Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chur Bro!

You'll read a fair bit on this blog and others about the commitment, sacrifices, and general stubbornness that it takes to (try and) be a top level athlete. It also requires one heck of a lot of support - both moral and financial. Even more so when you compete in a minor sport, representing a small country, living on the opposite side of the world from all the big competitions!
So for once, I'm going to stop blabbing about myself, and take the opportunity to thank those who have been invaluable in their support of me and got me to World Champs this year. So, in no particular order, the honours roll!

Wellington Orienteering Club

I can't speak highly enough of my home club. The support has always been there; right from being baby sat while my parents were at committee meetings (we're talking 20 years ago, just to clarify. I  manage without a babysitter now. Just.), coaching through junior years, moral support at every competition, both at home and overseas, and constant financial support through the years. Wellington Club has been far too good to me. Even now, while I live overseas and can't give back to the club directly through coaching, event organising, or even racing for the club, the support is still there.
I look forward to hopping back over the ditch in the coming months, catching up with club matters and club mates, and hopefully being able to contribute back to the club. In the meantime, here's a shameless plug for the Wellington Champs; over Labour weekend in October. Complete with the novelty and excitement of a knock out sprint for the elites - it's awesome to see the club being open minded and experimenting with different formats! Even if Eketahuna probably isn't exactly the place that was in mind when the spectator friendly format was first thought up!
2010 NZ Relay Champions...back when I was the same(ish) height as Nick!

Abominable O-men

My home-away-from-home club, with possibly the best club name around! Being small, the club doesn't organise too many events per year, but they're always more than happy for one of those events to be used as a fundraiser for WOC. So a huge thanks to Abominables, organising events is always great fun with you guys, and I can't wait to see the club in our sexy new dirtyd o-tops soon!
My design, thankfully not to be seen on the new shirts.

The Cockies 

(Canberra Cockatoos)

Training in the months prior to WOC included sprint sessions in the sleet, hail and thunder, long distance in the freezing wind, rain and granite, and night sessions without a light... Pretty sure I'd have opted for staying at home in the (slightly) warm without my fellow cockies to drag me out! So massive thanks to the crew. Can't wait for the next pide and map night, and getting stuck into prep for Aussie champs with you guys!* Time to wrap up the National League Titles! Also a massive thanks to the ACT government, who fund the Cockies. They're probably unaware that they're helping a Kiwi compete at World Champs, against Australians ;)

Cockies 2011.  How young everyone looks! (And where was I?!)

Eureka Orienteering Club

A club I don't actually run for! But definitely the club who helped me the most financially with getting to WOC this year. I haven't had the chance to write a report about it, but way back in April, I ran the Australian Ultra Long Champs, hosted by Eureka club, down around Ballarat, Victoria. The 15km women's elite course had 3 maps and 50 controls, set amongst the complex gold mining terrain of the area. It was an awesome event, requiring not only physical strength, but full concentration and technical accuracy for the 2hr duration of the race. I thoroughly enjoy pushing myself to the limit, so it's no surprise that I loved the race! Especially as we rarely get the chance to do such long distance orienteering races down this way. The only other ultra long I've taken part in is the Wayne Cretney memorial, known as the Winter Classic, and run in the Wellington region each year. And I've missed that with JWOCs and WOCs in the last 8 years, so it's been a while!
Third and final map. Others on DOMA.

The Ultra Long was run as a handicap competition, with the ultimate winner from the 4 elite classes winning flights and entry to an orienteering event of their choice up to $2500. Holding out fast finishing junior Brodie Nankervis, I managed to take out the overall title and prize this year, definitely my most profitable day as an orienteer! I benefited from the elite men having to deal with a 26km course though, a task I did not envy them for!
A massive thanks then to Eureka, for taking a huge weight off my shoulders expense wise this year! Aside from the prize and the giant novelty cheque though, the Ultra Long was an amazing race and day. Rumour is that the event will return in 2014, and hopefully will become a regular on the Australian calendar. I highly recommend that you get along to it, kiwis and aussies alike! An amazing event, and an amazingly generous prize, thanks Eureka!

Life goal: win giant novelty cheque. Check.

Team Lizzie

Last but definitely not least. What started off as a joke fundraiser in 2012, and has resulted in me not being able to walk around the department at uni without seeing my face staring back at me from people's coffee mugs. I've even had people first introduced to me exclaiming "You're that chick from the coffee mug!!". Ahem. Yep...
The original.
Thanks to everyone who's got on board and bought Team Lizzie bottle openers and mugs in the last couple of years. Apart from being good fun, it's been a profitable fundraiser too. Not quite sure what we'll make next year to top this year's product, but ideas are always more than welcome! (And if you missed out on a bottle opener or mug, I'm sure I can find you one still!).
Next year has to include a game face. Surely?
And of course, there's a lot of other, people who have supported me both this year and in the past. You know who you are, and hopefully how much I appreciate you! This year's WOC may not have been what I wanted results wise, but the support I've received before, during, and since returning, from WOC has been immense, and will be one of the driving forces that sees me return better and stronger at next years WOC. Chur!

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