Wednesday, July 8, 2015

JWOC Sprint 

For a change we'll be writing in 1st person (so that we can all write our own account of our races)

Tim: I was the 1st of the South Africans to start (and 3rd starter of the men), so I was hoping to copy Brad's feat of leading the sprint (if only for a short time), but unfortunately this was not to be. 

The 1st control was good, and my planned route to #2 seemed like a really good one, but I managed to turn down 1 road too early and had to come back up (losing about 30secs). #3 was really easy- a plain running control. #4 had a bit more route choice and I dont think I took the best route, but It wouldn't have been too bad if I had executed it correctly- I managed to get stuck behind a fence and then was very hesitant as too which areas were out of bounds and which weren't, so almost slowed down to a stop. (another 25secs lost). #5 was good, #6 hesitated going into the control and started heading to the lower boulder before correcting (4secs), another few seconds lost on not taking the best route to #7. Middle section (up to #15) was pretty decent with only a few seconds lost on hesitations+possibly not the best routes. Then didn't take take the best route to #16 (5secs lost) and another bad route to #17 (10secs lost). 

I wasn't' particularly happy with my race, but not too disappointed in the final result- 55th and 2:18 down on Tim Robertson.

Physically I felt really good, but my navigation couldn't quite keep up, so will definitely have to do a bit more sprint specific training before next years JWOC as I feel that the sprint is probably my best race to get a good result in. 

Just looking at the results, without the 2 big mistakes I would have been in about 25th or so and with a perfect run even sneaking into the top 10, so I have the speed to do well, now I just need to get my navigation to the same level.

Roark blogging here. Just going to run you through my sprint course and how it went.

Below are my splits compared to the fastest two runners, Tim Robertson and Alexi Niemi. 
My first control was smooth but a bit slow as I was trying to work out a route to control 2. As you can see Tim Robertson absolutely blitzed it (9 seconds faster), but Alexi was only 3 seconds faster without a mistake. My second control was an absolute disaster. I thought I had found a fast route choice going very straight but somehow missed a very clear fence on the map (see map). Recalculating a new route choice took a while and then I had to back track to a path which lead to the road above (It would probably have been faster to go left and through the field at that point). I got a bit more confused when i hit the road and wasted another 5 seconds. I then managed to pick it up and get back into it. All those horrible mistakes added up to around 50 seconds of wasted time which would leave me fighting back for the rest of the race.

Control number three was a doddle and i managed to carry some speed through it, missing out on a fastest split by a second. I think my route choice to number four was pretty good. I toyed with the idea of going right along the main road but decided against it when I saw the number of contour lines I would drop. I seem to have lost a a few seconds on this leg, maybe due to my lack of fitness or possibly because right was faster. Control number 5 was good. I felt a bit slow but the splits seem to suggest otherwise. Number 6 was a short leg but i hit it quite smoothly once again. I made another big mistake (16 seconds) leaving the control (see map), nearly running straight into the fence before consulting my map and proceeding to hit control 7 smoothly.

Control 8 was short and sweet and i could now get back to work at gaining places after my poor start. I was happy with my route to 9 as i was familiar with it although going left, on the main road, looks fast when i look at it now. I managed a 32nd fastest split on that control though so i'm pretty happy. Number 10 seemed obvious to me as i didn't see the left route choice but again i was pretty happy as i came 25th on the leg.

Control 11 was a just running but i was extremely confused leaving it as i couldn't understand the taped route on the map. I was extremely confused leaving the taped route and went left around the building instead of right wasting 9 seconds to 12. Going left to 13 felt like it was to long but i don't think it was much longer than right when i consider my physical state at the time.

14 was back the way i had come so it was quite simple while i chose to go left to number 15 which seems to have been the fastest route although it looks a bit longer. To 16 i decided to go back the way i had gone before although right seemed faster because it was flat and paved (lost 6 seconds). My route to 17 was good but i was really dying now and lost more than 6 seconds purely due to fitness. The finish chute started out terribly. I was finished and felt like I had nothing left to give. But an American who was right behind me gave me motivation to sprint it out when he tried to pass me. The sprint worked out well and I left him in the dust, although I was wrecked for the next few minutes and gulping down as much water as they could throw at me. I clearly need to work on my fitness because i was losing a lot of time at the end of the course.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In the News

Our boys continue to attract media coverage. See the IOF website for this article on Tim.

and Roark was Saturdays winner of the ‪#‎jwoc2015‬ picture competition!
I trust you have all being following their progress on the JWOC website and we hope to hear some news directly from them soon?
But until then, in summary: Tim and Roark both put in great performances in the sprints, delivering personal bests by finishing in the top 36% and 53% of the field respectively. 
This middle terrain has been really tough ! World of O commented yesterday on the qualification map that "The terrain needed lots of experience of Scandinavia terrain and that those runners had a significant advantage." Nevertheless, Tim put in another stellar performance to secure a solid place in the B qualification (and again another personal best in the qualifications). Its now only the 4th time a SA Male Junior has been able to accomplish this feat (and Tim has done it twice)!
Whilst Roark and Dylan appear to have struggled in their qualification races yesterday, all 3 boys delivered fantantic results today in their respective final races .
Tim's 16th place is SAs best result in a B final (taken across all measures) and Roarks 4th place is SA's best placing in a C final.  Dylans solid 13th position is the best ever placing for a male athlete at their first JWOC and is even better than the results that current WOC members Mike and Brad ever delivered in their C finals, both in terms of actual position and % time to the winner. 
Well done everyone!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Day 11:

Another early morning (well 7 seems early for us).

We were off to Oslo again for the 3rd and final day of the Norsk O festival- the long distance. When Sigmund came to pick us up he surprised us with some very cool Indre Ostfold orienteering shirts. Unfortunately we hadn’t given him our South African shirts yet but we had two especially lined up for both Sigmund and Jorgen which we gave them later in the day.

We had high hopes for this race, well this was our chance to a bit better. There would be plenty of running and nice open, white forest which had us all a bit excited. All except Dylan, who realised on the two kilometre warm-up run to the start that his Achilles wasn’t up for it.
Roark started first. His run was a bit hit and miss. He had relatively good route choices but slow execution and didn’t find enough attack points along the way.
Tim navigated well between controls, but managed to mess up a few controls when nearby (in the circle), so his run was not very good either.

After our races , Dylan headed off to see some family in Oslo and spent the day wandering the city and eating moose while Roark and Tim went for a bit of tour of Oslo with Sigmund and Jorgen ,1st visiting the very impressive ski jumping “hill” and then the equally impressive Opera house where we got to see some great views while walking on its roof.

It was then back to Einar-bru, but not without a stop in Mysen for another one of Norway’s largest pizza’s. Once back, the rest of our evening was spent watching Arrow, washing clothes and packing.

Moment of the day: Tim: “I think it’s time to wake up” (at 3:30 am). Roark then proceeds to wake up and wonder into Tim’s room to get the key. “Why are you awake, it’s 3 am” (with no recollection of 5 minutes earlier.

Day 10

Middle disaster

Early morning (something we have become very unaccustomed to)

Sigmund drove us back into Oslo for the second day of the Norsk O festival. It was the day of the middle distance and no need to hold you in suspense, it was a disaster.

Tim had the early start and did not have the best of runs, missing many of his controls very slightly, but then taking a while to actually find them (He needs to work on his fine navigation).

Dylan’s start time was about twenty minutes after Tim’s. He arrived at the start on time and after a bit of confusion with a number bib set off into the forest. He’d developed an Achilles niggle the previous day after the sprint and so wasn’t particularly fast, but worked on navigation instead. Other than a bit of inaccuracy on one or two controls the race went quite well.

Roark arrived at the start early. He was cool, collected and ready to start when his time appeared on the T -3 clocks. But on entry of the start tunnel he was told he needed a new number for a new day. A close to three minute run around ensued and the number was found. He made it into start blocks with new number in hand and a rattled brain. On the map pick-up he managed to lose his shoe in the mud and had to endure even more embarrassment as he struggled to put it back on. Halfway to the first control and he got his numbers sorted, but this horrible start set the tone for the course as he struggled to find control no. 1. He managed to get into the map but big mistakes set any good splits back.

Sigmund had the best run of the day, but we had to expect as much of our host.

Having not learnt from the day before (we forgot to bring food again), we headed to get burgers at the arena, before driving back to Sigmund’s house.

At Sigmund’s house we took advantage of his showers and wifi (as always) and sat on his veranda for a while as the weather was warm. We had some food out on the veranda all together, it was Lomper and sausages, which is a very Norwegian dish. Lomper are effectively potato wraps that you eat round a hotdog sausage with tomato sauce and mustard. 

Sigmund and Torill then headed off to a party. We were left with Jorgen to prepare supper. We popped a couple of pizzas in the oven and sat in the lounge playing around with pianos and guitars.

After dinner we went on a moose safari with Sigmund’s father Ole. We drove around the countryside with a pair of binoculars and a lot of enthusiasm. Especially Dylan, Dylan loves a good moose hunt. Unfortunately we didn’t see any moose, but did see a reindeer (Dylan got a bit excited there, it was just a deer) and a lot of very attractive fields. And a tree (Dylan doesn’t seem to realise that Norway is carved out of trees). 

We eventually had to give up the moose search and were dropped off back at the clubhouse. Ole doesn’t speak any English so Jorgen acted as a translator on the safari.

When we got back the party was just beginning. We were invited over for cake and tea. We then felt much obliged to watch the performance of the guy whose birthday it was and his band. They were called Dreadmist and we were expecting heavy metal from the look of their poster and their appearance. They ended up being a sort of heavy rock band (no screaming), and the music was not bad. All the lyrics were in English though which meant we were probably the only people in the room who understood the songs well. Dylan headed off after not too long to go and pack for the next day, but Tim and Roark stayed to the end and then preceded to get more cake and tea before returning to the cottage for an episode of arrow.

Quote of the day: Dylan: “do moose ever play on the swings?”, we then preceded to get a story of how the Vister’s swing had once been destroyed in the night by a moose (the moose actually just ran into the swing, but we’ll say it was playing on it)
Day 9

Stuck in the red tape

If Dylan was writing the blog the whole entry for today would read, “It was a good day. I liked today”. Thankfully for our vast readership, Dylan is not writing this particular blog entry and so, luckily (or painstakingly) for you this blog entry will at the very least begin.

Tim and Dylan woke up to find that Roark was nowhere to be seen. This was surprising as he is almost always the last one to wake up. But after wondering around the vast downstairs area of the club house he didn’t seem to be around. It turns out he found a puffy yoga mat in the gym to lie on in an attempt to hide from any possible contact with bed bugs (which may or may not exist). Needless to say, he was still asleep.

After brekkie, we started the transfer to a smaller cottage next door (barely 10 metres away), which will be our home for the next three nights. It’s as nice as anyone could hope for but it’s always tough transferring from the world’s best club house/mansion which we’ve had all to ourselves over the past week.

O-Festivalen Sprint (26.06.2015)
It was then off to Oslo where the Norsk O festival will be taking place over the next 3 days. Today’s event was the sprint and all of us were a little under-prepared having not even looked at a sprint map for quite some time.

Dylan had a fairly clean race, but found that his running speed was a bit lacking, Tim had the opposite problem- trying to run too fast for his navigation and mis-reading the map, making lots of errors including first heading towards 9 instead of 8 (15secs), going to the wrong side of one of the artificial fences (30 secs) and 4 or 5 other small mistakes and bad route choices. Roark didn’t have any big mistakes, but had a fair number of small mistakes which added up in the end. The terrain wasn’t to complex (although we still managed to make some mistakes), so the organisers decided to put out taped barriers to make the route choices more interesting and to allow a reasonably open area to be put to good use.

After the race we each grabbed a massive burger at the arena. We hadn’t been clever enough to pack any food. We then headed back to Einarbu.

Back at the club house, Tim and Roark decided to take their new shoes for a spin (they had arrived that morning). They had each been given a pair of x-talon 212’s and o-roc 280’s. They each tried out the shoe they were least familiar with so Tim gave the x-talons a go around while Roark tried out o-roc’s for the first time. They took a run down to the dam and put them through their fair share of interesting terrain from muddy marshes to rocky ridges. More to come later about these awesome shoes...

Once the shoe spinning was complete, Dylan and Roark decided they were still hungry so they headed off to the kitchen to fry up some hamburgers. With hamburgers in hand they headed back to our new cottage. 

 Tim and Roark settled down into some Arrow (a tv series), while Dylan read his book nearby (this particular series put an end to our blog for quite a while, as you may have noticed). We then headed off to bed.

Awkward interaction of the day: Asking Niall McCarthy if he remembers Salome (Salami).

Quote of the day: Salami’s such a cougar – Tim Chambers

Fact of the day: We were invited to the party, unfortunately it’s not a 21st (not even close).

Friday, June 26, 2015

Day 8

Half a tub of butter

We were woken by the sound of knocking on our front porch, and thinking that someone was knocking on the door, we hastily jumped out of bed, only to discover that the noise was actually hammer generated (repairs were being done on the porch). 

We slowly got ourselves ready to face another day and eventually got out to do some orienteering. Roark and Tim did a shortish ‘brown only’ (contour only) course which, while quite slow going, was good to get them reading the contour detail more carefully. Dylan meanwhile did the short uphill course.

The middle of the afternoon registers as a blank in our memory bank, so clearly nothing all too exciting went down. We did however manage to eat every scrap of food left in the kitchen walking away from the day with only half a tub of butter.

As the afternoon rolled by Roark decided to hit the short downhill and uphill courses that he had missed the day before due to a struggling achilles. While all went relatively smoothly for the first half, Roark managed to zone out on his way to the first finish and spent a good while moseying around looking for the start to the uphill course. The uphill course was a lot less fluid (unless you count the marshes), partially because much of the control tape was hard to spot but we have to put a bit down to less focused navigation. Dylan decided to tackle the ‘brown only’ course which he enjoyed a fair bit. He generally quite enjoys using contour detail to navigate and so the map and the training exercise suited him well. Given all the detail on these maps it can be educative to see them simplified, it gives one a better sense of the nuances of mapping in this part of the world.

After a short stint of relaxation, Roark and Tim took to the lawn to throw a Frisbee. While the Frisbee flew back and forth across the field, and Dylan headed up to the tower to take some pictures, two Norwegian girls came running up to the club house. While their dog was interested in the Frisbee, the South Africans were more interested in….you get the point.

Just after, Tim got a brainwave and was soon seen climbing to the top of the tower, with Frisbee in hand! While the trajectory of the Frisbee was noticeably altered by the strong winds, both the South Africans had fun not only throwing the Frisbee from the top of the tower but also trying to get it back up. When Roark’s throw got stuck in a tree he activated monkey mode and scrambled up after it, and although he wasn’t quite as graceful as the description would suggest, he managed to retrieve the Frisbee none the less.

We then set about cleaning up the cabin. While Dylan whipped out the vacuum cleaner and got busy, Roark pretended to sweep the floor. Tim set about the task of doing the dishes (Tim does a lot of dishes, making up for his absence when preparing meals). Soon everything was spotless and Dylan used the last few minutes before we were picked up to listen to some tunes, while Tim and Roark picked up where they left off and returned to a bit of Frisbee. They then took to spying on the Halden club house (checking out all the trophies), before taking a quick last look at the view from the tower. As they got up though, their lift arrived so the long trip up was for naught.

Tim was ecstatic to be lifted back to Einarbu by a once WOC medallist and nearly died when he got to shake his hand (we may have over exaggerated this ever so slightly). The rest of us on the other hand managed to maintain our composure and we were able to learn valuable lessons about what we may encounter in Rauland. On the way back we stopped off at Kwiki (a supermarket) for some food. We decided to impress Tim Noakes by stocking up on some meat but fell short when we saw the hot chips in the freezer.

Back at Eina bru we quickly fixed a dinner of fish fingers and fries (ok, Tim Noakes would not be impressed). Tim Chambers on the other hand was very impressed when he found tomato sauce in the cold room. After devouring our meals we hung around for a while, generally faffing around. 

Dylan soon resumed his love affair with the spot under the moose and continued reading his book.

Sigmund then came to show us the cottage we will be staying in while a group of thirty women invade the club house for a party tomorrow night (here’s hoping it’s a 21st…).

Tim then went for a run in the soaking forest to get his daily running quota up to ten km’s. He also did a couple of strides to check if his legs still work before tomorrow’s sprint race. Dylan and Roark in the meantime sat down to start the blog, taking a quick break to make toasted sandwiches with a waffle machine. With the blog nearly done, Tim returned.

And for a change we are actually up to date!

Quote of the day: Snickers in your nickers – Roark

Fact of the day: 3 yards equals ten metres – according to a confuzzled Dylan

Awkward interaction of the day: walking past two elderly ladies who just sat on the bench outside our cabin for four hours straight, watching everything we did (including us hanging up underwear on the washing line two metres away). They made us feel like we had to say hi every time we walked by.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Day 7

Sick, Lame and Lazy

Once again our day started later than planned (though with the amount of daylight we get, it doesnt really matter what time we wake up..)

After breakfast, Dylan went out on the course the others had done last night while Tim and Roark headed out to do a long distance training on the eastern side of Hoias (name of the club house/s). Roark managed to tweak his achilles a few days ago and after the first couple of controls, decided that he wasnt too keen on trundling through the wet marshes for too long, so only did about half the course. Tim had a good start to the course, but messed up later on and decided to skip the last few controls (Tim doesn't skip controls!! What happened!) (he still managed to do 11km though)

Roark and Tim spent the afternoon (and even part of the evening) sleeping ( a 1 hour nap turned into 4...). Dylan was a bit more energetic and went and did a short course on the northern slopes of Hoias.

Tim then went out on a short downhill and then uphill course through some nice open forest north of Hoias, managing to get into the map a bit better than during his morning session. Roark sat this one out in an attempt at recovery (we'll see how tomorrow goes!)

It was then time to get our cook on again (well Roark and Dylan anyway- Tim was too busy Facebook messaging Melanie, but has kindly offered to do the washing up later). We took our carb rich meal of pasta with tomato and spaghetti sauce (we haven't quite worked out Norwegian labels yet) up to the viewing tower where we got up to our normal shenanigans of photo taking while Tim thought it would be entertaining to drop forks from the top of the tower in an attempt to peg them in the ground far below.

Then we spent the next forever catching up on some blogging so that our ever eager audience (probably only Brad) could be kept up to date.

Quote of the day: Roark: " Tim Noakes would brain us, brain us dead."