Monday, 27 August 2012

WCOC’s/COC’s 2012

Two weekends ago the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships were held in the Calgary, AB area. I took the WCOC’s more as a warm up for the COC’s which was more important to me as I had specific goals set.

WCOC Middle
The WCOC Middle was held on the Elbow Bluffs map West of Calgary on Saturday August 11 in the am while the sprint was held in the pm at Fish Creek in Calgary’s south. The middle started out very well for me and then I lost control losing just over 3 minutes at control #7. I ended up finishing 5/16 overall and 4/11 Westerners, just two seconds back of 3rd place.

 WCOC Sprint
The sprint later that evening didn’t start out well at all, I was shaky from the start bobbling almost every control and not finding any kind of flow. I finished way down 10/14 overall and 6/10 Westerners.

The Long was held on Sunday at Rumsey which I know very well for spring orienteering but it turned out to be a whole new challenge in the summer. I should also say that the middle and the long were suppose to be help on a brand new map but permission fell through. The long grass and warm temperatures made the long very tough. The race started out well for me but the early long leg gave me some troubles, I lost contact and it a terrain type where every open hill and copse looks the same it is almost impossible to relocate so I bailed to the spectator control which was not that bad except I ended up running way around when you could have gone perfectly straight. This zapped a lot of energy from me early and I struggled to keep my pace up for the rest of the course. It was not a terrible race for finishing 5/10 overall and 5/10 Westerners.

WCOC Long Finish.
WCOC Relay
The relay was held in Edmonton at Kinsmen Park on Monday. I was on the MB team with my brother Darius running first, myself second and Steven Graupner running third in the 0-2 point team category. My brother came back in first place and I maintained that position after the second leg. Steven had some stiff competition on the 3rd leg with Graeme on his heels and finished just behind him for second overall and first in the 0-2 point category.

Relay Champs! Darius Konotopetz, Damian Konotopetz, Steven Graupner.
HPP Fundraiser Knock-out Sprint
On Thursday August 16 there was a fun HPP Fundraiser Knock-out Sprint at the Alberta Legislature Gardens located in Edmonton. It was held on a 1:2000 map, 4 short races, first 2 individual starts were combined to rank the runner and see who makes the semi-finals and the last 2 were knock-out mass starts. I ended up qualifying for the semi-finals in 2nd place; I won my semi-final heat securing a spot in the final and ended up winning the final.

Last weekend the Canadian Orienteering Championships wrapped up at Jackpine just west of Edmonton, AB. All three races were held on the newly mapped area.

COC Sprint
The Sprint was held on Friday August 17th and was also a WRE. It was simple the plan was to go for the gold. The map consisted of open pasture land with tall grass which made seeing the subtle contour details hard. I had a good race but ended up finishing with the silver medal, 2 seconds behind Eric Kemp. Placed 2/19 overall and 2/17 Canadians. A controversial race to say the least, I will leave it at that.

COC Middle
Saturday August 18th was the Middle also on the Jackpine map. Started out strong with simple field running legs with the controls just in the forest. I then blew up at control #7. I tried to push after this knowing that it was very unlikely for a medal but that was tough to do and I don't think I was trying as hard as if I was having a good race but I was trying to think I was. It didn’t go so well after this with continued bobbles and once in the green rectangle of death (a rectangle of the map that was green, marshy and not very fun to run through) it all fell apart, I could not make sense of anything and I was just trying to get to the finish. Placed 18/21 overall and 16/19 Canadians, ouch.

COC Long
Sunday August 19th was the COC Long and also a WRE. The course took the competitors from one corner of the Jackpine map to the other. It was warmer than the other days, 26C and probably more noticeable in the long distance. One of my best long distance races ever. The plan was to start out slower than usual in order to pace well so I have more in the last 20 minutes. Started out a bit shaky to #1 but didn't panic and figured out I was one hill south, 30 sec lost but no big deal, I was taking it slow anyways. I also planned to take safe routes around the forest in the open as much as possible because the forest was thick and generally had slow running speeds. I took the safe route around in the open to #2, it was really tough not to run too fast here but I knew I needed to ease off in order to finish strong. I caught Jon T just before #3 and after what happened yesterday in the middle when I saw him out there I knew I had to ignore him and it worked, he almost pulled me off to the left on the short leg to #4 but I kept my head up and stayed on my bearing. Knew the next loop from #6-#12 would be very important if I wanted a medal. Tried to take it safe and easy the whole way through these controls. I got carried off attacking #6 and figured out I was heading down the parallel re entrant right for #7 so I went to #7 first just to be sure and then back to #6. I went around again in the open to #9. Passed Graeme R going to #13, slow to #16 weaved across the stream twice not seeing it on the map; I was too unsure on this leg but made it work. I was leading from #15-#18. Started to feel tired going to # 18 and sure enough exited #18 in the wrong direction and by the time I noticed it was too late so I had to continue, probably cost me 1:00 or a bit more? This was the longest let from #18 to #19, going straight threw the green rectangle of death (a rectangle of the map that was green, marshy and not very fun to run through)and after yesterdays experience in the middle in the green rectangle of death I knew I was going to run all the way around. Tried to keep my running speed up on this leg but was having a bit of trouble as the fatigue was setting in..that’s for sure. Even from #19-#20 I stayed out of the rectangle of death as much as possible. At #20 I had the feeling I was within the top 3 and I was only 0:43 behind Will C and I knew I just had to have a clean last loop and I would be in the medals. I maybe should have gone to the trail to #22 instead of straight through, the grass seemed really long here and the tired legs didn't help slogging through it. Just tried to keep moving to #23, the legs were starting to cramp a little. Little hook attacking #24. I knew if I got #25 clean I would have a medal, so I took it slow but I don't think I could have done it much faster because I was dying. From #25 to #26 I knew I had to give it everything, it was very similar to a leg in the sprint so I knew what to expect, again the grass was destroying me, I was so tired I avoided the climb and went to the right. Went hard to the finish from #26 to #27 and finish, heard Nevin (the announcer) say it was going to be very close between myself and Will C for the #1 spot as I was approaching the last control, didn’t hear the beep at the last control because it was actually quite loud in the arena so hesitated and re punched and then hammered it in to the finish to try and beat Will C only to find out I was in 3rd place and 3:18 behind Will C, what, thanks Nevin for the false hope, haha. Could really feel the cramps in the finish shute. Really happy with the bronze medal, really challenging course both physically and mentally, really happy with my navigation, could have won with an almost perfect race as I defiantly lost 3 minutes throughout the course. The winning times were a little long, no need for the extra loop at the end, paced well for a 90 min winning time so I did die a bit in the last 20 minutes on the final loop. Placed 3/22 overall and 3/18 Canadians.

Actually post race Middle but I'm sure I looked worse after the Long.

Silver- Sprint, Bronze- Long.
Next up on the race schedule for me is the North American Orienteering Championships on October 18th-21st which are being held in the Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, USA. Hopefully I can transfer my good results from the COC’s to the NAOC’s and show those Americans who’s boss. Go Canada Go!
Train on,