Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Joensuu Jukola

Read about my experience with the American Junior team at Jukola last weekend by click the picture or going to this link: Link

Thanks! 😀
-Jan Erik Naess

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

First Days in Finland

Click the picture or link to read about my first few days if Finland - Adjusting to the terrain and Finnish Trials written by Jan Erik Naess

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sage Stomp 2017 V2

Hello all and welcome back to the blog.  Your authors today (David Bakker and Rachel May) have switched sides of the table, and as brand new HPP members have switched from reading to writing the blog.

So to business then. The Sage Stomp weekend started off bright and sunny with temperatures in the mid 20s for nearly the first time all year. This was a nice change from the rain and cold of the previous few weeks. The event took place on the Sabiston map just past Savona, where the WCOC's took place in 2014.

Thompson River Valley from below the event site

The schedule for the weekend was a more training oriented 4 course middle on Saturday morning, followed by a middle race in the afternoon, and a long on Sunday.

Middle Training (Saturday Morning)

Although it was only described as a training race, this was probably the hardest race of the entire weekend.  Using the most intricately contoured section of the entire map (those who went to BCOCs in 2015 will remember them well), it through a number of people for a loop.  In addition, the difficulty of the training courses was somewhat skewed with the Easy course being, true to its name, easy but the other three courses were of very similar technical ability. This caused some problems for people hoping to run the course 2 level, but everyone made it back alive and in time to the afternoon’s event.
Rachel and Murray (one of the organizers) post-race

Middle Race (Saturday Afternoon)

This can only be described as very hot.  Fun courses, nice map, awesome terrain, but overwhelmingly hot. This was a very nice course in some more technical terrain with fewer trail options than in the morning. The woods were fairly open making it, once again, hot to run. Many open rocky hilltops made for some difficulty in maintaining contact with where on the tops you were. I, personally, had trouble with control number 6 that was tucked in a small grouping of hills. I made a parallel error losing track of where within the hills I was, causing me to lose quite a bit of time. Other than that control, the main struggle was finding the energy to run, especially on the uphill, rather than navigational issues.

Middle Course 6 Map

Unfortunately, I (David) was doing the timing for the entire weekend, and had forgotten my computer charger.  So by the time we got around to the afternoon race, my battery was at a measly 17%, nowhere near enough for the afternoon.  So, we went back to old school manual and just printed out two copies of everyone's splits, one for them and one for the organizers.  We also hid every single clear control near the finish, and told everyone to bring their SI to the banquet, where we would have a secondary computer so that people could download and we could get everyone's splits.

Banquet (Saturday Evening)

There is definitely something to be said for having a potluck banquet that costs nothing, that everyone attends, and is right next to a beach that is perfect for swimming, if jumping in and out of the lake at top speed can be called swimming.   Also, the burgers that were served were delicious!

So back to the timing issues.  We got the secondary computer and everything set up, it was working great, we were downloading times as people got SIs from their cars, and then on the 13th person, our SI readout control starting screaming (well, really it was just beeping, but it was pretty traumatic) and died.  CPR, mouth-to-mouth, reprogramming the unit, none of it was enough.  The readout control was dead.  On the brightside, we had a backup readout control in Kamloops, and planned to bring that in on Sunday morning to get the rest of the SI sticks read.

View of Kamloops Lake from the banquet.  The event center is on top of the hill on the right under the setting sun.

Camping (Saturday Night)

After the banquet, most people camped up on the map in one of two locations: the one without a porta-potty, but with a better view and no cows, or the one with a porta-potty but lots of cows and more mosquitoes.  Take your pick!

The Campsite without the porta-potty.

Long Race (Sunday)

After packing up the campsite, having a breakfast of pancakes, and watching several herds of cows struggling to find the finish control, the day got underway.   
Finish control on left, cows on right.  No finish chute = complete confusion!
Our secondary readout conrol arrived from Kamloops, worked perfectly, and of the 100ish people attending, we got all but 5 to download before they cleared their SI and went out on course to do the long.

It was a fun course, taking up most of the map.  Unfortunately, the weather was once again searing hot, and only got hotter throughout the race.  Every single leg felt like uphill, and even the beautiful views of Kamloops lake were not much of a comfort.  The 150m climb from 11-12, and 12-13 on course 7 was particularly brutal in the semi-open forest.  Fortunately, there was water out on course in two locations which made a world of difference. 
Long Course 7 Map

Long Race Finish Chute

A big thanks to everyone at Sage who helped out to make this a fantastic weekend!  Results and course maps for all races are posted over on their website here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Canada at Finland World Cup

The 2017 World Cup season is gets underway this week in Finland.

Canada is represented by: Emma Waddington, Will Critchley and Emily Kemp

Here's how the week looks for the Canadians:

- sprint relay: Emma Waddington, Will Critchley, and then two other runners to make up a mixed team

- sprint: Emma W and Emily Kemp

- rest

- middle: Emily Kemp

- long: Emily Kemp (start times are based on sprint, and middle results)

Helpful links:

Monday, April 17, 2017

The final race of the Flying Pig weekend was the sprint. This day was divided into two races, an urban sprint and a park sprint. The two time from the races were added together for the results. To get these two races in before midday the first race started very early which meant we got to see the sun rise over the city!

The first race was very fast through the small town of Columbus. On my course most of the legs were straight forward with very little route choice. Only one control (12) had some route choice, either going north or south around some buildings. Made a mistake here by taking one route, then thinking that route was blocked off, making me change when I didn't have to.

Most of the courses controls were in this area
In the parkland sprint there was a bit of forest orienteering in the start which transitions to parkland. A bit over half way through the course there were two route courses right after another which forced some split second decisions. I had a very good race except for another another small route choice error by taking a only slightly shorter route but going though lots of green.

Last part of the race in the parkland

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"Spring" wakeup call - Desert Run

On February 25 & 26 HPP Members Pia Blake, Emma Sherwood, Adam Woods, myself Graeme Rennie, and a crew of our GVOC friends descended to central Washington State for a two day middle-long combo at the famous climbing area Frenchman Coulee state park.

The 'Desert Run' is a lightweight home-brew style orienteering event that was very high on my list of favourite events from last year. Last year the Sunday terrain had been completely new to me and the weather had been perfect and hot. Though this year wasn't quite the same conditions (0˚ instead of 20˚) it still did not disappoint. There is a good group of friendly faces (with enough high level competition), some great courses, and some new and different challenges. What more could you want?
The 'Arena' on Saturday - Hardly any snow!
Saturday was a gorgeous, cold day. The Elites ran a 5.2km middle that started with some excellent technical orienteering amongst some cliffs then transitioned to some more open legs towards the end. I really enjoyed this race as it is a type of terrain that I am quite unfamiliar with and posed some new challenges.
Technical Start for the Middle Distance
The HPP members results for this race were:
Graeme Rennie - 33:57 (1st Man)
Adam Woods - 44:23 (5th Man)
Pia Blake - 48:32 (1st Women)
And unfortunately Emma Sherwood had to bow out half way due to injuries.

Day 2 was a different story - There was a couple centimetres of fresh snow covering everything and snow fell the whole time. The Elites ran an 11km long. The most challenging part of the course for most people was a long leg from 8-9 across a large area of bland desert slope shown below. (2.5 m contours, 1:15 map). The bonus difficulty here was a thick fog that reduced vision to only 10-20 meters maybe. Crossing the nothingness in the snow and fog only to arrive at rows of identical seeming cliff features was a real challenge and my compass work was not up to snuff. If you want to see some of the large mistakes that were made checkout the route gadget links below.
Leg 8-9 was the Deciding Factor for Most People
Adam Woods however managed to stay on his compass and won this split in 7:25 (a mere 10:35 faster than me :p) but had made some mistakes earlier on that would cost him the race to Cascade OC's Nikolay Nachev and US national team member Will Enger. HPP results from the long:
Adam Woods - 1:26:48 (3rd Man)
Graeme Rennie - 1:44:58 (7th Man)
Pia Blake - 2:16:39 (2nd Women)
Emma Sherwood went out for a bit of a score-O - to experience the snow I imagine.

I had been quite sick and a long slog in soft sand in the cold was a tough day for me but regardless I came back grinning and excited. This race included a excellent ~60m descent (after #10 in the above photo) in soft desert sand, some excellent views, and a very cool river grotto. And despite my less than excellent run it was a truly enjoyable adventure - These are the ones where I remember why I orienteer.

Route Gadget and Results for the Long:

Route Gadget and Results for the Middle:

Monday, November 7, 2016

High Performance Program Applications Due Nov 25

Orienteering Canada's High Performance Program (HPP) is designed specifically to support athletes who wish to achieve excellence in international orienteering. The HPP offers coaching support, training opportunities, and other benefits that will assist athletes in achieving their goals. The deadline to apply for the 2017 High Performance Program is Nov 25, 2016.

  • Nov 25: Submission deadline for Application Package
  • Dec 5: Interim Acceptance
  • Dec 31: Confirmation
Further details of the application process are outlined in the Athletes Handbook. As such the Athletes' HandbookHPP Application Package and Athlete Agreement  have now all been published on the High Performance Program page.
All athletes wishing to compete at the World Orienteering Championships, World Games, World University Champs and JWOC  or in World Cup races MUST be members of the HPP.