Sunday, July 8, 2018


Kirsten says you can look at her attackpoint to see what she's been up to :p


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 tomorrow 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)

Old map of the relay area


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.


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

JWOC 2018-Hungary

JWOC starts tomorrow with the Long event. We wish our team comprising of Kirsten Chambers, Christie Courtnage and Andries Swart all the best.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Day 10 South African Youth Tour (final day)

Our final morning! A mad dash around to clean the clubhouse and then we popped across the road to do a quick race on a micro o map. Starting ordered was decided via Ching Chong Cha, and then some chaos ensured as some teams had chosen the same objects to put out in the KEPS-OL style race. Carl also nearly dropped his cellphone (the timer) as people rushed to be clocked in) All were rewarded with our final Swedish pastry

In closing, we asked our squad members to give a response to the following three questions.
1. Memorable moment
2. Favourite area/ map
3. Orienteering lesson/ what you learnt


My most memorable moment was probably when I had to start the youth relay with another 330 people. I can describe it as being very overwhelming and stressful with that many people going pretty fast.
My favorite map/area was the short open black course at the 10mila because I actually understood the contours!

I mainly focused on identifying features and contours. I think I am now much better at doing that, so we'll have to see if it is really easier in South Africa like everyone says


My most memorable moment was playing ultimate frisbee together until the sunset and listening to music.

My favorite map was when we did the Tuesday technical training with OK Ravinen. I really enjoyed that course because it went very smoothly for me. The terrain was very beautiful and I saw lots of deer.

I focused mainly on compass work and learnt how to use exit angles and attack point properly and how to visualize the features on the map.


A few of my memorable moments were the first time we did a course which was for under 12's and how different everything was. We all struggled a lot but as the days and trainings went on it became easier and easier. Another memorable moment was that big bird that always came to visit us that was so tame we could pat it. Finally I will never forget the huge drop from the highest ride at the amusement park.

My favorite map and area was when we went to go train with the gymnasium school (this is club the same place Paul cut his leg). The terrain was awesome and I had a really good run.

I think one of my main lessons I learnt was using contours more as a guide and the fact that you don't have to know exactly where you are 100% of the time because it wastes a lot of time. As long as you have a good compass bearing and a few collecting features you can trust your skills, but never be afraid to admit to yourself that you lost.


I really loved going to the science fiction shop. It had all my favourite things in one place! I wish that we could have spent more time there and I wish I had more money to spend in the shop.

I loved the 10mila area. It was a map where I had very good map contact  I only ever lost contact a few times in the circle but then you  had all the people around to show you the way in.

I had lots of practice with my contour work. I also got to work on orienteering at speed in complex areas.


I liked helping with the luffarligan event, making the food and the orienteering was also fun.  The theme park: I tried some rides that I usually would not and it turned out that i enjoyed it more. I also liked the micro orienteering as it is something different to what we are used to. Another memorable moment was the 10Mila as it was the biggest event I have been to before and it was good fun watching it.

My favorite map was the map we did the relocation on  just next to the clubhouse as it was quite technical but I was able to orienteer relatively accurate. Although some of the paths were confusing it was good training to try and ignore insignificant paths and elephant tracks. It tested our ability to read contours and other earth features.

I learned a lot about contours and feel much more confident navigating in this complex terrain. I learned to look at smaller features on the map as it helps a lot to keep you on track. I also learned to simplify long legs in technical terrain in between controls, breaking the long legs up by using collecting or ticking off features.


Asking me to choose a favorite moment of the trip is like asking my to choose between peanut butter and jelly, you just can't. There were so many moments that were funny, educational, heartwarming and yes memorable. Seeing the Swedish stranger's reactions to our friendly South African behavior, countless funny moments and jokes that were made, running in the 10mila and many more.

Running in Swedish forests is by far a lot more challenging than what we're used to in SA. That being said, running through the architecturally gorgeous old cobble stone streets was easy, fast running and a hell load of fun. This is why Thursday's map in the old part of Stockholm called Gamla Stan was by far my favorite map of the trip.

Again countless to choose from. Basically everything. Not sure about the others, but I had to teach myself from scratch how to orienteer. It was especially tough to accept that I am not as good an orienteer as I thought I was. If I had to choose from one of the simpler one phrase answers it would have to be learning to read the contours. Understanding that contours are what actually make up a orienteering map and not rocky ground and vegetation. 

Sarah E

This is quite hard to choose as I have had so many memorable moments, but I think one of my favorite memories will be running down the ramp at the end of my 10 Mila relay leg. You are sprinting into a stadium filled with hundreds of people and it was really amazing and reflects how big orienteering is as a sport in Sweden and the rest of Europe.

My favorite area was probably where we did the 4,7km black open event for 10 Mila as it was technical but at the same time I was able to see the contours easily and take bearings and use offensive orienteering techniques easily.

I improved my offensive orienteering techniques and started visualizing the control circle a lot better. Both of these techniques helped me for the last few events especially the more technical 10 Mila courses.  

Sarah W

My most memorable moment was the 10mila event. It was huge and very nerve racking, but I actually got to run in it. This was a once in a life time opportunity and was definitely worth it.
My favourite area was the event we did on the Monday with the gymnasium. I loved the forests and I also had a very good run.

The thing that I have learnt is distance judging. I hardly used it before, because the forests in South Africa are so simple, but it was very important for me in Sweden. 


One memorable moment will definitely be the 10 Mila event. It is one of the biggest orienteering relay events in the world, was totally something new to me, and different experience than that i am used to.

My Favorite map will be the 10 Mila 4,7km black course, because its was quite technical but was also fun to run and challenge yourself.

I have learnt that the forests in Sweden are more difficult and challenging than in SA, but i have learnt how to use contours and attack points to find my way.


When it started raining with a bolt of lightning ‘(in the far distance) and the OK Ravinen Thursday club practice and then, to make it worse it started hailing. Yet everyone just carried on running and finished their courses. This shows everyone’s commitment to Orienteering.

Gamla Stan aka the old town was an awesome experience as you ran through the history of Sweden and got to see the old-fashioned building styles

I learnt that Sweden has a next level of difficulty in terms of forest. I started to read contours better and to visualize where I was. As a result the Swedish forest became easier to navigate in.

Our thanks go to our gracious host, Nick Barrable and to OK Ravinen, for opening up their facilities to us and including us in their various orienteering activities.