Thursday, 14 October 2010

World Cup - Annecy

I've been delaying writing up this race because it was probably one of my worst of the season and I've realised my blog is becoming a diary of my mistakes in orienteering which was not very fun either. A bit of a reminder how far there still is to go.

I was on a training camp for 8 days which included the World Cup races. We were based in Annecy and the aim was to get used to the terrain for WOC2011 which will be in the same region. I was really looking forward to it as the maps looked crazy detailed and a real challenge.

Nothing really went to plan the whole week and I ended up ill for half the camp. I found the terrain really challenging. It was quite rough, very rocky, full of brashings (that weren't always on the map) and very detailed contours in places. It was everything that I hate about orienteering. You could never really run fast, but if you kept stopping either to climb over obstacles or to read the map, you lost lots of time.

The World Cup race was exactly that. I had a bad feeling about the race before I started, which is never good. But if you genuinely don't believe you can find a control in the forest, its pretty hard to talk yourself round and go out with a positive attititude. Anyway, I went out with the idea of running very slowly and not being out of control. That way I couldn't go that badly wrong.

Oh yes I could. I won't go through the race control by control, because I'll be here all day. I did mess up number 1, although having re-run that leg 4 times now, it was only once coach Toni walked it with me and explained which hills were which that I understood where the control should be. I'm surprised I only took12 minutes the first time!

So the conclusions are that I have a huge amount of work to do before next WOC. My technique is just not good enough to hold up in these sorts of forests. I hope to spend some good time in the Lake District not only learning to navigate but learning to run in steep rocky forests. I'm not going to rule out running one of the forest distances and I will train hard to get my technique better, but I have to say that I am most excited by the sprint next year. These French old towns look fantastic with lots of little alleyways, old buildings and better still, lots of patisseries.