Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Watching a sprint race


Johan Ohlström, from IF Thor, watched the women's sprint race at the Nordic Open Champs and wrote about it. Here is a bit of a translation:

It was very interesting to see the different techniques for finding the first control. A control for the junior course was about 30 meters before the women's control and 50 meters before the men's control [you can see the junior course the F21 course and the M21 course ]. The F21 control was very open and could be seen from about 100 meters away. The M21 control was much trickier because you only saw the other two controls.

I think about half of the women were in good control coming into the first marker and even had a good idea of how they would leave the control. The rest boomed from a few seconds to a minute by checking the junior control or running out from the first marker in the wrong direction. About 25 percent of the men went to their control without hesitating. There is a lot of time to earn by having a good idea of how the control is set, to really look actively for the control and to have picked a route out of the control ahead of time. I think a lot of people thought they spiked the control even though they lost five seconds in the last 50 meters to the marker.

Another thing I saw was that there are big differences in running speed. In F21, the first five places were obvious already at the first control. The F21 winner, Marie Luce Romanens from Switzerland, was running so much faster than the others that she could afford some small booms....

It was fun and educational to watch the stars up close.

I've written before about how I'd like to see what you could learn by watching orienteers during races. I've experimented a bit by watching videos (focusing mostly on how orienteers run). I've shadowed people at training camps. I manned a control at a sprint race in Sweden (I was most impressed by watching Petri Forsman leap up a cliff). Maybe I'll try to watch some people at the next race I go to.

posted by Michael | 9:04 PM


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