Sunday, June 30, 2013

JWOC ~ Sprint Training in Kutna Hora

JWOC is not all play! Here the team is studying the event bulletin on Friday night. Lots of details to go through!

Saturday morning we drove to Kutna Hora, about an hour's drive from Hradec Kralove, for a bit of sprint training and sightseeing. Kutna Hora is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an old city with narrow cobble stone streets and massive cathedrals and buildings.

The official JWOC Opening Ceremony is also scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
From 2-3 ~ left or right??
I think the right route from 7-8 is faster ~ do you agree?

The sprint training gave some tricky route choices on the winding cobblestone streets.

 "Thank God the sprint has only 15m climb and not 60m because that is hard running up cobble stone streets"

 "There was one giant hill in today's sprint. Thank God there isn't a hill that big in the JWOC sprint"--Trevor

"I just wish we had some maps like this in Canada!" --Kendra

After the sprint we walked up to the cathedral and then had lunch and another bit of wandering around the streets to get a closer look at the places we had run by earlier.

Tomorrow is a rest day for everyone to recharge their batteries before the long distance on Monday.

Friday, June 28, 2013

JWOC ~ More Long & Middle Training!

I'm told this is a well known technique for helping with all that hill climbing....
This morning (Friday), Team Canada went back to the Long training area and did the second half of the course in a hilly, hilly terrain. The leg 9-10 route alternatives were discussed at length over lunch (see map below - which way would you go? Leave your answer in the comment section!)

Robbie looking strong!
In the afternoon, the Team headed on over to the second middle training map, Chvalecsky Les, and run a short course. The end of the course went through a very rocky area with giant boulders and cliffs. Very tricky!
The tunnel under a railway led to the middle terrain!
Lots of rocky detail!
Everyone had a good day of training. The long training was an opportunity to practice good route choice analysis and learning, while the middle terrain was a reminder of how careful you have to be among all the details on the map!
Trevor Bray!
Back at the hotel in Hradec Kralove, the JWOC event centre is now open, with flags and posters all over the hotel lobby! The Team picked up their accreditation badges and bags of information. 

The next two days will be mostly rest before the first race on Monday. Tomorrow will start with a short sprint practice in the morning, and then some sightseeing.

Stay tuned to the Team Canada blog for all the behind-the-scenes action, as our Canadian athletes count down to the first race on Monday - the long distance! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can catch all the JWOC action on their website, and also on Facebook.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

JWOC ~ Long & Middle Training

Today, the JWOC team concentrated on Long and Middle distance model training. 

First up was the long distance map, at a 1:15,000 scale. The group started at a restaurant and viewing tower on a hill top, Jiraskova Chata.
Start of the long training.
Coach Brian reports that everyone looks good in the forest, and seem to learn the tricks of the terrain quickly. Below is a map snippet with a couple of long route choice legs that made everyone think hard. Which way would you have chosen between 8 and 9 (leave your answers in the comments below!)
Tough route choice legs. Which way would you have chosen from 8 to 9?
The ladies discuss route choice after the training session
Afterwards the team had a packed lunch and time for some relaxation before moving on to the afternoon session on middle distance map.
Nice view for lunch!

Relaxation time!

Jennifer tackling a steep hill!

Map sample from the middle distance training

Here are some athlete quotes after the training today:

Today's training for the long is physically really challenging. I think it came as a bit of a surprise to everyone that the running in the white forest was faster than running in yellow, due to long grass. Also, the woods were more tick free!

The mental approach to the middle and long terrain is quite different. In the long, one must struggle to read through closely packed contours to plan ahead. In contrast, the middle involved intense concentration on the terrain underfoot. It was easy to ignore the "rocky ground" on the map but unwise to forget the mossy mess attempting to trip you up. Crossing the Polish border on both maps was really fun.

Man I am going to have a great bum after all this hill climbing!

The long will involve climb. I plan to RISE to the challenge.

I have never seen such clean forest under my feet.

The Polish border looked a lot more open than the Czech side. Of course, that may have been because it wasn't mapped.

The difference between a distinct tree and a non-distinct tree here is that one is a bit bigger than the other but that doesn't make a world of difference in dark green vegetation.

It's like learning to orienteer all over again in these areas and the way they're mapped.

Where is this vegetation boundary they speak of?

The long terrain is very hilly making route choice very important, trying to get a balance of as little climb and distance as possible.

Les terrains de la longue distance resemblent un peut aux terrains de Saint-Etienne ou Emily s'entraine. Les terrains de la moyenne sont vraiment sympas, c'est tres agreable de courir sur des terrains difficile techniquement avec de nombreux rochers. Le temps etait ensoleile, en esperant que cela continue.

Looking forward to the long and all that climb, well not the climb exactly, but I seem to be dealing with the route choice and long terrain better than the rocks, rocks, rocks and individual trees (which one are they!?) of the middle.

Today I got a lesson on how to descend quickly from a herd of wild goats.

Sounds like they're having a good time, at least!

Stay tuned to the Team Canada blog for all the behind-the-scenes action, as our Canadian athletes prepare for competition next week! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can catch all the JWOC action on their website, and also on Facebook.

Go Canada Go!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

JWOC ~ Team arrives in Hradec Kralove

Team Canada after a short jog through the city
The Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) start this weekend in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. All the Team Canada athletes and support crew arrived by Tuesday evening, ready for a week of preparation training and acclimatization.

Our athletes this year are a mix of first-time and seasoned JWOC athletes. Our athletes this year are Adam Woods, Trevor Bray, Alex Bergstrom, Robbie Graham, Pia Blake, Kendra Murray, and Jennifer MacKeigan.

Injuries have plagued the junior team this year. Molly Kemp was offered a spot on the team, but she declined due to ongoing injury. National Junior HPP Coach, Brent Langbakk is currently injured, and was unable to accompany the team to Europe. Brian Graham stepped up last minute to fill the coaching role ~ thanks Brian! Brent and Molly, get well soon. We hope to see you both in Europe next year!

Today, Wednesday, the team went out for a short jog around the city to shake out their traveling legs. This afternoon, the team did some training on the model map for the relay. With them was guest member Remi Baudot from St.Etienne in France (pictured in blue below).

The training was in a flat area with lots of trails, ditches and vegetation features. When asked what she took away from this training, Pia said, "We have to learn what is mapped as distinct trees in the middle of a green area. It was usually large oak trees in otherwise coniferous forest."

Adam found it to be a challenge with the shades of green and vegetation boundaries, but had lots of fun. The forest was wet, and ditches filled with water after several days of rain. The team is hoping for drier weather in the coming days.

Here the team is ready for training. What do you think of the new Team Canada outfits??

A snippet from the model training map

Stay tuned to the Team Canada blog for all the behind-the-scenes action, as our Canadian athletes prepare for competition next week! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can catch all the JWOC action on their website, and also on Facebook.

Go Canada Go!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tallinn Orienteering Week: Full of Variety

I have just gotten “home” (i.e., to Uppsala) from Tallinn O Week, which was all together terrific, and offered some very diverse races.

As the name suggests, it was a week-long (Monday–Saturday) event in and around Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.  I met up with fellow Canadian Jennie Anderson (from Orienteering Ottawa) and we stayed in a hostel right in downtown Tallinn, with a bunch of other orienteers from around the world.
Welcome to Tallinn!

Each day brought a new style of orienteering:

Monday – Sprint (park) –WRE
We jumped right in to the week with a World Ranking Event (WRE)  in Kadrioru Park, which includes the president’s palace and an art museum that’s surrounded by a labyrinth of ramps and walls (=traps!). This race was a blast, with fast running and tricky navigation around the aforementioned walls.  

Tuesday – Middle (forest)
I ended up running this one without a compass (that’s what happens when you neglect your pre-race-day routine) so I really had to focus on choosing strong handrails and attack points. The last few controls involved some of the steepest hills I have ever side-hilled across. It was also very thick, with deadfall, tall shrubs, and stinging nettle; the kind of forest that “builds character”…

Wednesday – Middle (old town)
Perhaps my favourite race of the week (or at least the one that most exceeded expectations) was the “City Race” through the cobblestone streets of the medieval old town. We used a sprint map (1:4000, ISSOM) but with distances and winning times for a middle. I thought that sprint-style navigation would be too easy at a slower, middle-distance pace, but I was wrong. The course was jam-packed with challenging route choices and the narrow, crooked streets did not permit any lapses in concentration. I had a few unnecessary hooks and curves, some small mistakes (ex: missed the passageway to control 2), and at one point I almost ran inside a restaurant by mistake, but overall I was happy with how it went. I tried to choose smooth routes, ones without too many zig-zags and with gentle slopes instead of steep stairs. Stairs slow me down a lot, whether I am going up or down them, and they make it very hard to read my map. An example of this is leg 6, where I took a slightly longer route but I was able to run the whole way and got a chance to read ahead. Jennie took the stairs instead, and says they were gruelling. 

Check out my route here: (class N21A). Which routes would you have chosen?

This race was fun not only because of the technical challenge, but also because it was exciting to run among centuries-old buildings and confused tourists. The pointed stone towers of the city walls look like something from a fairy tale, and all the restaurant greeters are dressed in medieval costumes.

On the way to control 12

Thursday – Middle (forest)
Since this was an informal race, I decided to do a shorter course to rest up for Friday’s WRE. I chose to run women’s 21C, and quickly discovered that it was not only shorter than 21A, but also simpler, with trails to follow the whole way. My day’s goal had been to visualize each control feature, so the easy navigation allowed me to focus almost solely on that, and it ended up being a good training exercise. After the thick forest on Tuesday, it was exhilarating to speed through some open, sandy pine forest.

Friday – Middle (forest) – WRE
Again a new terrain type, with ridges and depressions. There were small areas of thick deadfall, but also some heavenly, open, mossy forest. This was a classic middle that called for a variety of techniques: some simplification, some detailed navigation, some straight bearings…

Saturday – Long (forest)
The Tallinn O Week final was not a typical long-distance race. It was called the “100 CP” – yes, as in 100 control points. Only the men’s elite course actually had a full 100 controls, but my course (elite women) had 70, which was plenty! At 9.5 km, that’s an average of one control every 136m. As you might guess, it took a lot of concentration. A few times my thumb slipped from its place and I had to search for my spot again. Towards the end, the control codes and control numbers were all starting to blend together.
100CP Normal map (1:10 000)
To make things even more interesting, controls 24-52 were on a separate map (printed on the back side of our normal map), which was 1:5000 and contours (and marshes) only.
100CP Contours only (1:5000)

Our control descriptions did not fit in one column.

Besides all the fantastic orienteering, we also got a chance to do normal-tourist stuff. Jennie and I spent several days happily exploring the old town and going to museums. It’s a beautiful place, and I really enjoyed the whole trip. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

JWOC Interview #3: Hodně štěstí (or for those that don't know Czech, good luck)!

It’s now just over a week before JWOC, so here is the last instalment of the pre-JWOC interviews.  Be sure to check back in the coming two weeks to get updates from the team as they train and compete. You can also check the JWOC website for results once the races start.

So now, onto the final questions:

What are your goals for this JWOC?

To run my own races, and see how that works out! I'm hoping to improve on my previous results. – Kendra

My biggest goal this year for JWOC is simply to get the experience of running in a really competitive field. - Pia

My main goal is just to have clean solid runs that I can feel I ran to the best of my ability. – Alex

Punch, then drink. – Trevor

My goal is to be happy with my races. – Jen

Have at least one perfect race and not to screw up in the relay. - Robbie

Any words of wisdom to up and coming juniors who may like to attend JWOC in the future?

Work hard and have fun. Everything else should slide into place. – Trevor

For those wanting to attend JWOC in the future, try to attend at least one big race before JWOC.  This can be really hard in Canada (as you often only have 3-6 competitors), but the exposure to a larger and more competitive field is invaluable. - Pia

Train hard, get excited about it, and don't be intimidated! It’s fun! - Kendra

Train consistently and challenge yourself. You will only get better if you push the limits of your orienteering. - Alex

What is one of your favorite motivational songs?

I don't really have a single motivational song, but sometimes, when I am running a particularly hard set of intervals, the song Stronger by Kelly Clarkson starts up in my head. – Pia

My motivational song is Eye of the Tiger by Survivor.  – Jen

Eye of the Tiger. - Robbie

We wish all the Canadian athletes competing at JWOC the best of luck. We’re cheering for you! And thank you to all the coaches, parents, supporters, organizers, friends and many more who have helped helped our athletes along the way. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Barebone 2013

After taking a week off school for the HPP training camp in Cranbrook, I attended Barebones in Canmore. It was a great weekend full of types of races that I had never heard of before. I got to Canmore on the Thursday evening and stayed at the beautiful Alpine Club since I would be staying there for the Family Camp (and I am so thankful for being able to be a part of that at the last minute, as well as to those who gave me rides to and from Canmore and the individual races). Friday was a relaxing day spent watching movies until the Urban-O. One of the perks of deciding not to bring a laptop or an ipod charger was that I did pretty much no homework (and I’ve only just caught up, but that was mostly due to things I had been procrastinating on before my week off) and spent most of my free time reading.

In the evening was the Urban-O in downtown Canmore. It was based off of the game Clue (which I have never played). I’ll try to explain it, but it may get confusing. There were eight “rooms”, which were areas on the map in which you could “suggest”  to other players who committed the crime and with which weapon in the room you are currently in (unless you were suggesting to one of the “townsfolk” - aka volunteers, then you could suggest it was committed in any room). If the person you were suggesting to had a card (two of which each person received at the beginning – there are no cards for the elements of the crime committed), that person would have to show you only one (townsfolk would show all cards disproving) of their cards disproving your suggestion. I was glad that one of the cards I got was for a room that was kind of out of the way, so I knew I didn't have to go there, but I still spent a fair bit of time running to other rooms because there were so many that I hadn’t disproved. We had an hour to try and figure out the specifics of the crime before heading to the start/finish and making an accusation. I, and I think most people, just guessed, but several people/teams did get it right. I liked the event because it was fun trying to figure it out without the pressure/disappointment of feeling that it was unlikely.

On Saturday were the Setup, the Chase, and the THOMASS events. The setup was a sprint style (my race was 1.7km) event in Canmore for which the times were used to arrange the start for the Chase. Just before the start, I was told that the finish would be my second last control because there was a mother elk and her calf near the finish. My race went well, which was nice after a week of being challenged. Then, after noon, was the Chase event at the Canmore Nordic Centre (which was a busy place that day with both a running and a biking event taking place as well as the orienteering, but at least those were wrapped up by the time the THOMASS event started). With some exceptions, start times were 12:00 plus an individual’s time for the Setup. I believe the Chase was intended to be a middle style event (but being on course three, my race was only 1.9km). For me, it was an alright race, with a couple mistakes – thankfully the it-just-takes-longer type of mistakes and not the wandering-for-ten-plus-minutes mistakes that I sometimes make. Then we had lunch and awards (cookie medalsJ) in the Nordic Centre. Then there was the THOMASS, for which people were designated a handicap based on age and experience. This handicap determined how many controls you needed to do on the first side of the map before going to the finish (for that side) and flipping over the map for a 2.9km point-to-point course. I had to do four of the seven controls (#s 3,2,5, and 4 if you want to check them out at ), which was a good amount for me, especially considering the placement of the controls – I didn’t have to go to any far off ones. For the point-to-point portion, there were usually other people around the whole time, which I found made me really focus on my route choice compared to what others were doing. Thankfully, this worked out well for me, rather than distracting me too much, like in the case from control six to seven. As I was arriving at control six, I saw one person ahead of me heading to control seven one way, and another person another way. This caused me to see the higher trail, which I’m glad I took, versus the lower trail, in which case I would have had to climb back up. I quite enjoyed the THOMASS because of this and the controls in general.
In the evening there were speakers at the Alpine Club. Graeme Rennie spoke about his past JWOC experiences and Alix, Emma, and Darya spoke about orienteering in Switzerland last year. The presentations were good and reinforced a personal desire to go to Europe, both in general and for orienteering specifically. There was a large selection of dessert afterwards – there was always lots of great food at the Family Camp, always a highlight for any trip I take.

On Sunday was the Farsta (one-man relay) at Mt. Laurie. For those of us on the long course, there were three loops, each about 2km. Not everyone started on the same course, so it was interesting to see the stream of us start to branch off.  The maps were on a 1:7,500 scale, which was nice with the amount of contour detail on the map. It also probably helped make sure I didn’t have a race like last year at Mt. Laurie (but at least I knew I couldn’t possibly do as horribly as then). Generally, the race went well for me, with once again only a couple mistakes, plus a bit of lost time due to neglecting my compass and circling around while heading to the finish. The weather, though, was interesting. Partway through, I got soaked. I also had issues with my glasses falling off while I wasn’t wearing them, so I dropped them just past the control between loops, which I quickly regretted, worrying that someone would step on them – but they were safe when I finished. Yet near the end of the race I could have used them, although it wasn’t awfully bright. I liked this race because I got familiar with the terrain and specific areas of the course of my three loops, which boosted my confidence.

Overall, it was a great weekend, full of lots of orienteering and fun. On the way home, I finished yet another book, like the antisocial creature I am, before returning to a “normal” life consisting of the last homework assignments/projects of my high school career!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

JWOC Interview #2: Training

JWOC is in two weeks!  Our athletes are now in their final preparations. But it's important to remember that they've put a lot of time and effort in the many months before JWOC to train.  In this week's installment of the JWOC athlete interviews, I asked them about their training over this past year.

How has your training gone so far this year?

Fairly well, it’s always a challenge for me to transition from skiing to orienteering, so I've been doing a lot of technical stuff to help with that. – Kendra

This year, I think my training has gone really well.  I've had the opportunity to train with a team in Trondheim over the winter, and concentrated more than I have ever before on orienteering through the winter. (Normally I switch my focus to skiing.)  I feel a lot more confident with various terrain types now, as I have gotten to orienteer on so many diverse maps.  I have also - to my great relief - lost a lot of the fear/nervousness I previously had about bigger races (i.e. more than 50 people!).  – Pia

I would say fairly well. I have been able to do quite a lot of orienteering and have run in two A-meets this spring. - Alex

This was my first year training solely for orienteering and it has been amazing! A few more weeks of intensity and technical training and should be just reaching my peak. - Trevor

My training was going really well at the beginning of the year and I got injured and I am slowly making my way back. - Jen

Definitely picked up the pace ever since I tried for the HPP, so I'd say pretty good - Robbie

How would you describe the expected terrain and potential strategies to orienteer well in this terrain?
Sample long map
The terrain this year is a bit of a mix.  Topography wise, most of the races are fairly flat, with the exception of the long, which is very hilly.  In flat terrain, one of the strategies I use is to trust my compass, and go as straight as possible. (Unless it means going through too much green...)  On the other hand, hilly terrain normally means attempting to find a route where you do not have to climb up and down continuously, but instead one that may be longer, but will hopefully not be quite as strenuous. – Pia

Sample sprint map

The terrain for the middle and long will be hilly with the middle having lots of rock detail and the long having more hills and valleys. The relay will be more flat with gentle slopes and lots of trails. To orienteering effectively in this terrain planning out the legs will be important, as well as having good attack points and being careful with the compass. – Alex

Sample relay map

The long is very physical, so pacing and choosing good routes will be key to having a good race. The middle map is covered in boulders! Therefore having a strong attack point will make the navigation much easier. Lastly the sprint is all about being smooth and fast through the controls. Personally I have never been very good at urban sprints, so for me the sprint is all about having fun! - Trevor

Sample middle map
You can find full map samples for the JWOC maps here

Is there anything you have done to train particularly for this terrain?

I have looked at the maps available one the JWOC website for the area, and have done some armchair orienteering with those maps.  I have also tried to expose myself to as many different terrain types as possible so that I (hopefully) have an easier time adjusting to the terrain at JWOC! – Pia

Some hill training and orienteering in rocky terrain. - Alex

The long is extremely hilly, so I have done many route choice exercises. It’s not about choosing the best route; it’s about choosing a good one. Also in the next few weeks, I am going to be focusing on rock detail (for the middle) and side hilling. – Trevor

I have been training on maps with the same terrain as what. I will be facing in Czech. - Jen

At JWOC, athletes get to participate in all the races (sprint, middle, long, and the relay). Their schedule is: 

Monday, July 1: Long Distance

Tuesday, July 2: Middle distance – qualification
Wednesday, July 3: Middle distance – final
Thursday, July 4: Rest day
Friday, July 5: Sprint
Saturday, July 6: Relay

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sage Stomp

This spring has been an interesting one for my training. While looking at the schedule of orienteering meets and camps sometime in December I realized that I would not be able to go to a couple of the staple events this year (mostly because I was in Ghana, Western Africa for 7 weeks, and early June was my RN licensing exam and graduation). So, on this lovely day in December, I started going into pre-emptive orienteering withdrawal, which is probably why I thought it was a good idea to sign up for Sage Stomp the weekend after I returned from my trip. I even convinced myself that I might not be in that bad of running shape, thinking that I would run when I was in Ghana, which I did end up doing most days. However, having to get up at 5:30-6 to run before it got too hot meant that most of my runs were under 45 mins...

So I arrived back the Tuesday at midnight after 19 hours of travel, had a work orientation at 8 am for the next two days and then travel out to the camp. Needless to say I was a tad tired at the camp; ok that’s an understatement, I was completely physically and emotionally exhausted (as only working in a third world medical system can do to you)  BUT I think I was able to get benefit out of the camp non-the-less! The terrain at McQueen Lake thankfully involves some areas of open running with hills and clumps of trees (nice big features for me to navigate off) and it was great to be back on a map! There were, however, areas with less enormous features, and the fact that I hadn’t been on an orienteering map since sprint camp became painfully obvious at those points!

This camp served as reinforcement to me around the complexities of this sport; it is not like a track workout where you can just show up in body and hope that you will get some benefit. Your mind needs also to be present and able to concentrate. By the Monday morning when I was doing (for by this point you cannot call what I was doing running) the last training exercise I found myself continuously getting distracted by the approaching start of my ‘grown up job’ (nursing on an orthopedic surgical floor, my first shift being that night at 7 pm – again great planning Tori), and my RN licensing exam, which I was running out of days to study for... It reinforced to me what coaches have been saying for years (namely Brent..) about the importance of having the ability to refocus (i.e. with a focus word) so that as an athlete you are able to bring your focus back to the map, compass and your race. It won’t always be outside the sport things that are stressful, the pressure of a big race or competition itself can be distracting. It is something that I plan on working on now that I have a bit more spare time!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Spotlight: JWOC!

For the past three years, my June has been filled with the excitement of the upcoming Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC).  While unfortunately I am now too old to attend JWOC, I am excited to watch (from afar) our junior team compete in the Czech Republic this July!

This year our junior team is: Alexander Bergstrom, Trevor Bray, Robert Graham, Adam Woods, Pia Blake, Jennifer MacKeigan, and Kendra Murray. You can view their HPP athlete profiles here!

In order to get us excited to cheer them on, I asked our athletes a few questions. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting their answers, so be sure to check back for the latest junior orienteering news! Today's questions are on what they're looking forward to.

What is your favorite part of JWOC (for athletes who have been previously)?

The whole atmosphere! It’s amazing to see people from all around the world come together to hang out and orienteer. – Kendra

Apart from the actual races, I would say getting to see and explore and new and unique place that I probably wouldn't see if it weren't for JWOC. – Alex

The atmosphere is one of the coolest parts about JWOC. In the quarantine, there are about 300 athletes all excited to race. This creates a very unique and abnormal environment for us Canadians. - Trevor

What are you looking forward to most at JWOC?

Racing on new terrain, meeting new people and all the hype! - Robbie

After each race when everyone sits around and talks about their race, and you get to talk to lots of people. – Kendra

Meeting new people, travelling to Europe and of course the orienteering! – Trevor

This year, I am most looking forward to soaking in JWOC: the atmosphere, the maps/terrain and the people.  In addition, I am really looking forward to seeing all the different countries represented.  I have never before been to such an international event! - Pia

The races. – Alex
I am most looking forward to meet new people and the great experience of orienteering in a different country. - Jen

The next post will feature questions about their training for this year to prepare for their races.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

2013 Canada Cup Series Starts With A Bang!

In an event filled weekend, Sage Stomp hosted the first Canada Cup of 2013. This long distance race was held at McQueen Lake near Kamloops. The open grassland area challenges all runners, even those who have visited the area in the past. 

Damian Konotopetz of Manitoba ran a strong race, beating second place Will Critchley by only 6 seconds! Eric Bone of Team USA came in 1:02 behind Will for a close 3rd place (Eric is not eligible for Canada Cup points). The 3rd place Canadian was junior team member, Adam Woods. Congratulations to Damian, Will, Eric, and Adam for each running an impressive race!

M21E - Standings after Sage Stomp
Athlete                       Club   Score
Damian Konotopetz CdeB 25
Will Critchley                EOOC 20
Adam Woods        GVOC 15
Graeme Rennie        GVOC 11
Mike Rascher        GVOC 8
Wade Tokarek        SAGE 6
Jiri Krejci                GVOC 4
Ian Collings                GVOC 3
Jared Kestevan        GVOC 2
Sergio Fernandez        GVOC 1

On the women's side there was a small field of only 4 runners. Vancouver's Louise Oram gave a convincing win, over 18 minutes ahead of second place Catherine Hoofd. Jackie Bonn of Kamloops came in 3rd, with Tori Owen of Calgary in 4th place. 

Athlete                Club Score
Louise Oram          GVOC 8
Catherine Hoofd    GVOC 6
Jacqueline Bonn    SAGE  4
Tori Owen          FWOC 3

In the Best Club in Canada category, GVOC holds its top spot after the first race, with 58 points, ahead of Coureurs de Bois with 25 points!

Club        Score
GVCO          58
CdeB          25
EOOC          20
SAGE         10
FWOC           3

Here's the link to the full, official standings. You can view the results and splits on WinSplits! There are also some photos up on the GVOC Facebook page

2013 Canada Cups (scheduled to date)
August 3-5 ~ Western Canadian Championship, Manitoba (sprint, middle, long)
August 23-25 ~ Eastern Canadian Championship, St. John, NB (middle, long)
September 20-22 ~ Ottawa O-Fest, Ottawa, ON (combined Saturday/Sunday results)
October 11-14 ~ Canadian Champs, Hamilton, ON (sprint, middle, long)