Saturday, July 5, 2014

WOC 2014; the Antipodean guide

They say the night before the night before is the sleep that counts, so perhaps it's a bit worrying that i'm awake at 6.30am writing this...or perhaps it's perfect prep for the early morning and long day that await tomorrow for the sprint races?!
In any case, with races kicking off tomorrow, it's past time I put up the details and program for WOC for the crazy people back home that stay/wake up in order to watch the progress of little Antipodean GPS sperm across your computer screen!

Unfortunately, the internet here in Jesolo is nothing to write home about, in fact, it's hard to write home about. So let's keep this brief! (Ha! Fat chance!)

If you don't want to read all this post (I don't), then just read the below paragraph. It has all the links you'll need anyway!
Live GPS viewing this year appears to be a pay service (17euro for the week, ~7euro a race), which you can get into from the WOC page. There's bound to be free(?) live results though, I guess we'll find out when races start - try the buttons off the live bit of the WOC info page.
 I also highly recommend heading over to worldofo, where Jan will no doubt do a much better preview than me! (Update, he has. it's HERE.) You'll also find a load of far more witty and interesting blogs than mine there, including the Aussie WOC team blog. And there'll be an informative and possibly-better-than-live-results live blog going on there throughout the races.

Team New Zealand. #gameface
Photo: Nic Gorman

As for the races themselves:

Saturday 9AM (5pm AEST, 7pm NZ) : Sprint Qualification

We kick off tomorrow with the Sprint Qualification, held in Burano, Venice. 3 girls and 3 guys from each country, 3 heats, top 15 in each heat go through to the Final.

Representing NZ: Our entire team! Matt Ogden, Tim Robertson and Ross Morrison. Imogene Scott, Greta Knarston, and myself.
In the green and gold: Lachy Dow (Canberra), Julian Dent and Simon Uppill. Rachel Effeney, Fel Brown and Hanny Alston (Canberra based).
Click here for the full NZ and Aussie team profiles. And, apparently, some 'hilarious' pictures of me. (Thanks Brendan, I'll take it as a complement!).
No GPS tracking for this one, but there should be live results and commentary.

Saturday 3.20PM - 5.30PM (from 11.20PM AEST, 1.20AM NZ): Sprint Final

The top 45 Men and Women will race off for the sprint medals in Eastern Venice, in what promises to be a memorable race. All of the teams will have had fun and frustration training in the network of alleys and canals of Venice, all whilst dodging tourist traffic. Hopefully the final will be similar, but with less collisions given it's a bit out of the main tourist stretch!
GPS will be in use, but not sure how good it'll be given the tightly packed buildings (although there could well be a fair proportion of open park running too).

Monday 5.25PM (1.25AM AEST, 3.25AM NZ): Mixed Sprint Relay

The first time this format is present at the world champs, this promises to be an exciting one! Run in the order Woman - Man - Man - Woman, the teams will go head to head throughout the streets and alleys of downtown Trento. Should make great spectator viewing, hopefully online as well as on the ground. And although the Danes and Swiss will go in as favourites, with a lot of nations putting out very strong sprint teams, it's anyone's race really. Be prepared to see some of the less heard of orienteering nations towards the top come the finish line!
In no particular order:
the NZ team: Matt Ogden, Tim Robertson, Greta Knarston and myself.
Australia: Julian Dent, Simon Uppill, Rachel Effeney and Hanny Alston.

Half time kitten. You've done well to read this far!

Wednesday 12noon - 5PM (from 8PM AEST, 10PM NZ): Long distance final

Up, up and up into the mountains, to the Lavarone/Asiago region for the forest events! Following the removal of qual for the middle and long distance, this will be the first time we see the consequences of the nation ranking system. A very small contingent of Kiwis, as both men and women are currently in the lowest bracket. The Aussies have an extra girl as they're up in 2nd division. The top nations will have 3 runners, and a lucky couple of nations will have 4 if they have a world champion or European champion in their team. The terrain will be beautiful, but physically and mentally challenging. Beech forest, rocks, cliffs, trenches, and plenty of hills!
Greta Knarston will feel the full force of the Kiwi support, whilst Hanny Alston and Vanessa Round will be out in the forest for Australia. In the Men, Simon Uppill will be representing the Antipodeans.
GPS is a go for this one :)

Friday  12noon - 5PM (from 8PM AEST, 10PM NZ): Middle distance final

A highly anticipated race for me, following a good rest after the sprint races! To be held high up on the Asiago plateau, amongst the numerous trenches and remains from WWI (and still plenty of hills :), this should be a highly technical race. The terrain is beautiful, based on karst topography, but with counter-intuitive man made contour and rock features, like cliffs facing the wrong way on hillsides. Accuracy and concentration will be key!
I'll be the sole Kiwi girl racing the middle, joined by Jasmine Neve and Vanessa Round from Australia, both of whom have joined me for training in the region in the past month, so hopefully we'll be sharp and well prepared!
In the men, it's Ross Morrison for NZ, and Julian Dent for AUS.

Saturday 1:00 - 4:20 PM (from 9PM  AEST, 11PM NZ): Relay

The final race of the week is the (forest) relay, to be held on the same area as the middle distance the day before. Be prepared for more intense head-head action, with high potential for costly mistakes in the tricky terrain (aka great GPS viewing). Whilst the top nations will be fighting it out for medals, the results will be vital for all nations; with points from the relay worth double those from the middle and long, and counting towards your nation's ranking for the next 2 years. It doesn't even bear thinking about the consequence of a mis-punch or DNF.
Lining up for the ANZACs, again in no particular order, are:
Women: Vanessa, Hanny, Jasmine (AUS), Imogene, Lizzie, Greta (NZ).
Men: Lachy, Simon, Jules (AUS), Matt, Tim, Ross (NZ).

Phew! So there you have it. All the training and prep is done and we're tapered, rested. and ready. Come tomorrow it's on with the game face and into the action! Can't wait!

The game face is also well rested and tapered.
Photo: Tallinn O Week

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