Sunday, 20 October 2013

Canadian Orienteering Championships

     It has been a week since the Canadian Orienteering Championships wrapped up in Hamilton, Ontario. It was a great weekend of racing, on some of the nicest terrain in Canada. The courses were very well planned and the weather was great (nothing wrong with rain for the long to keep you cool).

     One of my major goals this season was to win the Canada Cup Elite series to prove to myself and others that I can be consistent and have many great performances on all different types of terrain and I managed to fulfill that goal by the skin of my teeth. I ended up tying Will Critchley in points with 134 but the first tiebreaker rule says that whoever scores more points in the WRE events wins. I ended up scoring 30 points in the WRE Sprint and 23 points in the WRE Middle for a total of 53 while Will scored 40 points in the sprint and 12 points in the middle for a total of 52 points. The $300 prize for 1st place will definitely help with my orienteering expenses from this summer's training and racing, thanks Orienteering Canada!

                                                                    Canada Cup Elite Series Champion                              Photo: Jennifer Hamilton
     After barely running for 3 weeks prior to the championships due to knee problems from a hard fall I took earlier in the summer training in Slovenia I didn't quite have the fitness or speed to perform to my full potential but I managed to pull together three solid races.

     The sprint was very good for me with two 5 sec mistakes and maybe one not so great route choice and of course loosing valuable time on the longer legs due to my lack of running speed. In preparation for the sprint I spent 30 plus hours planning course, analysing route choices and updating the map I had from the 2006 North American Orienteering Championships. I was very well prepared for the sprint mentally but could not do anything about my fitness situation. 
I ended up with the silver medal for the second straight year which I am satisfied with but the gold would have been much sweeter.

                                                                      Sprint- Leaving the 9th control.                                       Photo: Adrian Zissos

                                                          The fastest sprint finish shoot you will ever find!                         Photo: Adrian Zissos

                                                                            Sprint Podium (2nd)                                            Photo: Jennifer Hamilton
     I knew the middle would be very technically challenging so my plan was to take it easy at the start since I guessed the start would be very technical based on where we were starting. I managed to get thought the very technical part of the course in great shape but made about 1:10 sec mistake on #9, 30 sec on #11 and somehow missed #17 losing another 1:20. It turned out to be good enough for a bronze medal but I am convinced that of I had no problems with #17 I would have taken the gold.

                                                                                  Middle                                                      Photo: Adrian Zissos
                                                                      Middle                                        Photo: Adrian Zissos
                                         Post Middle Distance (just a little bloody)             Photo: Jennifer Hamilton

                                                                      Middle Distance Podium (3rd)                                      Photo: Jennifer Hamilton
     For the long my legs were pretty tired and sore from the previous two days of hard racing. If I was in proper shape this would have not been the case but after three weeks off it was to be expected. The course was very physically demanding and I didn't have the speed and endurance to perform. Despite my physical condition my navigation was not perfect either with a few bad routes unintentionally from the added fatigue of not being in shape and somehow I managed to skip #21 and headed straight from 20 to 22 and had to go back which definitely cost me valuable time. Despite the circumstances I ended up in 4th place which I think was the most impressive result for me considering everything.

Thanks GHO for a great weekend of racing!

Maps and route choices:
Sprint route- McMaster University Friday Oct 11, 13
Middle route- Mineral Springs Saturday Oct 12, 13

Long route- Mineral Springs Sunday Oct 13, 13
                                                                                     Middle                                                              Photo: Adrian Zissos




Train on,

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