Saturday, August 4, 2018


I got a bit of sense in the stage arena of the scale of O-Ringen but it wasn't until I started that I really understood how big it is. After coming from JWOC where I’d be starting with one other person (of the opposite gender) it was very different to be packed into the start box with up to ten other people. What really drove home the size of the event though was the first couple of minutes of leg 1 where people everywhere. I had a very difficult time concentrating on my own race as I was in the midst of people going in seemingly every direction. This distraction lead to a slow and sloppy execution of the first control.

The second control also had a shock in store for me as I had forgotten about route choice. About a third of the way in I realized my plan was just to go straight and that I hadn’t considered anything else while planning it. As well I hadn't even thought about how much climbing there would be. Both of these, I believe, are from my 2 weeks spent in Hungary. Elevation change there was so little it wouldn't be put in the race info and most of the time the correct route choice was straight. This realization led me to later in the race remind myself to look for route choice that weren't strictly straight.

One thing that I was expecting though was that there would be lots of elephant trails. There were definitely many tracks out there but to my relief they were nowhere near as pronounced as I thought they would be. Going in, I was slightly worried the elephant trails would be so worn in that they would essentially lead you right to the control. I definitely saw tracks out there, but they were mostly confided to areas with undergrowth and large swaths of the terrain was rock. This meant the orienteering was still a challenge which is the fun part :)

Random Extra Note:
I also just want to say that one of the lakes on the day 4 map had a little fish icon in it. I think this cool. 🐟

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

WOC 2018 Guide

The World Orienteering Championships (WOC) in Latvia are fast approaching!

We have 4 Canadian athletes competing this year: Jennifer MacKeigan, Will Critchley, Damian Konotopetz, and Graeme Rennie. Both Damian and Will have competed at several WOCs previously while this is the first year for Jen and Graeme. Raphael Ferrand is returning as the coach. Nevin French is the team manager. There are 345 athletes from over 49 countries competing! 

The schedule is:

Race Time (local time)(7 hours ahead of Eastern time, 10 hours ahead of Pacific time)
Canadian Runners
Saturday, August 4th
Sprint Qualification
9:00 – 11:30 (2:00 - 4:30 Eastern, 23:00-01:30 Pacific the day before)
Jennifer MacKeigan, Damian Konotopetz, Graeme Rennie
Saturday, August 4th
Sprint Final
15:00-17:00 (8:00-10:00 Eastern, 5:00 - 7:00 Pacific)
TBD (top 15 from each qualification heat race)
Sunday, August 5th
Sprint Relay
17:00-18:10 (10:00-11:10 Eastern, 7:00-8:10 Pacific)
No Canadian team
Monday, August 6th
Rest Day

Tuesday, August 7th
Middle Distance
12:00-17:30 (5:00-10:30 Eastern, 2:00 - 7:30 Pacific)
Jennifer MacKeigan, Damian Konotopetz
Wednesday, August 8
Rest Day

Thursday, August 9th
14:00-18:00 (7:00-11:00 Eastern, 4:00 - 8:00 Pacific)
Will Critchley, Damian Konotopetz, Graeme Rennie (running order TBD)
Friday, August 10th
Rest Day

Saturday, August 11th
Long Distance
12:00-18:00 (5:00 - 11:00 Eastern, 2:00 - 8:00 Pacific)
Jennifer MacKeigan, Will Critchley

The sprint races are in Riga--Latvia's capital city. The forest races are 50 minutes away in Sigulda. 

You can follow along during the week on the event website. They will have live results, blog, TV, and GPS tracking (purchase may be required for live TV and GPS--it looks like it is 20 euros for the entire championships or 6 euros per race to use's services). You can also find old maps and the terrain description for each of the event on the event website. 

It's always an exciting week to see the top orienteers around the world compete! The organizers have a hashtag #WOC2018Latvia, and have a Twitter and Facebook account. World of O often has excellent coverage as well. And of course, follow along on Orienteering Canada's social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and cheer on our athletes. Go Canada go!