Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Next update on Thursday, June 2


I'll be spending the next few days at the Texas Junior Orienteering Camp. The next time I update this page will be on Thursday, June 2.

posted by Michael | 7:04 PM


Some notes about the Nordic Champs


I've been casually following the Nordic Champs the last couple of days.

Sprint problem for Emma (and a lesson for all of us)

Compared to most races, sprints seem to test the orienteers ability to read the course, not just the map. In a sprint race you can lose precious time, for example, when you turn over the map and look for the triangle and first control.

Emma Engstrand lost a medal in the sprint because she missed a part of the course. She apparently ran right be a control without stopping to punch because she didn't see it on her map. Bummer.

The lesson is -- practice the skill of picking out the course. It isn't a big deal in most races, but it can make a huge difference in a sprint.

No butterflies

Have you looked at the map from the long distance race? If you haven't, take a look at Mats Troeng's map, I posted a link on Thursday.

Most long courses these days have a "butterfly" loop to help break up groups of runners. The Nordic Champs course doesn't have a butterfly loop. Maybe it should have.

Anders Nordberg won M21. Holger Hott-Johansen finished 3rd. The suprise was Olle Karner from Estonia in second (just one second ahead of HHJ). Karner finihsed 2:58 after Nordberg. He started 3 minutes before Nordberg.

Poke around the analysis of the split times and you'll see that Nordberg made up the 3 minutes on the way to the 8th control. At 9, Nordberg was ahead of Karner by 14 seconds. At 12, Nordberg had gotten to 29 seconds ahead of Karner. He'd almost gotten away from Karner. But, Karner then got back up to Nordberg and they were never more than 9 seconds apart at any control.

Karner lost about 3 minutes to Nordberg in about the first 3.5 km of the course. Then the two of them ran evenly for the rest of the course.

It sure looks like Karner followed Nordberg to a medal.

Karner is a very good orienteer. Look at his results on the IOF World Rankings and you can see how good he is. No doubt about it. He's certainly top-ten material. But, you look at the splits, you look at the start list, and you just don't feel like he is legit. I guess that is part of our sport.

posted by Michael | 11:53 AM


Friday, May 27, 2005

More on predicting booms


It sounds plausible that running too hard would cause a boom.

Here is a bit of a discussion at Attackpoint:

Actually, there is very strong correlation between intensity of running and number and "quality" of mistakes I do - most navigational mistakes happened after long steep climbs or after fast down hills - when body performs above LT (lactate threshold) level. I never gathered these statistics but each time during post race analysis I see the same pattern: intensive load-> lost of concentration (or ability to think clearly) -> navigational mistake.

And here is another comment:

...lets say we get faster, or improve our lactate threshold, or our VO2 max, then we can work at a faster speed without getting a fuzzy mind and making mistakes.

It makes a lot of sense. You run too hard, you're thinking gets fuzzy, you miss a control.

It also sounds like something you could test by looking at heart rate data and split times.

I haven't looked systematically (maybe I will some day), but I haven't seen a relationship between my heart rate (i.e. a proxy for how hard I'm working) and booms.

Maybe the relationship between how hard you're working and how well you navigate is more complicated. Maybe the conventional wisdom is wrong.

posted by Michael | 6:24 PM


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Another quick post


Tonight I have time to write, but can't think of anything that motivates me to write. So, it'll just be a link...

Mats Troeng posted his map from today's Nordic Champs. Troeng finished 5th. Sweet terrain.

Over the next week or so, I expect we'll see maps and routes from other top runners. In M21, four of the top 11 finishers have their own web pages.

posted by Michael | 9:13 PM


Translation of TG article


Just a quick note, check out John De Wolf's translation of Gueorgiou's analysis of his race in England. The PDF is here.

posted by Michael | 12:04 PM


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A couple of links worth a look


Not much time to write tonight, so I'll just point out a few interesting links:

The Nordic Champs starts tomorrow, with only one North American entrant (Sandy H-J). They should have live on-line results.

Check out the map from the Norwegian Nordic Champs selection race for the sprint. Even Lillemo's routes are shown on the map.

Eva Jurenikova was recently training in the Czech Republic. Check out one of her maps in some amazing terrain. This sort of terrain is on my list of places I want to orienteer in before I die.

Flickr is a web-base photo sharing community....or something like that. I don't really know anything about it. I have a general idea that it is popular and interesting in that new-thing-on-the-internet way. Ollie O'Brien started an Orienteering group on Flickr. So far they've got 58 photos loaded on the group from three different photographers. I'll have to create a Flickr account and post a few snapshots, but not tonight.

posted by Michael | 8:22 PM


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

How'd we do at predicting booms?


18 people predicted which two controls Randy boomed. How'd we do?

The list shows the number of times each control was identified as a predicted boom. I've bolded the two controls that Randy actually boomed.

1 1
2 0
3 0
4 1
5 6
6 0
7 4
8 1
9 0
10 5
11 7
12 2
13 2
14 0
15 4
16 2
17 1

Mixed results. The group did a decent job at recongizing 5 as a boom candidate. But, we also recognized 7, 10, 11 and 15 as boom candidates. Only two people identified 12 as a boom candidate. I guess that's about what I'd expect.

Maybe we'll play this same guessing game again sometime. I thought it was interesting (and it certainly generated some interest, judging by the number of comments).

posted by Michael | 1:08 PM


Monday, May 23, 2005

Only 13 particpants at yesterday's sprint race


I knew that only a few people ran yesterday's sprint. But, I was still surprised when I saw the results list had only 13 names. Too bad, because it was really fun.

I suspect that people don't want to run a "sprint" because it sounds like you have to run hard. It sounds like something that would only be fun if you were fast. Maybe that is why so few people ran.

Another possibility is that people don't like the city park environment. Maybe they only like to be orienteering in the woods.

Or maybe it is just something new and to quote Garth (or was it Wayne?), "we fear change."

Here in KC we drew 13 finishers....meanwhile, a bit over a week ago a Wednesday night sprint race in Stockholm drew 640 finishers.

The map below is from the race in Stockholm. Control 12 is at the corner of an L-shaped building. I used to live in that L-shaped building.

posted by Michael | 7:00 PM



posted by Michael | 6:58 PM


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sprint maps from yesterday's race


I've posted my routes from yesterday's sprint race.

It probably would have been a few seconds faster to go straight from 2 to 3. It turns out that if you'd have crossed the stream immediately, the light green was really more like open/white.

From 6 to 7 a number of people went left of the line and ran next to the lake. I think my route is faster.

posted by Michael | 1:55 PM



posted by Michael | 1:53 PM



posted by Michael | 1:53 PM


Saturday, May 21, 2005

Heart rate curve from tonight's sprint race


I ran the Possum Trot sprint this evening. My heart rate and altitude curve is below. Click on the image for higher resolution.

I started my watch when the starter said, "30 seconds." That's why the curve is so low for a bit and then shoots up.

The curve shows a continual, gradual, upward trend. That isn't good. When I'm fittest, the curve tends to be quite flat. One reason for the continual upward trend is probably the warm weather. I just don't function well when it is warm.

I'll probably post my map and routes tomorrow.

posted by Michael | 8:24 PM



Heart rate and altitude curve for the Possum Trot sprint.

posted by Michael | 8:21 PM


Friday, May 20, 2005

Nordberg's training just before the Nordic Champs


Anders Nordberg wrote about his training for the 9 days leading up to the Nordic Champs. I'm not going to translate the whole thing, but I'll write about what he wrote.

Nordberg is doing a lot of training in those 9 days. He's doing about 18 hours. That's a lot of time. But, keep in mind that it isn't all running.

About 4 of the 18 hours is strength training.

About 3 hours is on a bike trainer.

About 7 hours is easy running on trails and in the forest (it includes 2 sessions of easy technique work).

I was struck by how easy Nordberg's "easy" training is. For his easy sessions his average heart rate is about 100 when running and about 90 when using the bike trainer. Of course, you can't be sure how easy that is unless you know his maximum and threshold heart rates. But, it certainly is very easy.

As I look at different training logs, it strikes me that -- and this is a broad generalization, subject to all sorts of error -- a characteristic of a lot of Norwegian training is that it is very easy. In contrast, the Swedes -- and again this is a broad generalization -- seem to train less, but train harder.

posted by Michael | 6:40 PM


Thursday, May 19, 2005

An orienteer?


At no single, crucial moment in his life did he suddenly acquire his genius...or his unprecedented skill....These derived not from epiphanic enlightenment or formal schooling but from a persistent cycle of pragmatic learning, experimental adaption, and constant revision driven by his uniquely disciplined mind and focused will....in every race he learned something new,...he combined the new ideas into a constantly changing set of...tactics, strategies,....

The quote is from a book I'm reading. The italicized race is the one word I've changed.

It sounds almost like a description of a great orienteer. But, it is actually from Jack Weatherford's biography of the Genghis Khan.

posted by Michael | 1:22 PM


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Can you predict a boom?


I once spent some time trying to see if I could predict booms. I wanted to see if I could look at a course and predict the legs where orienteers would boom.

I looked at maps. I looked at split times. I looked at races I'd run. I tested a few ideas. I thought about it.

I eventually came up with two broad rules for predicting booms:

1. Booms are relatively rare in the first 1/4 of the course and relatively common in the last 1/4 of the course.

2. Booms are relatively common where the map is sketchy.

Both of those rules make sense. They help in predicting booms, but there are a lot of booms that don't fit the rules.

Randy's guessing game

Randy posted his map (which I've posted below) and wrote:

For those who like to play guessing games, you can try to guess the two controls I boomed and I'll post the answers next week sometime.

Use the comment to post your guesses

Don't look at the comments until you've studied the course.

Study the course below (click on the image for higher resolution). Figure out which two controls you think Randy boomed. Add your guesses as a comment.

Feel free to explain why you think Randy boomed those controls.

posted by Michael | 7:42 PM



posted by Michael | 7:40 PM


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Two links


I don't feel well. I'm not going to write. Just two links:

Matt Troeng's route at a recent Swedish sprint race.

A short video I shot at the bike race last weekend.

posted by Michael | 7:04 PM


Monday, May 16, 2005

Old teams?


I took a look at the age distribution for the U.S. WOC teams. I was inspired by some of the discussion over on Attackpoint. You can read the whole discussion here,though it is long and not always interesting.

One post in particular inspired some thinking. Here is a part of it:

...the depth and strength of the field during Team Trials is such that a WOC team with average age 45+ is possible. The fact of this is alarming!

I don't actually think the author of the comment meant it as fact, but it did inspire me to look at ages of the U.S. WOC teams for 2004 and 2005 (people who have a good memory and have been reading this page for years might remember I looked at the age of orienteers at the WOC in 2003 back in July of that year).

For the 2005 WOC team:

Average age: 30.75
Median age: 28

For the 2004 WOC team:

Average age: 32.38
Median age: 31.5

So, both the average and median ages have gone down in just one year.

I also took the two WOC teams (2004 and 2005) and compared the age distribution of those U.S. WOC teams with the age distribution of all of the teams at the WOC in Switzerland. The U.S. in 2004 and 2005 certainly had a lot of old runner -- 25 percent of our WOC runners were over 40 (compared to just 2.4 percent of all the WOC runners in Switzerland). But, the U.S. about the same portion of runners in the 21-25 age group (37.5 percent for the U.S. compared to 36 percent for all of the teams in Switzerland).

Looking at some data is usually a good idea. You can learn something. I learned (though I can't say I was surprised): the 2005 U.S. WOC team is measurably younger than the 2004 team. The U.S. has a lot of over 40 WOC appearances, but a normal amount of young senior WOC appearance (21-25 years old). That mix of veterans and young orienteers seems like a good thing to me.

posted by Michael | 7:44 PM


Sunday, May 15, 2005

More nice Norwegian orienteering


Wow, this looks cool. Check out the first part and the second part of the M21 elite course with Tore Sandvik's routes.

Sandvik finished 6th, 4:18 behind Auden Weltzien (who was over 2 minutes ahead of the second place runner). On his home page, Sandvik described a good race but that he didn't run so fast. "My average heart rate was relatively low through the whole race, and I never felt like I was pushing."

posted by Michael | 8:07 PM


Saturday, May 14, 2005

Nice Norwegian terrain


Take a look at the map from today's Norwegian selection race at Kongsberg. The M19-20 course with Oystein Sorensen's winning route is shown.

Here is a quick translation of a bit of Sorensen's analysis of his race:

...I lost a few seconds on the way to the 4th control and on the route choice to the 6th. To the 10th, I was defensive and went around the hills too much after crossing the road, and on the last legs I could have pushed myself harder...

Sorensen criticized his route to 10, but when I looked at the splits I saw that he had the best time for the leg. He gained 31 seconds over the guy who finished 2nd overall and 25 seconds over the guy who finished 3rd.

Poking around the results page, I noticed that Sandy Hott-Johansen finished 2nd in F21E2. The race had two elite classes and Sandy ran the second elite class. I can't tell how good a result this is, but it is always cool to see a North American close to a win.

posted by Michael | 7:27 PM


Friday, May 13, 2005

Cycling champs


I took some time off from work and went to Lawrence to watch the collegiate national cycling champs.

I like to watch bike races. I like to see riders working hard, suffering. The speed is impressive, too.

Today's criterium champs were on a one-mile loop through downtown Lawrence. It was a great setting for a race, but the weather could have been better. A steady rain was falling during the women's race. The rain cut down on spectators and must have made the roads slick. The women's race featured a bunch of crashes. By the time the division one men raced, the course had dried out and the crowds had grown a bit.

Lawrence will apparently host the champs in 2006 and 2007, too. I plan to be there.

Below are some snapshots I took.

posted by Michael | 7:40 PM



posted by Michael | 7:38 PM



The pack speeding along 7th Street.

posted by Michael | 7:36 PM



Spectators sipping coffee at the corner of 7th and New Hampshire.

posted by Michael | 7:34 PM



A nervous group of riders just before the start of the men's division 1 race.

posted by Michael | 7:31 PM



The women's pack heading north on Mass.

posted by Michael | 7:30 PM


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Funding for junior sports


Some discussion at Attackpoint inspired me to think about funding for junior sports. While I was running the hills at Wyandotte, I thought about how junior sports are funded in the U.S. and how orienteering fit in with that.

It seems to me that there are three main source of significant funding: public subsidy, small sponsorship, and family spending.

Public Subsidy

Public subsidies for junior sports in the U.S. are huge. But the subisdies are, I think, mostly spending on facilities. I've got a 400 meter tartan track near my house. The track was built as part of a public school. The school district issued bonds to build the track. I pay taxes to pay off those bonds.

Orienteering also benfits from a lot of "facility" public subsidies. Most of the place we orienteer are public parks.

Small sponsorhips

Every month or so I hear a knock on my front door. I open the door and see a couple of kids standing on my front steps.

"We're from the _______ soccer team (or baseball team or swimming team or whatever) and we're selling ___________ to raise money for the team, would you like to buy one?"

Unless I'm in a very bad mood, I say, "sure" and get out my checkbook. "What are you raising the money for?"

"We're going to a tournament in St Louis in July."

A few weeks later, the same kids knock on my door and deliver whatever I bought.

This sort of small sponsorship can't be raising much money. But it is something. I suspect it is as much a way of getting the kids to understand that the sport costs money and that they can work together to raise money.

Orienteering has similar small sponsorships. I haven't had any orienteers knock on my door, but I regularly buy food at O' meets to support juniors.

Family spending

Parents pay entry fees, buy gear, drive juniors to and from events. In the off season, parent pay to send kids to camp. The Bill Self Basketball Camp, for example, runs for about 3.5 days and runs $400.

Orienteering is the same. Parents shell out money for entry fees, gear, travel and so on. There can't be many (any?) successful junior orienteers who don't owe a lot to the financial support of their parents.

Others? Conclusions?

I'm sure there are some other sources of funding for junior sports. I know, for example, that some of the teams have small-time sponsorship from local businesses. I think most of those sponsorships are essentially trivial. Maybe there are other significant sources I haven't thought of.

What does it all mean for orienteering? I think it means that we should think of ways to encourage junior orienteering using the same sort of funding that other junior sports rely on (i.e. public subsidy of facilities, small sponsorships, and family spending). To expect something else is probably just a waste of time.

posted by Michael | 8:40 PM


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

One of these doesn't belong


I was looking at some old results and came across this:

Johan Nasman 46:40
Michael Eglinski 46:42
Jorgen Olsson 46:45

One of those names looks a bit out of place, doesn't it?

The results are old and I think both Nasman and Olsson were young at the time. Nasman still a junior and Olsson a first year senior. But, it still looks pretty cool to see my time right between those two.

posted by Michael | 8:19 PM


Thierry Guergiou's web page


Brush off your high school French and point your browser to www.tero.fr (check out the maps if, like me, you can't read any French).

posted by Michael | 7:07 AM


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Some advice from Rostrup


Jorgen Rostrup gave some advice to a first year senior runner in a Norwegian newspaper. Here is a rough translation:

Kristoffer Fiane Pedersen is a huge talent. He has a good running capacity, but the booms too much. He needs to train more with a map. Go out in the forest and run with a map – as much as possible. He would also do well to have some good runners around him, both in training and in races. That will get him to be sharper.

Train in the forest with a map. Train and race against good competition. Pretty good, if obvious, advice.

If you can read Norwegian, take a look at the original article.

Cool map from France

If you haven't already seen it, take a look at the map from the latest world record in control picking (154 controls).

posted by Michael | 8:06 PM


Monday, May 09, 2005

Strength training


I've been thinking of doing some strength training this summer. Summer, with the hot weather and few O' races, would be a good time to do some indoor training. Summer is long enough that I'd have time to develop some strength and get a sense of whether it was worth the trouble.

Currently, I do no strength training. Over the years I've done a bit, mostly some exercises like sit-up and push-ups. I've noticed that I get a bit stronger. I haven't noticed if that strength is worth anything as an orienteer.

Before I change my training, I thought I'd take a look at how some other orienteers train.

I looked at 20 orienteers who keep their training logs on the web. Most of these people use Attackpoint, but I've also got national team runners from Scandinavia including Emma Engstrand, Kim Fagerudd and Pasi Ikonen.

I started with a simple question -- in the last two weeks, how many strength training sessions did these 20 orienteers do?

No strength session -- 4 orienteers
1 strength session -- 4
2 strength sessions -- 4
3 strength sessions -- 3
4 strength sessions -- 3
5 strength session -- 2

In my non-random sample, it looks like nearly half of the orienteers do almost no strength training (figuring 1 session in a two week period is essentially worthless). On the other hand, 5 did 4 or 5 sessions a week. That number would probably be a bit higher if the two week period I looked at hadn't included the World Cup races in England.

It looks like people are all over the place in terms of strength training. I knew that without looking. So, looking at all of these training logs didn't really teach me anything (though confirming something I expected is worthwhile).

Let's hope I have something more interesting to write tomorrow!

posted by Michael | 9:07 PM


Sunday, May 08, 2005  

Sprint champs from Stockholm (from Fredrik Lowegren's home page www.lowegren.se)

posted by Michael | 8:24 PM


Sprint course from Stockholm


Take a look at the course from the district sprint championships in Stockholm.

I guess those three loops let the course setter add some distance and controls in a small area. It sure looks strange, though.

Casper Giding (an old clubmate of mine) won M21 in 15:02. He averaged well under a minute per leg.

posted by Michael | 8:16 PM


Saturday, May 07, 2005

A first look at the WP day 2 course


If you want to understand a team sport, you begin by looking at the team, then you look at the individual players.

I'm a Kansas City Royals fan. To understand their season so far, I look at the team statistics. Through yesterday, the Royals scored 101 runs and gave up 154 (league average runs scored and given up are 134). The Royals don't score much and give up a lot of runs. They don't really do anything well.

Looking at a course is a bit like looking at a team sport. First, you look at the course as a single thing, then you look leg-by-leg.

The picture below shows the red course I ran on the second day of the West Point race last weekend (with Peter's routes).

When I look at course setting, the first thing I do is look at the map and see how many different types of terrain the course uses. I compare that to how many different types of terrain I see on the map.

I see 3 types of terrain on the red course. Legs 1-3 and 6-10 are on big, rocky hillsides. Legs 4-7 are in flatter terrain. Legs 13-F are in a flatter area with lots of marshy areas and trails. So the course went through three distinct types of terrain.

It looks to me like the entire map has 4 types of terrain. The three we ran through and a terrain that I'd call super-steep, rocky hills. Look at the big hill south of 13.

The course went through 3 of the 4 terrain types. That's really good. That variety is one thing I like in a course. Using the 4th terrain might have been nice, but I'm not sure it was practical. As it was, the course was fairly long and the 4th terrain type is not the most interesting for orienteering (though a leg along the side of those super steep hills can be a huge challenge).

The next thing I look at is the variety in leg length and direction. I count the number of legs that are more than 2 times as long or less than 1/2 as long as the previous leg. I look at direction change by counting the number of times a runner would feel like they left a control by changing direction.

I'd count leg 2 as having length variety because it is less than 1/2 as long as the previous leg. I'd count leg 2 as having a direction change because I think an orienteer leaving the 1st control would have to make a sharp turn at the control to head toward 2.

By my count, the course has 6 legs with variety of length and 10 with direction changes. That tells me the course has some variety. Variety is good, I think.

I also look for long legs. Long legs can make a course more interesting because they often give you some interesting route choices and can reward an orienteer who is good at changing speed -- running most of the leg hard, then slowing down to take the control. I count the number of legs longer than 1 km and longer than 1.5 km.

The red course had three legs over 1 km (1, 4 and 7). That's pretty good. The red course didn't have any legs over 1.5 km.

If the Royals as a team don't score and give up a lot of runs, how would I describe the red course as a whole?

My short answer is "really good." The course had a lot of variety (terrain, leg length, direction changes) and a fair number of longer legs (but no extra-long legs).

The next thing to do to understand the Royals or the course would be to start to look at the indiviudal players and legs. That'll have to wait for another day.

posted by Michael | 6:46 PM



Red (M40) course at West Point with Peter Gagarin's routes. Click for higher resolution.

posted by Michael | 6:41 PM


Friday, May 06, 2005

Some night O' notes


1. A good lamp is key. I use an old Silva 10/20 watt halogen lamp. I bought it in 1987. It is, beyond any doubt, the best O' gear purchase I ever made. I don't know if anyone in the U.S. sells them. You can buy lamps at Compass Point Online.

2. Night O' technique is essentially the same as day O' technique except booms hurt more -- a lot more. Relocating at night is much harder than in the day. So, it pays to avoid booms.

3. Running at night feels a bit different. Distances seem longer. The speed feels faster.

4. When the controls are reflective, it can be easy to run hard fast into the control circle and just wave your lamp back and forth, looking for the reflection. Controls can be quite easy to see.

5. And despite what park police might think, "Night Orienteering Is Not a Crime."

posted by Michael | 8:59 PM


Thursday, May 05, 2005

One day, two countries


Mikkel Lund (from Denmark's national team) had a busy day Tuesday. He started with the middle distance World Cup race near London. Then he got on a plane and flew to Oslo for a park O' race. Two races in two different countries on the same day.

I think I've managed to orienteer in two states on the same day. The U.S. Champs in 1987 was on a map that was mostly in Rhode Island but had a little bit Connecticut.

I managed to orienteer in two countries on the same day. I ran a relay race called something like Grensekuriren in 1986 (?). The race started in Sweden and finished in Halden, Norway. I ran the leg that crossed the border for a team from Sandefjord.

Both of my experiences have been single races that stradle boundaries. Mikkel Lund's day was a lot more impressive.

posted by Michael | 7:45 PM


Wednesday, May 04, 2005



Peter wrote something a few days ago that gave me something to think about:

As I was coming back to #8 Katarina Smith punched in. Had a chance to watch her a bit, for even though she had different controls for 9, 10, and 11, they were close to mine. In case anyone is wondering why she does so well, I will say that she runs well (including uphill) and she orienteers well. That's usually a good combination. I asked her afterwards if she had been to the USA back in 1992 to a meet at Northfield, MA, which included the 1992 US Relay Champs. Yes, she had. It wasn't clear if she attributed all her success in O' to that trip, but I did look up the the names of the team of 10 Swedes who showed up that weekend, and they included Karolina Höjsgaard, Gunilla Svärd, and Jimmy Birklin, familiar names among the Swedish elite in the years since. I don't think we knew how good they were. And it's something (visits by some top foreign orienteers) that we should try to make happen more in the future.

A few top orienteers visiting the U.S. in the early/mid 1980s and I think those visits helped me. Just getting a chance to see those guys running, maybe exchange a few words, was inspiring. To be running through the forest at what seemed like a good pace and have Jorgen Martensson going flying gave me a sense of just how fast the top orienteers ran. Egil Iversen passed through my hometown on a cross country trip and spent a couple of nights in Lawrence. Having a chance to talk to one of the best in the world was great. I'm not sure I learned as much as I could (should) have, but I know that I felt motivated by talking with Iversen.

Peter wrote, "we should try to make [it] happen more in the future."

I couldn't agree more. With the dollar falling against the Euro, I'd bet it is relatively cheap for a European orienteer to get to the U.S. I know that several Scandinavian clubs have had winter training camps in the U.S. when travel has been relatively cheap. Just a couple of months ago Berndt Bjornsgaard was training with his club in Florida.

It might be worth the U.S. team putting a little effort into getting some top orienteers to visit. Spending some of the team's money to get a top elite orienteer to the U.S. might be a worthwhile investment.

posted by Michael | 6:36 PM



posted by Michael | 6:28 PM


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

West Point Sprint


I had a melt down on the red course at West Point on Saturday. I just wasn't paying attention to orienteering. After I got to 5, I stopped and went to the finish. DNF.

The afternoon sprint gave me a chance to redeem myself. Could get my act together and pay attention? It was nice to have a chance to put it all together on the same day as I'd had a melt down.

You can see the map with the course here. I'll upload the map with my routes later. I tried a few minutes ago and there was an upload error.

I had a decent sprint race. I didn't boom any controls and felt reasonably strong. I was very satisfied to be able to concentrate after having struggled so much in the morning. I also had a lot of fun.

I spent a few minutes looking at the splits.

I did relatively best on two legs: 2 and 9.

To 2 I didn't hesitate at all. I went straight to the road and through the field to the control. I think a lot of people either went straight or spent some time thinking about going straight.

To 9 I went below the cliffs. Maybe others went over the top and maybe that cost them some time.

I did relatively worst on two legs: 1 and 14.

To 1 I just ran slowly. In part this was a reaction to my horrible experience earlier. I conciously started at a relaxed pace. I also had a bit of trouble seeing the start triangle (though I knew the direction to start and probably could have started a bit faster).

To 14 I picked a good route and executed it well. I just didn't run fast enough. Or perhaps the difference is that others on the course picked up the pace on the long leg, while I just ran at my normal pace (the same pace I'd run all of the other legs except 1).

posted by Michael | 6:07 PM


Monday, May 02, 2005

Dealing with a long leg


From Matthew R.:

When you first see a good long leg, your head explodes.

Your mind goes through several stages when it sees a good long leg:

* Denial (This isn't happening to me!)
* Anger (Why is this happening to me?)
* Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if I don't have to do this long leg.)
* Depression (I've got to do this or I never finish. Let's get it over with...)
* Acceptance (Okay, I can do this.)

posted by Michael | 6:19 PM


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