Thursday, 31 July 2014

Scotland Training Camp- "Heather" and "Bracken"

     Most of team Canada was in Scotland for a twelve day training camp in preparation for next year’s world champs. We were training twice a day on maps which was not just good preparation for next year but also pretty good training in general. The terrain can vary from very fast to very slow depending on the density of the heather and bracken. Heather and bracken are two words that I got to know pretty well during the twelve days I was in Scotland. From hearing people describe the bracken and heather I was expecting it to be worse than it was but it was still pretty bad. The heather (small bushy shrubs about a half metre high) just drains your legs when you’re running through it because it slows down your stride and you have to work just to keep running at a reasonable speed. The bracken (basically tall closely spaced ferns) is a little worse since it is tall and thick so it is hard to see where you are running/trying to run since you literally have to fight to get through it. It also hides the contours which makes it harder to see them in the terrain and understand them. After the twelve days of training I was confident in the terrain and am happy we had this camp because I think we all will be more prepared for next year. This is the first time we have had a camp in WOC terrain that hasn’t been in the month of the actual championship. It is very expensive and hard for us to fly all the way from Canada to run in WOC terrain so I think it is a great idea to do this every year when we are all in Europe to prepare for the next WOC.

     Besides just orienteering we had the opportunity to run the Tom Na Bat Hill Race in the Tomintoul Highland Games. The hill race was an experience in itself but the whole highland games was quite the thing to see in person. From guys throwing hammers, tossing the caber, pillow fights, tug O’ wars, track races, sack races, dancers and of course bag pipers. I ended up winning the (5.6km, 340m) hill race in 28:20, just 6 seconds from the course record. It was also an experience to go swimming in the famous Loch Ness and no one got eaten by the Loch Ness monster this time.
After the Tom Na Bat Hill Race

Starting the final downhill
Highland Games Dancing Competition

After the Highland Games
Swimming in Loch Ness.
Here are a couple maps of the terrain I was running in:

On another note the Silesia Grand Prix started today:
Train on,