Thursday, January 23, 2014

Getting Our Sprint On

It's pretty well documented that with the new changes to the WOC format, the sprint distance is set to become more and more targeted by athletes, particularly from smaller nations who only have 1 or 2 spots in the 'traditional' distances.

In fact, the next couple of months sees a number of what should be high quality sprint events down here in the South. Something I need to sit down and plan how to attack, given I'm still ideally in my base training period. But you have to take the opportunity for quality training and racing when it's there. And boy is it there for us! There's Sprint Auckland Day in a week's time, the now world famous Sprint the Bay in early February and Wellington's equally famous* O-max series throughout Feb/March. The mixed relay format is given a test at the first round of the Australian National League up in Brisbane come late Feb, and, starting today and being run over the next 5 days, there's Sprint Canberra!

Even listing them all has me short of breath!

Sprint Auckland Day is set to be a ripper. 15 courses, 1 day!
(Pic from Gene Beveridge and the SAD fb page)

Sprint Canberra is a new Orienteering Australia initiative, run in tandem with it's first sprint focused high performance squad camp. The next 5 days will see the Aussie elites and juniors doing sprint specific training throughout the day, followed up by racing in the evening, and theory sessions at night. Canberra is the perfect location for such a camp, with our high density of quality sprint areas. Plenty enough for 2 trainings and a race per day, and still maps left over that aren't being used! And all within 5km of my house, how spoilt can I get?!

The races look to be a great mix of formats; the series starts off with a normal interval start sprint tonight, followed by what's set to be a hectic mass start at Radford college on Friday evening. We return to CSIRO on Saturday evening, where WOC trials were held last year, and have a Hageby style race with 2 people starting together at Remembrance Park on Sunday evening. The week ends with a reverse order start final at ANU on Monday. All quality maps, all quality course setters, and a great variety of formats and terrain, should be sweet! And with pretty much every elite orienteer in Australia atttending the training camp and events, the competition will be top notch! So check out the live results up on O-lynx!

There's also enter on the day courses for only $10, so everyone should get involved :)

Mass start on Radford will be hectic, especially at 1:3000!
 (old map above)

Last week's club event on ANU.
(set by your's truly and the HP girls)
Even half updated the map and area is amazing!
Unfortunately I won't be joining the training camp full time as I can't take the time away from the lab at the moment. But I'll be racing, and look forward to making it to some of the training sessions during the weekend. By the end of the weekend hopefully the rust will be out of my system, my legs and brain will be well in-sync and I'll primed for the sprint races to come over the next couple of months!

PS. There should be some previews/reports of STB and Sprint Auckland Day appearing on the NZ O-squad blog soon. Keep and eye out!

*amongst Wellington orienteers.

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