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.