Sunday, July 8, 2018
If someone asked me to describe JWOC I would say it’s a way of life, just like running and orienteering. Months of hard work all comes down to a week of running at superhuman speeds, orienteering like no tomorrow, concentrating till you have a headache, discussing till your tired, and more. That’s JWOC. That is the week we are about to have. So how have we prepared.
The training plan basically started 6 months ago when three people last saw each other at BIG 5 in South Africa to run some of the hardest terrain South Africa has to offer. From their we split to three continents all to continue our running and orienteering on our own. Months of hard running and orienteering all came down the lead up week. The foundation had been laid, but it was time to get our orienteering right for Hungary. It is a complete different style of orienteering than I’ve relied on in the past. Vegetation, contours and compass has become more important than ever before. I discovered that dark green is impenetrable, and all the way up to the lightest green is very hard to get through. This has made Route choice an essential tool, trying to avoid as much green as possible and still get the fastest route. Nicholas has proven the importance of this on the first and second day by taking the 100m further route and arriving minutes ahead of me at the control. The very light green, white and scattered trees is mostly runnable and from then on this was my route.
Other things that are new to maps are directional trees where it is plantations only runnable in one direction. Sandy plantations that have small trees in them and are very hard to run through at a fast pace, similar to running on a very soft beach. And depressions are more frequent than in any terrain I’ve ran on. Vegetation is probably the biggest adaption, with heaps of different types of trees, forests and opens in a very small area. This made attention to detail another crucial element.
Some of the maps are extremely hard while others are a bit easier. Having this idea of the Hungarian terrain and knowing where to run, which lines to pick, what to go through and what not. Knowing wat features stand out and what to relocate off is what Ill take into this year’s competition. I feel prepared for this JWOC and I’ll give it my best shot.
I have been in Hungary for just over a week now and in that time have almost been orienteering non-stop. The first 4 days I was here, we were doing 2 trainings a day after that we have cut done to 1 per day to taper. From the trainings and the bulletin it is evident that the first race, the long, is going to be extremely fast orienteering (the woman’s course is 10.2km with a 57min winning time). This race is and Andries and I have early starts while Kirsten has a middle start.
In non-orienteering news, the accommodation is fairly decent. In the beginning, when we were the only team here, it was eerie. This was also made worse by the abandoned Russian military barracks that are close to the accommodation. The food is amazing: buffet meal 3 times a day with lunch and dinner being 3 courses! However, the soups have been rather odd such as cream of melon soup and plum soup.
The middle terrains consist of both more simple and fast running forest, as well as some extremely technical open areas with dense juniper bushes, forming a sort of maze. The green here is generally impenetrable/not feasible to run through, so one often has to navigate through the small open passages to get around.
The middle quali is expected to be majority in the faster and less technical terrain, and then the final in the massive maze to the north
|Old map of the actual middle terrain (middle quali expected to be in the bottom section and final in the upper)|
The long and relay areas are generally far faster (top guys will be expected to run about 4:30/km for the long and slightly faster for the relay). The long areas generally consist of a big mix of open areas, sandy, runnable forest, scattered bush, the odd thicj green and a fair amount of small contour detail. The relay terrain is very open with some detailed small contour features.
Old map of the long area (arena will be on the Southern edge)
The spint will be in the old town section of Kecskemet and is expected to have a fair amount of artificial barriers to make things interesting.
JWOC TRAINING WEEK/S PICTURE SUMMARY
|Training numero uno. Joining Anton, Emma and Michael for some srint intervals in Szeged|
|First taste of the forest/bush/sanddune terrain. A short map walk with Emma+Anton followed by a bit of a jog around the 2nd half of the course.|
|Michael getting his control markings ready|
|A head popping out from the sunflowers|
Green and gold. #spiritflower