Friday, July 31, 2015

That Last Minute WOC Post

For those that have been paying attention to Orienteering media, you'll be well aware that the 2015 edition of the World Orienteering Champs kicks off tonight in Scotland. For those that have not, well, now you know!

Fortunately, I've been aware of this fact for a while now, as have the rest of the kiwi team, and we're all pumped and primed for the start line! Some flight issues and typical Scottish summer(?) aside, preparations have been good and we're itching for the races to start!

The NZ team this year is a really exciting one. Young (I'm oldest?!), but definitely not inexperienced. Tim and Shamus (and coach Gene) have just come from a very, very successful JWOC. Laura, Tim, Matt, Shamus and I have all been in Europe for a few months already, including the World Cups in June. While Immy and Renee have had Oringen races to get the legs and technique into Europe mode. In fact, manager aside, we've all been in Europe for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the races, taking jetlag out of the picture, and giving the whole team time to get their techniques warmed up.

In addition, we're extremely lucky this year to have both Malcolm and Jean here to support us as Manager and Coach respectively. The team has been benefiting in particular, from Jean's amazing technical knowledge, and experiences from running the 1976 WOC, held in the same area.

All of which, combined with the support of the large number of Kiwis who have chosen Scotland, WOC, and the accompanying 6-day competition as an ideal escape from NZ winter, means the next week should be extremely fun, exciting, and hopefully, successful!

Token Photo: turns out we're too busy training to take photos.

In the past few years I've done a summary of the WOC schedule for those down-under. I'm afraid I don't have time for a full go at it now, but here's the run down! For all of the links for live coverage, reports and goss(?) head on over to WorldofO, IOF live center, and the main WOC page which has impressively in-depth detail and explanation for those new to spectating WOC and orienteering in general.

Friday 31st: Sprint Qual. 

Where: Forres
When: Women from 6:01pm (5:01am NZ, 3:01am AUS) Men from 7:01pm (6:01am, 4:01am)
Kiwis in action: Immy Scott (Nelson), Laura Robertson (Hutt Valley), Myself (Wellington), Shamus Morrison (Wellington), Tim Robertson (Hutt Valley) and Gene Beveridge (North West).
Terrain: Primarily housing estate, a tight network of roads with loads of small paths and parks interlinking the roads.

Saturday 1st: Sprint Relay.

Where: Nairn
When: 6:05pm local (5:05am NZ, 3:05am Aus)
Kiwis in action: Laura, Lizzie, Tim and Gene
Terrain: A mixture of 'fishertown' Nairn, which looks like small streets through housing, some parkland, and (exciting to us kiwis) a scrap of sand-dunes. The mix of terrain means really opens up the possibilities for the race, and the changes will require concentration and a change in technique and focus, as any small miss can be costly.

Sunday 2nd: Sprint Final.

Where: Forres
When: Women from 4:50pm (3:50am NZ, 1:50am AUS) Men from 5:55pm (4:55am, 2:50am)
Kiwis in action: Depending on the results of Friday night, but hopefully as for the Sprint Qual!
Terrain: Looks to be central Forres, so main road with alleys coming off it and a complex of carparks, houses, grass patches and paths behind it. Some nice ornamental gardens for the cameras too ;)

Monday 3rd: REST DAY!

Might be a few too many midges/rain/ticks for this though...

Tuesday 4th: Middle Distance

Where: Darnaway
When: Women from 11:54am (10:54pm NZ, 8:54pm AUS) Men from 2:13pm (1:13am, 11:13pm)
Kiwis in action: Laura, Lizzie, Tim and a rested and rearing to go Matt Ogden and Renee Beveridge (both North West Club)
Terrain: A real variety of forest type, ranging in both visibility and runnability. Contour detail also varies with moraine type features, riverside, and least-natural for us kiwis, some really vague contour details. Should be a cracker!

Wednesday 5th: Relay

Where: Darnaway
When: Women from 2pm (1am NZ, 11pm AUS) Men from 4pm (3am, 1am)
Kiwis in action: Laura, Renee, Lizzie. Shamus, Tim, Matt.
Terrain: More of Darnaway, but much faster km rates expected in the relay than the middle, so looks to be more of the open Beech forest - fast, but tricky!

Thursday 6th: REST DAY

Mainly to be spent looking for ticks from the middle and relay.

Friday 7th: Long Distance

Where: Glen Affric
When: Both from 10am (pretty much) (9pm NZ, 7pm Aus)
Kiwis in action: Laura, Lizzie, Matt
Terrain: A real toughie to finish off the week, with what is predicted to be an epic long distance at the famous Glen Affric (used for the 1999 WOC). Again, the terrain is varied. Big hills, complex contours, tough running, few paths. Set to be both physically and mentally tough. Should be awesome! Dunno what the live gps tracking will be like for those back home however as the race area is a little out in the wops?

And that's it, one action packed week! On a personal note, my final prep has been pretty smooth, mainly due to the generosity of the large number of people who have fully welcomed me, included me, housed and fed me and generally put up with me in my 2 training trips to Scotland. I've once again been reminded how amazing the orienteering community is and, whatever the next week brings result wise, would like to give a massive thanks to everyone that's helped me get to the start line well prepared (and in one piece!). Especially Holly, Jess, James and the Halliday's, all of whom are either racing or well involved in WOC this week, but have taken the time and effort to immensely help out myself (and many others!). Chur! :)

And of course, a massive thanks to all those back home(s) for the support. Your belief in me is amazing, flattering, and humbling. Thanks, Cheers, Tusen Takk and Grazie!


  1. Good luck Lizzie - may the (navigation) force and speedy legs be with you ;)

  2. Hi Lizzie - I think this is you finishing the Middles?