and dropping a few positions in the final stages of the course. Robbie Anderson was not too far behind Will, but had some smaller troubles earlier on the course.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

WUOC Begins!

This is the Canadian team reporting from the World University Orienteering Championships in Borlänge, Sweden. There are five runners on the team: Carol Ross, Eric Kemp, Jeff Teutsch, Robbie Anderson and Will Critchley, while Magnus and Andrea are our team leaders.

Today was the first race, the long. The terrain was open white forest with lots of swamps and spongy moss, making running tough. Carol finished in an exciting 41st place, out of 90 women. The men also finished ;)

We're all looking forward to the sprint tomorrow (Wednesday). If you'd like to follow our race, there will be live results. Today there was even a webcam of the finish. Sweden's time zone is CEST which is five hours ahead of AST, nine hours ahead of PST. Our start times are:
Eric 15:58
Robbie 16:16
Will 16:42
Carol 16:37:30

Sunday, July 18, 2010

National Team Blood at Barebones

There were four Senior national team members at Barebones: Patrick, Mike, Louise, Carol.

Carol & Louise not only ran some races but the also were course planners - Louise for the super sprint in Whistler Village, and Carol for the WRE middle distance event at Brandywine.

There was a great article in "The Question" - one of the local Whistler papers, that was highlighted with a picture of Carol leaving a control (not visible in the web version), and a big interview with Patrick: A little blood no bother at Barebones

The article begins:
"Patrick Goeres emerged from the woods on the edge of Myrtle Philip Community School at a full sprint, with thin lines of blood running down from a small gash on the left side of his head." Now that's the kind of coverage that'll promote the sport ;-)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New location, new opportunity

First I wanted to extend a large congrats on all the great training and performances we’ve read about on this blog. For those of you who don’t know me I’m Dan, currently residing in the big smoke (GTA). In this post I wanted to share what sparked my interest in orienteering, some thoughts on relocation, and a training camp that I recently attended.

When I was a child I used get so much enjoyment out of going for nature walks with my father. We would walk through the forest and talk about how to best walk quietly to be able to see wildlife and what the best materials for making survival shelters are. We would make sure to not cross any of the paved paths in the park and it wasn’t until I started orienteering did the thrill of exploring new natural areas return to me. I find it very enriching to be able to run through the forest in many areas that the general public are totally unaware of. I get that same feeling that I did so many years ago every time I get out into the woods and have had to pleasure to share that with others.

In the past month I’ve moved from Hamilton to Toronto for work and I’ve spent quite I bit of time thinking about the effects of relocation on training and motivation. I’ve found that relocation (if not for training purposes) can be very difficult on an athlete in terms of generating self-motivation to get out the door and finding new training partners and training venues. I found it quite difficult to self-motivate at the begining but I’ve found that getting into a routine really helps. Regaining consistency should be a primary focus of those of you who are planning on moving and don’t despair. You’ll be mentally tougher if you have to fend on your own for a bit and will only enjoy the company of training mates even more when you find some.

In mid-June the Toronto Orienteering Club put on a great series of training sessions to showcase the diversity of training possibilities in the city. Each training session highlighted an important aspect of orienteering: using your attackpoint, taking proper compass bearings, reading ahead, and running! Suffice it to say that to sharpen all these skills required a lot of work and overall the weekend was a huge success. My favourite sessions were the sprint exercises on the Toronto islands. For those who know me know that I enjoy fast paced running and the sprint training did not disappoint. It was a blast meeting a number of fellow HPP members and see a part of the city in a whole new light. Now that I’m living in the city I plan on taking advantage of what Toronto has to offer. I highly recommend the Toronto Island sprint maps and will see you next in Ottawa for the COCs.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's a wrap at JWOC 2010

Congratulations to Damian Konotopetz, Colin Abbott, Graeme Rennie, Lee Hawkings, Emily Kemp and Emily Ross for representing Canada so well at the 2010 Junior World Orienteering Championships. And also a very special thanks to Jeff Teutsch as assistant team leader and Randy Kemp as team leader. Here are a few pictures from Team Canada as they wrap up their week in Denmark.

The whole gang:

Emily Kemp after her 7th place in leg one:

Getting ready for the banquet!

Friday, July 9, 2010

JWOC Middle Distance

JWOC 2010: Middle Distance Final

After an exciting qualifier yesterday in which Colin and Graeme squeaked into the B final by a single placing each, Damian missed the A final by one second, Lee missed the B final by seconds, and Emily Kemp qualified convincingly for the A final, it was time to lay it all on the line in the last individual race of the week, the Middle finals.

Emily Ross, beating down the grass on her way to finishing the B final.

Lee Hawkings running under a blue, blue Danish sky.

Typical Danish sand-dune terrain, fast, flat and tricky navigation.

Emily Kemp, leaving the start in the A final

Spectator control, Emily overtaking a Norwegian!

The final result in the Women's A final, 13th place for Emily Kemp!

Interview with Emily Kemp at the finish of her race.

All in all, it was a good day for the Canadians. Damian and Colin finished 75th and 81st respectively, Graeme was 95th, Lee was 132nd, Emily Kemp was 13th and Emily Ross was 111th.

Stay tuned for an update after the Relay! Emily Kemp and Emily Ross are running with a Japanese girl. The men's team will consist of Damian, Colin and Graeme and Lee will be running with two Germans.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

JWOC 2010

Denmark 2010: Sprint and Long Distance

The team getting ready for the opening ceremonies

Lee nailing the spectator control, first runner for Canada on the sprint

Emily Ross, running her first JWOC race ever!

Emily Kemp, pushing hard on her way to a 55th place finish.

Graeme Rennie finishing the sprint.

Colin Abbott finishing hard.

Damian getting started on a 75th place finish in the sprint. Top North American!

Damian finishing the long, 90th place and top North American second day running!

For results, live results, pictures and updates on JWOC link to: http://www.jwoc2010.dk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=103&Itemid=70

Thursday, July 1, 2010

North American Championships: Pre-Game Show

It is the eve of the North American Orienteering Championships! Nearly 500 racers have gathered in Cranbrook, British Columbia for the biannual race. Competitors will race for individual North American glory, and in the ME and WE classes, for the Bjorn Kjellstrom Cup!

The Program

Friday, July 2 - Middle, WRE - Cranbrook Community Forest
Saturday, July 3 - Long, WRE - Cranbrook Community Forest
Sunday, July 4 - Sprint, WRE - College of the Rockies

The Model Event

The model event opened yesterday. The terrain is a nice mix of fast, dry forest with some rocky footing and some areas of technical rock and contour detail.

You can run on the model map in Catching Features or check it out below:


All the NAOC events have been designed to highlight the World Ranking Event athletes in M21E and W21E. Spectator controls, radio controls and race announcing will provide excitement and entertainment in the arena. To allow as many participants as possible to be able to watch these racers, 10 – 15 top ranked runners will be seeded in a “red group” that will start late.

Bjorn Kjellstrom Cup

In addition to the competition for individual medals, Team Canada and Team USA will reignite their rivalry over the Bjorn Kjellstrom Cup! The Cup is awarded to either team based on results in the ME and WE classes.

Points are awarded to the top 15 finishers in each of ME and WE according the following points system: 1st - 25, 2nd- 22, 3rd -19, 4th -16, 5th -13, 6th -10, 7th -9, 8th - 8, 9th - 7, 10th -6, 11th -5, 12th -4, 13th -3, 14th -2, and 15th -1. The top 3 finishers for each country in ME and WE in each of the three races is used to determine the overall points total. Points are totaled for each of the sprint, middle and long distance races.

In the last 15 NAOC’s (going back to 1980 in Cleveland) Canada has won 14 times and the US (just) once. Canada has won the last 13 times. Pam James is on the trophy 11 times, Mike Waddington 6 times, Ted de St. Croix 5 times and Mark Adams 4 times!

More info on the NAOC website.