Tuesday, July 20, 2010

JWOC banquet

At last, some pictures from the JWOC banquet. The girls wore dresses in the colours of the SA flag and the guys wore their Bafana soccer shirts.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

JWOC Summary

I took an idea from Dan Chissick's (Israeli Coach) blog and tried to show the results as a graphic rather than lots of statistics. For the juniors who were at their second JWOC, I compared their performance relative to the winner of the race with the same performance last year. If it was 105% or more then they got a red block with an unhappy face. If their performance was similar to last year they got a yellow block and if they were under 95% a happy face in a green block. For Michael and JP the evaluation was very subjective.

As you can see few unhappy faces and lots of smiley faces!

The I took just the returning juniors and rated the performances as follows:
Slower than last year - red
Less than 10% improvement - yellow
Better than 10% improvement - green

Sprint - disappointing
Long - very encouraging
Middle - good results
Relay - OK (I think we ran out of steam a bit!)

Overall I feel we achieved our objective.
We fielded men's and women's teams for the first time ever.
We improved on last year's results.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Denmark's Not Flat - The Relay

We headed to Rebild for the relay race. We were expecting a change in terrain, but we didn't think it was going to be that physical! The area had many more slopes and open areas than we have been running on. There were 5m contours for a change and most courses were over had over 5% climb to distance - so they were steep. The area suited us, but it everyone seemed to be comfortable and the terrain didn't cause too many navigation upsets. There were plenty of different route choices.

The girls set off first. Sarah was in the mass start. Jess was 2nd and Salome finished off. They all suffered physically on the steep course and in the heat. The team finished in 22nd place officially, disregarding the 2nd teams. We finished well ahead of Japan and not too far off Germany's pace.

Zoe joined a mixed team of Austria and Bulgaria. They all had very good runs to finish well ahead of our SA girls. Unfortunately the Austrian mispunched, so the result was unofficial. Zoe had a good time on the last leg. Steph sat out to give her hips a chance to recover.

Brad started us off in the guys team. Mike ran the second leg and JP brought us home. Brad had a solid run with a good percentage behind the leg winner. Again, it was an incredibly physical course. Mike was off next. His run wasn't as good as yesterday, but he finished well. JP handled the last leg well and got us home safely. Well done guys. Officially we were 29th without the 2nd teams. Unfortunately we did get Jap'ed and Kong'ed. Neverless, its the first official South African mens team for many years. Well done guys.

In the coaches race, the roles were reversed. The juniors manned the coaching zone with as many containers as they could find to drench Nic and Alex. And it was Nic and Alex's turn to experience the heat and hills. With some good advice at the coaching zone and plenty of water thrown over us, we held on for positions somewhere in the middle of the field. Only two girls beat us.

So now its off to the Banquet. Stay tuned for some more photos and accounts of the trip.

We fly back tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon.

And the top 10 lists seem to be square at 3-3-3.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mike and Sarah's Middle

After yesterday's qualifiers, we had all our men in the C-final and all our girls in the B-final. There were lots of runners out there, so there was the possibility of some bunch running.
In the girls race, Sarah had the best run with about 32 min at 29th. Salome was next in 36th. Jess was 42nd and Zoe 46th. Despite a good qualifying run yesterday, Steph sat out to avoid any more damage to her hip injury.
In the men's race, Mike had the best run. He looked strong through the spectator control and hung on for 16th in 32 minutes. Brad also had a steady run to finish in 18th in 33 min. JP performed well for 38th in 58 min.

So we're getting great experience and we've seen some good improvements from last year.

Here are the results

Tomorrow is the relay. We have both a mens and womens team for the first time ever!

In other news, JP, Brad and Jess are tied on 3 top 10 lists each. Its really tight going into the final day.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

JP's 3rd Top 10 (and the Middle distance)

Sorry Brad, JP stole your heading. On a serious note, Brad had the best South African run today with 42nd. He missed the B final by 39 seconds. He beat countries like Ireland, USA and Italy. Mike had 2 bad controls, but limited the damage to post a reasonable time. JP messed up #1 quite badly, but had a smooth remainder of the course.

In the women's heats, Steph and Salome had the best results. Unfortunately we still need to take a big step up to get into the A final, but everyone improved. Salome beat a few decent countries. Steph ran with her hip injury and still posted a decent time. All the girls had relatively smooth runs, but lacked the speed to get into the 20's.

The C final starts at 9h00 tomorrow.

In other news, JP is a hit on the Top 10 lists. He's been on the Swiss, Polish and USA lists. Brad is trailing a bit with just the French list, but is hoping to improve that with his Middle Final tomorrow. He isn't sure whether to go all in and use the rest of his hair product or make it last till Saturday night.

So we're having fun. Everyone is still focussed on having a good race tomorrow.

Rest Day and Relay Model

We like the look of the relay area – white runnable forest, proper slopes and 5m contours. The open ground is covered in heather. We enjoyed our jog around the controls on the model map.

On the way home we stopped at some chalk mines, made the daily bakery stop for pastries, and finally printed the team poster.

Here it is... we have bucked the JWOC 2010 trend and kept our clothes on for the poster.

Here is a picture of Zoe finishing the long. There weren't many photos with Nic at the start and Alex at the coaching zones. It should be better with the Middle Distance.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Long day out

Everyone had a long tough day. We had improvements on last years results in the long, so we were happy. Well done team!

Sarah had the best run out of the girls with 1h43 and 99th place. Salome took 1h48. Both felt that they could still improve and feel that 1h35 would have been a good run. Zoe was consistent and came home in 2h05. Jess had a tough day starting late and being out in the forest on her own - she took 2h18. Steph sat out to let her hip recover.

JP was off early. He twisted his ankle on the way to the first coaching zone which was only 4 controls in. He had a long day out with 3h54. This is comparable to the times of the girls in their first long distance race in Italy last year. Mike performed well in his first long distance race. He took 2h29. Brad had the best run of the boys, improving on last year's percentage behind the winner. He took 2h11.

At the front it was Ida Bobach of Denmark taking her second gold. A Czech named Pavel Kubat beat the Danes and Swedes to gold.

The forest was more runnable than we were expecting. The light green was not as difficult as we had experienced in training.

The results are here

Tomorrow is a rest day. We will got to the relay model event and try to have a relaxing day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Steph's Sprint

Aarlborg University was the area for this years sprint race. Amongst the South African's, this years race belongs to Steph. Mike also had a great run at his first JWOC.

Steph is running with her hip injury. She managed to run through the pain to finish 63rd - half way down the girls leader board. She's really sore now, so she's going to sit out the long distance race to recover for the middle. Well run Steph!

It's Mike's first JWOC and he finished best of the SA guys in 109th place out of 160 guys. He ran a consistent race. Well done. Showing a lot of potential!

Brad was having a good run until he skipped a control and had to backtrack. JP had a smooth start to his JWOC with no big mistakes and a steady run.

Zoe finished early in the day. She says she messed up #1 but had a steady run after that. Salome, Jess and Sarah were all not happy with their runs, but produced steady results.

Everyone felt that the area was not overly technical, but did have some surprises if you weren't reading ahead.

At the front end, the Dane's got 2 golds on home turf. The Swedish guys were very strong, with 4 in the top 6 I think.

Tomorrow is a big one - the long distance will be tough.

Some links:

Start Lists and Live Results

Live Results

Good luck team!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Svinklov Long and Middle Model

The Long and Middle events are close to each other so they shared a piece of map for the model event. We got 2 maps showing the same area but at 1:10'000 and 1:15'000. The model event is supposed to allow competitors to get used to the mapping style and the mapper's interpretation of symbols. We were generally happier on this map than we have been on the other neighboring coastal maps. The vegetation was very up to date and consistent. The contour features also seemed to be more distinct. We've had problems in the large blocks of forest with many difficult to read undulations - there weren't any of these on this map.

This afternoon (Saturday) there was a 'Technical Model', a 1.5km course around the barracks to demonstrate the Emit equipment. This was for both the competitors and the organisors. Many of the competitors haven't used Emit before. It was also a chance for the organisors to try everything out before Monday. They even had the commentators babbling and the results board functioning.

Emit is being used at this JWOC. Interestingly, the Emit system we use isn't as reliable as I thought it was. Events using Emit above a certain level (World Champs and World Cups for example) require an additional timing method. Our Emit cards are known to drift by 1 or 2 seconds over a long event. So at JWOC, the Emit card is used to record visits to the controls and to give splits, but an EmiTag is used for timing. The EmitTag is a separate device worn on the top of the arm.

Here is the model map:

Tomorrow (Sunday) is the Sprint Model Event at the Aarlborg University and the opening ceremony. Monday is the Sprint Race.

Rold Relay Training

Friday was the last of our proper training sessions. We have a model event before each of the races. For our last session we used the relay-speficic Rold map. It had a lot of runnable white forest and contour features that suited us. There were larger re-entrants and spurs, or more slope features, than we've had on the coastal maps. We did 3 x 6 control intervals. Everyone had a good session.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Team photo

Found one with everyone off the ground...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Its getting serious

Bulletin 4 was released today. It has the schedule for the competition.

This is our rough schedule...
Saturday: Long and Middle Model
Sunday: Sprint Model
Monday: Sprint
Tuesday: Long
Wednesday: Relay Model and rest day
Thursday: Middle Qualification
Friday: Middle Final
Saturday: Relay


Our O-suits were couriered in today! Now we look like a team when we train.

We did take some serious photos - we used Nic's fancy camera for that. I'll get them off him soon, but for now to prove we have them here are my team photos.
We weren't trying to do a Mexican jump... Everyone was supposed to jump at once.
Not sure how to explain this one...

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Legoland is a theme park in Billund. It was the destination for our rest day. The highlight was the amazing Lego creations. Here is a Lego airport, with lego planes and buildings.
And here is Amsterdam in Lego. There are lots of recreations of European towns, complete with moving trains, boats, cars and trucks. The city in the picture below is made of 2.1 million Lego bricks.
There were also lots of rides. Mike and Brad aren't looking too phased by this one... The best one was the 'Power Builder' - a robotic arm that holds 2 people. You can program it to throw you around and scare yourself a lot. You set the 'power level' and choose from a set of pre-programmed moves. Different to the usual rollercoasters and water rides.