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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

UPDATE: Sprint, Middle Qual and Middle Final


Thought I’d give you an update on our 2015 JWOC progress.

The week started with an opening ceremony in Rauland, a simple athlete procession and a taste of some Norwegian music. 
We are staying in two cabins in Vierli Turistsenter complete with kitchen and washing and drying facilities – very handy with the conditions we are likely to face during the week.


We catered for our own meals during the training week, which worked out really well. During competition week we are doing our own breakfast and lunch and have our dinners provided – although with no dessert, there has still been some late night baking involved for chef Kazza.  

Henry finishing the sprint

All maps for competition and model areas are within easy driving and Karen and Hanny have now mastered this wrong side of the road business.
Weather during the training week was absolutely amazing with an unseasonable bout of hot weather. This wasn’t going to last for competition week.



The first event was the sprint, held in Amot and although it involved mainly road and track network there were some tricky and not-so-obvious route decisions to be made making it quite a tricky sprint course.






Aidan after an awesome run in the sprint
Liv, finishing the sprint in such hot conditions
Jarrah in the finish of the sprint
Our Aussies came away with some mixed results, the best three placed men being Henry 51st, Matt 54th, and Aidan 58th with only 10 seconds separating the three of them; the best three placed women being Winnie 58th, Lanita 74th and Nicola 104th. Terrific to see first time JWOCers Aidan and Winnie performing so well and to have three boys in the top 60 was awesome.

Anna, consistent in the Middle terrain
We then moved to the middle qualification races on ‘Adalen’ a map with some smooth contoured hillsides, some marshes and some very intricate contoured areas. 

The athletes were warned that the terrain may be even trickier than it appears on the map. 

There were three very different  courses in the A B and C qualifying heats and there were big variations in winning times. Athletes were bused to a bus stop and then had to walk 2 ½ km to quarantine with a150m climb. 




Nicola a satisfying Middle qual run
After such hot weather for the sprint and the battle being heat exhaustion and trying to cool the athletes down, the opposite was for the middle qual. It rained non stop and was down to 6 degrees and the battle was getting athletes changed, dry and warm after their runs.

We had some terrific results and overall the Aussies handled the terrain really well. 
To finish with three athletes in the A final was awesome but even more pleasing was that we had 6 athletes in the top 26 of each heat.
Our best three place getters in the Men were Matt 13th, Pat 20th, Henry 23rd and in the women: Winnie 18th, Nicola 21st and Anna 26th. It was devastating for Henry and Anna to be close and as we watched the last runner enter the arena, Nicola was also only just pushed out of the top 20 and out of the A final.

Simeon finishing after a very wet qualification day 

Aidan really pumping for that finish split

This brought us to the Middle Final. The weather improved and there wasn’t any rain, just a cool temperature, but terrific running conditions. 

Matt flying in to the finish
This was to be a tough day for the Aussies with some unfortunate mispunches and navigational errors costing some of our experienced athletes time in the forest. Most pleasing results came from Aidan who bounced back from a disappointing qualification race to secure 8th position in the C final. Such a fantastic run for Aidan.

Winnie ran superbly to finish 45th in the A final. An awesome result for first time JWOCer and terrific experience for her and Patrick to race against such top competition in the A final.
Hannah, another solid performance 

Lani relieved after the Middle Final
Anna and Jarrah put in a very solid performances to finish 11th and 20th in the B finals – absolutely wonderful results and both were very satisfied with their runs in such tricky terrain. Hannah was also most satisfied on her run. Lanita, Nicola and Olivia all made an error early in the course and time lost couldn’t be made up but at least finished well.
Winnie on a good run in the Middle Final
Pat in the finish of the Middle Final
Pat and Nicola signing autographs on maps for some Czech juniors


I think all athletes have had some positives and some disappointments during the week which is the nature of running in foreign terrain, in a big competition against the best in the world and with 5 competition runs in the week.
I encourage you all to go to the JWOC 2015 website and check out some of the maps and courses they have done,  http://www.jwoc2015.org/ 
Hopefully the weather will be pleasant for the remainder of the week and hopefully we will have many more positives come from the long distance event and the relay.

I remind them of our High Performance Manager’s words, that JWOC is just one experience along their road to becoming a senior elite orienteer.
If they can come away from JWOC having experienced some positives; having learnt a lot and made new friends and having fuelled their drive to continue in the sport and to improve as they move into the senior age rank, then it has been worthwhile for themselves and for Orienteering Australia.
I couldn’t be prouder of the way they’ve handled their successes and misfortunes and of the way they’ve supported each other this week.
They have been awesome company too ;)

Tonight we had a get-together in Rauland where all teams met for dinner, some music and the prize giving ceremony for the sprint and middle races.  What a great idea – we arrived and had to walk around the tables and find an Aussie flag at a dinner setting and then we could sit in that spot – athletes, coaches and Managers alike. This meant we were sitting at mixed tables and got to know those around us – other athletes and coaches. It was a terrific way to meet new friends and all came away feeling very excited to share their experiences.

Tomorrow we will go to the Long Model event and then we are having an ‘Aussie Supporters’ afternoon tea at our cabin – the girls’ cabin that is, it smells just a little fresher ;)  We have so many family members in Norway supporting the team – it’s been great to see the Aussie flag flying in the arena and to hear the Aussies cheering  - really makes a difference. Thanks for all the support from back home as well - it's so appreciated!

I just love that it's light til so late over here. The snow on the mountains is gradually melting but every day we are amazed at the scenery. This is from outside our cabins at about 10.30pm!

I’ll try to post another blog update soon.
Cheers
Karen



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Team Profiles


Name: Aidan Dawson
Nickname:  A-train
Birth year: ‘96
JWOC class: Freshman
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Experiencing everything JWOC has to offer.
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Sprint
Greatest Personal Triumph?: Family holiday in Norway without the family.
Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish or Danish?:
Norwegian
Would you rather your bones be used to make a China set OR your body decomposed and used as garden fertilizer?: Garden fertilizer.


Name: Anna Dowling
Nickname:  Anna “vegemite” Dowling
Birth year: ‘96
JWOC class: Boomerang – back for more!
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Experiencing terrain completely different from Australia
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Middle
Greatest Personal Triumph?: Winning the foot racing competition
Buff, lean or in between?
In between
Quote: “On a scale of one to transparent, our tights are pretty up there!”



Name: Hannah Goddard
Nickname:  Fatty Jr.
Birth year: ‘97
JWOC class: JWOC virgin
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Gaining experience at a big international competition.
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Middle
Greatest Personal Triumph?: Fulfilling Kazza's challenge of not eating a piece of chocolate before dinner
Buff, lean or in between?:
In between
Would you rather be fed through a tube your entire life (so you can never eat again, EVER)  OR have no arms: I’d rather have no arms, eating is life’s pleasure!


Name: Henry McNulty
Nickname:  Herny J
Birth year: ‘96
JWOC class: Second year blues
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Spending two weeks with Kazza.
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Relay
Greatest Personal Triumph?: An ’07 win over Matt Doyle in M10’s.
Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish or Danish?:
Danish
Quote: “Does anyone have a spare hair-tie?”


 Name: Jarrah Day
Nickname:  Woody
Birth year: ‘97
JWOC class: First timer
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Running in Norway (contemplating navigating as well).
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Long
Greatest Personal Triumph?: Juggled fire whilst riding mountain bike trails on a unicycle.
Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish or Danish?:
Why not all!
Would you rather have pineapples for hands or watermelon for feet?: Pineapples, I like pineapples.


Name: Lanita Steer
Nickname:  Lani banana
Birth year: ‘96
JWOC class: Matured like an Oak matured mead.
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Getting away from Asha.
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Long
Greatest Personal Triumph?: Winning first place in an art competition for a picture I traced.
Buff, lean or in between?:
In between
Would you rather walk on a tightrope in between two skyscrapers OR swim with sharks with no protection?: Tightrope, everytime.


Name: Matt Doyle
Nickname:  Datt ‘Sports’ Moyle
Birth year: ‘96
JWOC class: Seasoned like a medium rare Angus beef three pound steak.
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Rooming with Herny McNulty for two weeks J
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Relay
Greatest Personal Triumph?: Best and fairest div. 4 U12’s Ferny Grove Falcons Australian Rules Football Club (when I was 10!!!)
Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish or Danish?:
Four good options, but we’ll go Danish.

Quote: “I may not always be the greatest bloke, but I’m never a shit bloke”, “Life is Pain”, “That is beyond irritating”, “Patience is a virtue”, “I’m a very quotable guy”.


Name: Nicola Blatchford
Nickname:  Queen Chubbs
Birth year: ‘95
JWOC class: One cookie left in the jar
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Having a real good go at my last JWOC and getting quality Anna Dowling quotes all day erryday.
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Middle
Greatest Personal Triumph?: Succeeded pre-operation fasting, TWICE!
Buff, lean or in between?:
In between?
Quote: *looking at her own photo* “That’s a lot of chins…”


Name: Olivia Sprod
Nickname:  Liv
Birth year: ‘95
JWOC class: Final draft
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: International friendships
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Middle
Greatest Personal Triumph?: Completing four exams in 31hours before getting on the plane to Norway
Buff, lean or in between?:
Lean
Quote: “It’s ok because it’s light until there’s darkness”


Name: Patrick Jaffe

Nickname:  Jaffa
Birth year: ‘98
JWOC class: Rookie
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Watching Herny do his hair every morning for two weeks straight
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Long
Greatest Personal Triumph?: Two years ago I won a children’s colouring-in competition
Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish or Danish?:
ahhhhhh Danish
Quote: “I actually really like orienteering”.


Name: Simeon Burrill
Nickname:  The rock skimmer
Birth year: ‘98
JWOC class: Novice
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Enjoying the Norwegian scenery
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Middle
Greatest Personal Triumph?: Putting up with Shezza for 40hours on a plane
Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish or Danish?:
Norwegian
Quote: “My arms are really tired from holding my phone up watching Game of Thrones”


Name: Winnie Oakhill

Nickname:  Shezza
Birth year: ‘98
JWOC class: Fresh blood
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Experiencing the scale of International competition
Sprint, Middle, Long or Relay?: Long
Greatest Personal Triumph?: I made the regional cross-country team without attending regionals
Buff, lean or in between?:
In between
Quote: “…but that would require effort”


Name: Kazza

Nickname: Karen Blatchford
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC: Looking forward to spending two weeks with Henry (and the rest of the team). And bringing out the best in them!
Greatest personal triumph: Bringing up Nicola and Josh
Buff, lean or in between?: In between, I like a little bit of buff.
Favorite Norwegian experience: Finally going half way up that mountain that we pointed out on the drive in (AND WOULDN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT FOR FOUR DAYS)
Quote: “I feel taller in your kitchen”
2nd Quote: “I’m just going to sit out on your balcony and cut my toenails”
3rd Quote: “If you find something in here that’s not yours it’s probably mine”

Name: Hanny Allston
Nickame: Nanny Hanny / DJ Han Dawg
JWOC class: War lord (7th year)
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC: Seeing the team nail it! And the challenge of the coaches race.
Greatest personal triumph: Having a clean run in NZ after crashing the hire car that had no insurance, and finding my feet with Find Your Feet.
Buff, lean or in between: Lean and mean
Favorite Norwegian experience: Overtaking Kazza the weapon
Quote: “This might sound a bit nanny-ish, but is there anywhere around here we can find some Norwegian crafts?”



Name: Yngve
Nickname: Inva
JWOC class: Intern
What are you most looking forward to at JWOC?: Meeting some new people and hanging out with the Aussies in the mountains
Greatest personal triumph: I once came second in a parallel parking competition.
Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish or Danish: Norwegian
Favourite Australian Experience?: Scuba diving on the great barrier reef
Would you rather give someone a foot massage who has mould between their toes OR a calf massage to someone who has hair 30cm?: Ive done both, neither was great…
Quote: “Bedrooms should be reserves for sleep and sex only”