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Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Final Countdown

The Final Countdown

The past week has flew by and it is now just 1.5 days until the first race of JWOC 2013. The team is confident and prepared. Not only have we trained smartly on each different terrain but we have also taken special care to analyse the exact techniques that are require for each terrain.

As the rain began to pass on Wednesday the team headed out to another middle map. this was once again a great session that only brought more confidence to the Aussies.

Muscles???

With just four days before our first race, the Aus team joined up with NZ (and a few Brits) for a high speed relay training session. The forest was very wet from the previous weeks rain and a few runners slipped up both physically and mentally (NZ'ers of course). The session was well run and received by everyone, providing even more confidence for the Relay next Saturday. It's looking like podium finishes are in sight.

Mary Flemming

The UNESCO town of Kutna Hora was a perfect setting for a Sprint distance test race. Cobble stones and churches was a challenge but once again the Aussies came out with the goods. After our run we spent an hour looking around the town before heading off to the Bone Church.

The team spent Saturday morning doing some final preparation for the upcoming races in the first half of the championships, at the middle and long model maps. It was great to see what the JWOC mapping will be exactly like, and some examples of control areas. We got a bit of a squiz at the long arena b whilst it was being set up which generates a bit of excitement for 2 days time when we will be passing through the arena at high speed. Not long now!

Ian and Olle stayed back and did a final speed session, 4 rounds of 100m strides. The day has been beautiful with sun and perfect running temperatures.

Olle Poland

Many Australian supporters are making their way to Hradec Kralove over the next 2 days. However we hope these next few details can help you keep up-to-date on our GPS, live results and live TV streaming from Australia, Finland or wherever in the world you are.


 Date                      Event                     Starts from (AEST)        GPS                TV

Monday 1st         - Long distance      - 17:30                            - All Men        - Possible Live Coverage
Tuesday 2nd       - Middle Qual         - 20:00                            - NONE          - Possible Live Coverage
Wednesday 3rd   - Middle Final        - 18:00                            - All A Final   - Live Coverage
Thursday 4th      - Rest Day
Friday 5th           - Sprint Distance     - 20:00                           - All Women   - Possible Live Coverage
Saturday 6th       - Relay                    - 18:00 (W) 20:00 (M)   - All Teams     - Live Coverage

Links

Live TV      http://www.ceskatelevize.cz/ivysilani    then go to 'Zive' which means 'Alive'
JWOC Website   http://www.jwoc2013.cz/live   follow links to LIVE RESULT and GPS.
JWOC Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/Jwoc2013jwocTour

We will be posting each athletes start times on the blog the night before each event. This is when we will find them out.

 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

T-RAINING TIME!

Rain Rain Go Away - The Aussies Are Here, And Ready to Play.


It is believed that Brodie's bad bus dancing may have been interpreted wrongly by the Czech rain Gods, as there is no other plausible explanation for the sudden change in weather conditions. Following 35 degree temperatures in the preceding week, the team was greeted with gusty, wet, 12 degree training conditions today.

Mondays plan involved a lengthy drive out to the relevant Middle distance map. This was the same map as Mary, Olle and Ian had previously raced on. The team focused on familiarising themselves with the terrain and mapping. It was quite interesting to dicuss the mapping techniques for the middle. The general consensus was that singular large rocks were mapped as such, whilst 2-4 large rocks together would be a boulder field, rocky ground was the area covered by more than about 4 larger rocks. After the technical familiarisation Roch sent us off on a 700m split course to practice our middle distance orienteering at speed. The northern end of this map was the border of Czech-Poland and a few of the team actually entered Poland during their training, which was a bit of a treat!

Team before our first full training (Middle)
Tuesdays session was adjacent to the middle terrain and again a lengthy drive. We did some route choice exercises on the long distance relevant map - Chvalecsky Les, which we all pronounced perfectly. This map was again very close to Poland and as a result there were many WWII artifacts scattered across the map. This included several large bunkers, some of which were built into the hillside cliffs. The training was very beneficial to understanding potential route choices as well as analysing the mapping of tracks and vegetation on the long distance maps. As much fun as it was for all of us to run around the steep, slippery slopes in the freezing cold and rain, it sounds like Brodie had the most fun out of all of us - he recounts his story as:

"I was running super fast up a massive hill, when suddenly there were 10 boars chasing me, but it was all sweet 'cause I'm naturally good at running up hills and they couldn't catch me. But because I'm still a bit of a sissy I decided to hide in some WWII bunkers that I found. They were pretty cool. Figured I should keep on training so I caught up to Andrew and Matt who were crossing a cow paddock. There were lots of cows in the cow paddock. Distracted by Andrew and Matt in front of me, I touched the fence wire and got a bit of a shock - electric fence. It was just like a typical training session in Frankston."

Matt Doyle
With the rain and wind being such attractive weather we decided to stop over at the Jaromer Sprint on the way home. A short sharp 2km sprint course got some speed into the team's legs. It was a good opportunity to practise navigating around an old town with steps, cobble stones and churches, similar to the Sprint terrain for JWOC.
Nicola Blatchford
On the lengthy bus trips out there we have acquired quite a few memorable quotes from the team, as well as on numerous other occasions. Most memorable team quotes thus far:

Jacqui: 'I'm going to eat this nutella in front of the mirror, so I can see if I have any on my teeth.'
Matt: 'How's your nipple going Brodie?'
Valerie - 'Did the cows have bells Heather?' Heather: 'I don't think so, but they had horns, I noticed that when they started chasing me.'
Lanita: commenting on her southern hemisphere compass 'How come it's not pointing the wrong way?'
Nicola: 'I saw some people in the forest, they sounded really foreign!' They were canadian.
Roch: 'Look at those muscles Ian.'
Brodie: 'In my physic class we just take off our pants every lesson.'
Mary: 'I've eaten too many donuts and can't fit into my skinny jeans.'
Ian: 'I wanna marry my bed'
Olle: 'I love my bright pink shoes.'
Andrew: 'These Jam rolls are amazing, I'm going to eat another 4.'
Michele: 'I'm going to ace my exam!'
Oscar: 'No I didn't kiss Brodie.'

Andrew Barnett

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Getting to HK

The eight remaining team members to arrive were super excited to get to HoteL Cernigov to meet up with Olle, Ian, Mary and Heather as we missed them soooooooo much. However, a compulsory Maccas stop on the way to Hradec Kralove was obviously required. 


In the pre-reunion excitement Nicola, Lani, Michele and Jacqui found a mirror that showed us our greatest desire - to be Euro tanned. (Jacqui insisted on at least one Harry Potter reference)


Matt and Heather discovered that from the ninth floor we could easily plummet to our deaths - but with big smiles. Also that there is plenty of opportunity for aerodynamic testing of various objects. 


Our most recent team members to arrive struggled through our first team meeting (located in Valerie's room - on the one condition that there would be "no bums in Valerie's face space"). Nonetheless, team bonding ensued. Those who managed stay awake also got into improving our skills with Roch's help. 


The first day ended with a beautiful sunset over the Clock Tower. We're all looking forward to more of the lovely Czech weather.



- Jacqui and Heather -

Monday, June 24, 2013

Long Distance - Slaying The Mountains

Yesterday (Saturday) Olle, Heather, Mary, and I enjoyed a lazy day in the 'Penzion' mainly involving trying to get the charger into the computer by throwing from a distance.. The festivities we short lived, because we were unfortunately interrupted by a trip out to Dobrosov for the much anticipated long distance trial. With a cracker view from the top of the map we set off ready for a big one. But our excitement faded when we realised the severity of the hills while on our way to the start.

Us boys were armed with an 8.8k course 600m climb and the girls 6.6km with 450m. Only 90 seconds stood between each starter so the pressure was on for a perfect race. Mary was first cab off the rank followed by myself, Heather, then Olle. With a mostly solid performance, I learned that flow through the more technical areas will be crucial, while also keeping speed up on the longer legs. I finished with a time of 78mins which is not far off what is expected in a weeks time.

Mens Long test with my (Ian) route if you look closely enough

Olle was forced to pull out a bit after halfway because of some feet problems, but some have suggested he just wasn't man enough for the route choice legs.. Heather also had a few problems but still managed to battle on and finish the course. Experiencing what must be some people's worst nightmare, running through a tick-infested area, she had to stop for a short time to remove a particularly cheeky tick which was making an attempt on her eye. Mary finished solidly and regained her confidence which took a battering the previous day.



Big afternoon complete, we headed back home to Jaromer to throw down some post race refreshments and contemplate the choices made on-course.

-- Ian

"I like dogs and stuff"

-- Mary

"I like maccas a lot and made Roch stop on the way from Prague"

-- Nicola


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Thunderstorms, Ticks, Nettles and Podium Places - All on the Aussie Czech List


The past few days have been full of surpises for the few Australians who are now training in Czech Republic. With just under 9 Days untill the opening ceremony of JWOC 2013, a refreshingly cool change in the weather has occured. We woke to a huge thunderstorm this morning (Friday) with bellowing thunder and strobing lightning. Thursday had been overly hot. At 11am Olle and Ian made our way to the local athletics track to undertake our planned Fartlek session. 35 degree temperatures were not favorable on an athletics track where it felt more like 38. The session was a little shorter than expected but still the boys got out of the session what they had planned. A great morning session to get some speed into the legs before going out in search of podiums in 9 days time.

 Heather has had enough of the immature plebs

The afternoon combined some running technique training with swimming and a close inspection of the style of which the sprint will be mapped. However the heat did not show any mercy, even in the afternoon. It was still 33 degrees at 5pm when Heather and Mary did some stair running technique. A loop with stairs up and down was intended to give our Aussie Athletes more confidence when  tackling the narrow deteriorating sandstone steps of old Czech towns. After discovering a pool earlier in the day a swim was definitely in order, and the only thing stopping us was $1.30. The afternoon was very well spent.

 Mens Course - Map A

Mens Course - Map B

This mornings' session was a trial Middle Distance race on the map adjacent to the JWOC Middle Distance Competition map. We used a similar course to the Hungarian JWOC Selection race. the terrain was more forgiving than our previous Middle distance trainings and did not feature any labyrinth style sandstone navigation. Without controls at the points (either tapes, a wooden stick or nothing) it was a little difficult to continue flow through controls. However, the Aussies finished with good times that we know would be significantly better on race day. There was mutual feeling that with controls, lots of quality competition and the adrenaline of race day, great results are soon to come. Unfortunately for Heather, she had to keep her head in the books for the day as her final Exam is tomorrow morning. Also, Ian fell victim to a Czech Tick who was attempting to snatch a free lunch, it faced the consequences. A perfect example of what is to come when Aussie takes on the Czechs and the rest of the world in 9 days.
    -Olle

Ian Lawford GoPro footage - Start through to (almost) Control 3

Ian and I continued back into the forest for the afternoon, checking out some route choice legs for the long distance. Unlike the middle training maps this one was a lot simpler and faster running, however hillier. I found this refreshing after feeling a bit demoralized and slow trying to get used to the mapping of vegetation and rocks on the middle maps. We took separate legs for a few route choice controls to check out hill climb vs longer flatter routes. Fair to say Ian won most of those! Perhaps my battle with stinging nettles gave him the lead. Tomorrow we head out for a long test race, so it was great to get a feel for a long map beforehand. Goals for tomorrow are to keep route choice simple, and know what feature to look for when re-entering the forest.
    - Mary

Dinner was good. I had potatoes and pasta.
   - Ian

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Aus Juniors - Jukola and First Impressions of Czech

The past week has been a hectic one for all Australian JWOC representatives. Whilst the majority of the team have been balancing final trainings and mid year exams, a few have participated in the Jukola relay in Finland and begun a week of training in Czech prior to the arrival of the rest of the Aussie team.

Jukola, the worlds largest Orienteering Relay with 16000 participants, took place on the 15-16 June in Jamsa Finland. There were three teams that included members of the JWOC team. Mary Fleming was 3rd leg runner in a Swedish mixed team for the Velna relay on Saturday afternoon. However Mary also competed in the Jukola relay for the Bushrangers Team (Australian Jukola Team). Mary was 5th leg runner for this team. Ian Lawford was also racing for Bushrangers as the first leg runner and brought the team from 1600th up to 150th. The final result of Bushrangers was 229th. Olle Poland was running first leg for OK Nolaskogsana which finished the relay with an overall result of 132nd.

After Jukola Mary, Ian and Olle made their way from Finland (16C/rainy) to Czech (34C/sunny). They met up with Heather Muir and were also joined by Nick Hann (NZ) and Jula McMillan (NZ) to begin a week of high intensity training and test races. Despite the heat the trainings have still been great experiences.

- Olle

With this heat wave set to pass in a couple of days, the trend of the sessions so far has been; sweat, vegitation, rocks, and of course hills. Trying to keep healthy and fit, water intake is at an all time high of about 9 liters a day.

Sandstone terrain - what a treat!

This morning was our first session of real training in the terrain and we headed out of the Chvalecsky Les map for a middle distance. The main things we have taken away from the session involves the vegitation and the rock. The vegetation is variable. Of course it is quite different to what we would expect in Australia, and sometimes is the opposite. Being classic continental euro, the pale yellow is a bit of a battle and not the fast running that sometimes you would expect.
Along with learning about the vegetation, we realized it is a lot more efficient to simplify the rock into clumps, rather than lines. There seems to be not much order to the rock so large boulders or clumps will be a big navigational aid.

Here is a link to Nick Hann's GoPro footage from our middle distance training: http://youtu.be/F8mL6mLZQw8


With another session in the afternoon on the funky Ostas map, we learned a bit more about the desired technique. We should expect many classic diagonal hillside legs, which are known to be one of the biggest race-breakers! The first section of map for the session was not so relevant for the middle distance race, but gave us a navigational challenge anyway.. Running around the labyrinth-like rock formation was nothing like what we had experienced before, and we made sure to take a lot of pictures!

- Ian

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Ostas Map - 1:7500 middle distance terrain

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

18 Days out from JWOC2013

With 18 days to go to JWOC 2013 in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic the Australian Junior Team is getting very excited. Since selection at the Easter 3 Day competition in late March the team has been training hard for physical improvement and also advances in our orienteering technique. With great guidance from the Euro experienced Ian and Olle we have been analysing route choices from overseas events and trials in the area. Weighing up the pros and cons of the long, hilly route choice legs that we are unfamiliar with here at home has proved interesting and exciting.

But what might we actually get?

Matt and I asked Dad (Steve) to set us up some courses on old maps that could (with a bit of luck) resemble something similar to what we are set in Czech.

Jacqui Doyle