Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sprint Qualification: Team USA with a strong start. Ali Crocker to Final

Today's Sprint Qualification took place in the town of Forres, a town lying to the East of Inverness. The action started with the Women's heats with US runners Kseniya, Alex and Ali racing through the residential area around the town.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the crowd of spectators watching from the arena and also a couple that had official positions. Valerie was working her magic in the download tent and Sandy was out on the course, guarding a set of fence crossings that were created by stacking hay bales into a rough set of stairs. This spot was a great spot to spectate, as every heat had a long leg route choice going past her position. All in all, there was a great atmosphere for cheering on Team USA!

Kseniya, had the first start of the Americans, and she raced her course in 16:52, a performance that landed her in 29th place in heat 2. She said that she ran well, and was happy to have finished without any big mistakes. She was 3:21 behind the leader, Tove Alexandersson (SWE) and 1:37 seconds behind 15th position in heat 2.

 
First US finisher, first big smile

Next to start was Alex, running in heat 3. She had a time of 15:47, which was good enough for 21st place. She said that she did have a small error of running down a blind alley for a couple of seconds, but overall she was fairly happy with the run. Alex was 2:02 behind the winner in heat 3, Minna Kaupi (FIN) and a mere 34 seconds behind 15th position.

Alex and Ed 


Last of the women was Alison Crocker. She was one of the very last starters, which meant that when she finished, the annoucer, Per Forsberg could say with certainty that she was fast enough to make it through to the final! She finished in 6th position in heat 1, with a time of 13:40. Less than a minute behind the winner, Maya Alm (DEN). Ali was satisfied with her run and happy to qualify. This was her 6th WOC sprint qualification race and her 5th time making it through to the finals.

Ali compares notes with a runner from Hong Kong


There was only a short break in the action before the men's race commenced. Scotland apparently decided that things were far too pleasant, and as soon as the women finished running, a light rain started to fall. This meant that the US men, Ken, Greg, and Ethan were running in a light cool drizzle.

Ken finished 30th in heat 3, with a time of 15:29. 3:01 behind the leader Jerker Lysell (SWE) and 2:10 behind 15th spot. He was happy with his run and was greeted by a happy fan club including his very supportive daughters, Samantha and Elisa. Their opinion that Dad was still the best is a very popular one with this reporter as well. Ken narrowly edged out Canadian Robbie Anderson, who reportedly was suffering from a certain amount of gastric distress during the later part of the course and made a bee line for the port-a-potty as soon as he crossed the finish line.

Ken is one of the first to the finish


Next to the finish was Greg in heat 1. He finished 29th with a time of 14:32. The fastest time in his heat was the jaw-dropping 11:48 set by Yannick Michiels (BEL). Greg was 1:51 outside of qualifying and said that he was perhaps too amped up with the excitement of the race and the speed of using the SI Air. He ran right past the flag on control #2 without ever going to punch. Luckily he realized this and went back to correct it. Overall he thought he might have had 30 seconds of error and was still pretty excited to have just finished his first WOC race ever. Greg raced in a heat where running the expected winning time of 13 minutes would not have qualified for a spot in the final.

A slightly blurry Greg sprinting against Milos Nykodym (CZE)


Ethan was the last American out on the course. His finish sprint against Canadian Will Critchley created a very loud cheering spectacle in the arena. Ethan logged the fastest time of the men, finishing in 30th position in heat 2 in a time of 13:58. The winner in his heat Kristian Jones (GBR) ran 11:44. Ethan was 1:20 outside of qualification and he too was in a heat where merely running the expecting winning time would not have qualified you to make the final.

Sweatiest American of the day award goes to... Ethan!


Curious to see more? Take a look at this detailed page on the organizer's webpage which contains links to the maps and the results. 

Ali and Valerie at the download tent


Ali has qualified for the final, which will take place on Sunday. That race will bring her back to Forres and give her a chance to improve on her personal best 20th place finish in the sprint.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Scotland - WOC 2015: Start your engines!



Hello Dear Readers! What better way to welcome you to Scotland than to provide you with a picture of the beautiful countryside. I am posting this after I drove north to join Team USA in Inverness, for the World Orienteering Championships. Over the next several days, I will be acting as the team leader for Team USA and bringing you updates from the athletes and the arena as the races progress.

Gorgeous scenery, heading into the highlands


Team USA is here in Inverness poised and ready for the first competition, which kicks off tomorrow, Friday, July 31. For an overview of the WOC week, look no further than the incredible post over at World of O, where Jan Kocbach has compiled a bunch of resources that will keep you close to the action. I will highlight in particular the link for the official IOF onlinecoverage. It is possible to buy a single (10€) or a weeklong pass (18€) and watch video and GPS tracking for all the races. Furthermore, it will be possible to post on Attackpoint! forums to interact with your fellow spectators, just be fairly warned that very little of what tRicky posts is serious. 

Another wonderful link found in Jan's article takes you to a Team USA overview page. Click on the Athlete photos to read a bit more about each runner.

Friday’s race is the Sprint Qualification. The women's race starts at 18:00 local time (10 AM Pacific/11 AM Mountain/ 12 Noon Central/ and 1 PM Eastern ) the men's an hour later. The six runners representing Team USA and their start times are found below:

Men:
Ken Walker Jr. (CSU, QOC) 19:02
Greg Ahlswede (DVOA, Escondite(ESP) ) 19:17
Ethan Childs (GMOC) 19:33

Women:
Kseniya Popova (HVO) 18:05
Alexandra Jospe (CSU, Trent-O(ITA) ) 18:14
Alison Crocker (CSU, CROC) 18:33

Complete start lists are published here.

To reach the finals, a runner needs to finish in the top fifteen places in their qualification heat. For the Men there will be 3 heats of 42-43 runners per heat and for the Women there will be 3 heats with 35 runners in each. The qualification is predicted to have a 13 minute winning time. The course will have 10 meters of climb over 3.7k/3.4k  Men/Women and the map is 1:4000 scale with 2.5m contours.

A special highlight for tomorrow is that these races will be the first World Championships appearances for Greg Ahlswede and Kseniya Popova.

When cornered and asked for a quote, Greg said, "Months of diligent preparation, and I'm ready to perform to my potential." Kseniya reluctantly offered, "I'm really excited to be here. And that's it."

Wish them luck as they toe the line tomorrow and fight for a spot in the top fifteen.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Team USA hits the 2015 JK

Over Easter weekend, I joined a small crowd of North Americans among throngs of British orienteers (and quite a few elites from throughout Europe) for the JK, one of the largest orienteering events in the UK each year. This year there were 3,300 entrants, racing four times in four different venues.  I met up with Sam Saeger, Ross Smith, and Alison Campbell from the US Team.  The common theme for all these runners except me is that they either live in Europe or are traveling there for a long period of time - I chose to come on a weekend trip, for some more international race experience in a very competitive field, and a sneak peak at some of the UK terrain before I head to Scotland for the World Champs this August.  Probably not the best race approach for this weekend, but a very worthwhile experience from the longer-term view.

Friday (straight off a red-eye) was the sprint race, at Lancaster University.  The university had many canopies between connected courtyards, leading to some interesting route choices and potential traps. Even the part of the university with "simple" geometry was tricky thanks to the course setting, which kept the runners bouncing around like ping-pong balls, never with much of a chance to read ahead.  I didn't fare too well on the combination of no sleep and a tricky course, making many mistakes, but every race is a learning experience, and I was able to identify some underlying problems in my sprint technique that hopefully I can fix before I race the sprint at WOC.  

Saturday was a middle distance race, at Ulpha Park and Barrow Fell. The first thing that clued me in to the fact that this was no North American event was the 2km uphill walk to the arena from parking, on a very muddy, rugged, farm trail.  On top of that, we had another 1.6km uphill walk to the start. I no longer have pity for folks complaining about a 400m walk to the start at the next A-meet! The terrain was a mix of "normal" deciduous forest, with moss-covered rocks and next to no groundcover, and completely open Fell. This was cool to orienteer through, because you could see for miles, but the terrain was knobbly and technical, with a fair amount of rock detail, meaning you couldn't just blast away in the right direction. It was a pity that the F21 course only had a few controls up there, I was loving it.  Unfortunately my brain hadn't quite turned on, yet, and I had a few disastrous controls, losing something like 12 minutes. Ouch. 

The long distance was up next, at Bigland. They had the old map posted in the arena, so I could see that we would get more open Fell running, which was really exciting. The area was totally socked in by fog when I started, which meant that the navigation got extra tricky on top of the fell, but with numerous stone wall crossings, it was hard to get too lost. The stone walls here are a thing of art - I'm used to decrepit New England stone walls that are sometimes indistinguishable from a linear rock pile - these walls are serious business here, needing multi-runged ladders to cross. The map had put a purple crossing point symbol everywhere there was a crossing style, making it easier to find the crossing points. Sometimes the fields were empty, sometimes there was a herd of cows or the occasional sheep, you never really knew until you got there. Always an adventure.

After the fell, the women's course dropped into a very technical rocky hillside. This felt similar to West Point in many regards, including long traverses through unmapped rockfields and gratuitous climbs over cliffs, but it led to some very fun orienteering! I had some company on and off, and was finding that I could run away from these girls on the uphills, but they were better in the technical stuff. With only 1 or 2 long legs, the long had the feel of an extended middle, which is not really my forte. Yet. Nothing like working on those weaknesses! I had been sort of looking forward to stretching it out on some of the long legs, but I guess that's not the style of course setting around here, and one purpose of the trip was to learn to adapt to that.

The final race of the weekend was the JK Trophy Relay, held at Graithwaite, a private estate whose property has a lovely map.  After more parking in a muddy field full of sheep, you traipse back toward the arena on a 1.5km muddy logging trail, and the arena was the perfect setup with a hillside for standing on to spectate and multiple visible controls on the opposing hillside in the open forest. Unfortunately, there was a very wet marsh between these two hillsides, and that marsh was the start and finish for the relays. I watched so many kids lose their shoes trying to finish that race, but luckily mine stayed on.

I didn't have a relay, as the only female CSU runner there, but I put up an advertisement on the board at enquiries that I was looking for a team, and it turned out that two junior women on the Irish team were short a runner, so we joined forces in the elite ladies' race, with me on third leg.  It was pretty impressive to watch such a big relay go off, and the "mini" relay for the under-14 juniors was pretty adorable too.  By the time my runner tagged me, the marsh was an absolute mud bath, and the forest was swarming with runners going in every direction.  So much barely controlled chaos, I love it! Thanks to the fantastic visibility in this forest, the navigation was pretty straightfoward, and I made a pretty clean run, except for an error on a control near the end where the obvious thing was to climb a hill and I didn't want to.  I survived the mud pit of a run-in with both shoes, and we were the 16th elite women's team, which isn't bad for two juniors and an American!

Overall, this was a really great weekend.  The races are so well run, and the courses so well set, that even when I had a crappy race, I had a great time in the terrain.  Everyone I met was incredibly open and friendly, adding smiles to an already great weekend.  I may not have achieved the WRE goals I had hoped for, but the experience of racing against the best out there can't be substituted, and I feel just that much more ready to face off against them again in Scotland after a summer of good training with CSU!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Ski Orienteering World Champs!

The U.S. ski-o team is headed to Norway, for the 2015 World Ski Orienteering Championships.  We'll be arriving in ones and twos over the weekend until everyone finally gathers in our tiny little Norwegian cabins in the woods by Monday.

The racing action starts Tuesday with a sprint relay! Get loads more information from the website.

Monday: Model event
Tuesday: Sprint relay (teams of one man and one women, each doing 3 laps and tagging off in between)
Wednesday: Sprint
Thursday: Long
Friday: rest day
Saturday: Middle
Sunday: Relay

The men's team is Ari Ofsevit (CSU), Adrian Owens (GMOC), and Greg Walker (Truckee OC).  The women's team is Stina Bridgeman (ROC), Alexandra Jospe (CSU), and Anna Voegele (Truckee OC). The junior team is Michael Laraia (MNOC), Kestrel Owens (GMOC), and Melanie Serguiev (GMOC).  The team will be guided by the fearless Cristina Luis.

To follow the races live, navigate to the live button on the website, or click here. Theoretically, there will be video, GPS streaming, and live results and splits!

(exciting ski-o photo from 2013 - team members Melanie, Anna, Alex, and Stina pictured)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pawtuckaway camping weekend

The other weekend, if you happened to be at Pawtuckaway state park, you might have noticed a whole lot of orienteers congregating in the main pavilion and then dashing off into the forest.  Among these orienteers were a couple Team members - Alex Jospe, Kseniya Popova, Isabel Bryant, Ethan Childs, Brendan Shields, and Ian Smith, to name a few.  The Pawtuckaway Camping weekend is an annual event hosted by Up North Orienteers (UNO), and it's a really wonderful weekend.  On the surface, it's a low key event where you can hang out with your friends, go for a walk in the woods, paddle your canoe, and go swimming.  But enter the forest, and there's some cut-throat orienteering, both during the day and again during the "Wicked Hahd Night-o"!  

Day 1 course.

The daytime scene is pretty chill.  Copy your own courses onto the beautifully-printed offset maps, and then head out to confront the house-sized boulders and man-eating swamps.  The forest is a wonderful mix of open hardwoods and old-growth pine, leading to some pretty quick per-km times if you know where you're going.  

Here's a map of the longest course on day 2. And here's a map of the WHNO.  


Sunset was beautiful, and was followed with a delicious potluck dinner, and then both a Vampire-o (for the young'ns), and the wicked hard night-o.

Results for the weekend.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

WUOC Wrap-up

The last few days have been quite busy, so I'll summarize the end of WUOC with a single post.

The sprint was the day after the long. The first few controls of the courses were in the zoo that had a lot of out-of-bounds. We weren't able to appreciate any of the animals as we ran by them, but it seems like a nice place to go back and visit at a leisurely pace. There was then one long leg with the biggest route choice of the race. It seems that the southern route that cuts out of the zoo and then runs along the road for a while instead of going through the forest to get out of the zoo was the faster choice. After that, there were some controls in the city which involved small route choice decisions (left or right around the block) plus a slog up a long hill near the end to finish off the course. Although the courses were both shorter than the sprint relay (2 km for the women, 2.5 km for the men), the climb and lack of being able to go straight put the winning times in the right range. The best American woman's result was Tori, who ended in 36th place, 3:18 behind the winner. For the men, Charlie was the fastest, coming in 89th, 5:35 behind the winner.

The following day was the middle, where Giacomo made his first appearance of the competition. Despite having to cope with his injured leg, he had the fastest time for the American men, coming in 84th, 13:04 behind the leader. He was happy to be able to get out in the woods again, but is looking forward to two years from now when he'll be able to compete uninjured. Alison was the top American woman, coming in 53rd. She was unhappy with some of her race, feeling like she was a bit out of control at times. She still managed to be only 30% behind the winner, pretty consistent with her results from the sprint and long. The middle terrain was difficult because it was almost completely flat (there was less than half the amount of climb as the sprint) so vegetation boundaries as well as a series of wet ditches systems with lots of potential for parallel errors were the main features to use to navigate. This course was a mix of open woods with dense green sections. The best routes were typically straight - take a compass bearing and head there. This also meant that most runners had very fast time/km. It was cool to see the top athletes running so fast through the woods. We enjoyed how easy it was to run through part of the forest because it was open and well-kept, even though there  parts of the race where it was quite difficult to hit the controls perfectly inside the circle.

The relay was held in the same location as the middle. For the women, Tori led off and stuck with one of the front packs until control 11 where they got away from her on a long leg. She then made a small parallel error but was able to come back with a strong finish. Alison followed with another strong run, and McKenzie anchored the team into a 20th place finish. All three runners had faster runs than the previous day for a similar distance. On the men's side, the team of Charlie followed by Giacomo followed by Hans ended in 25th. Charlie was 10 minutes faster than the previous day with a course only 0.1 km shorter.  The other two were both faster than they were in the middle as well. Jake and Ken were also able to compete running the first two legs of a second American team.  Although he made a few mistakes, Jake felt like he got into a good flow for many parts of his race.

WUOC 2014 is now over, and we're all home or on the way. We really enjoyed the atmosphere at the meet, specifically the fact that all the athletes were staying and eating in the same spot, which really helped us get to know some of the other teams better. We also enjoyed the races, and the variety of different terrain types made each race interesting and challenged us in new ways. We all gained valuable racing experience which will help us in the future. See you in 2 years!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WUOC Long

Day 3 of WUOC featured the long. The weather was perfect for running - cloudy and a bit cool. The terrain was mostly open woods in an area with patches of gnarly green and occasional open areas, surrounded by a large network of trails. All of this was in an area with steep hills with lots of reentrants leading to an unfortunate amount of climb on the courses. 


Control on warm-up map
The American line-up consisted of Jacob Grant, James O'Keefe, Hans Sitarz, and Charles Whitaker for the men and Tori Borish, Alison Campbell, and McKenzie Hudgins for the women.

The best performance of the day was Alison Campbell's 52nd place for the women. She was trying to not push herself too hard today so her legs would be feeling strong for later runs this week. Her goal was a solid, clean race, and that's exactly what she had! The plan of focusing on being clean instead of fast served her well today as she picked energy conserving routes, which in this steep terrain often turned out to be the best choice. 

Alison racing Canadian Tori in the finish shoot
Tori Borish was the next fastest woman, also with a goal of a clean, solid race, which she mostly managed except for a couple minutes lost while fighting through some dense vegetation that she probably should have avoided. McKenzie also had a solid run, and although she didn't quite make her goal of under 2 hours, she was only a few minutes off and reasonably happy with her run. The men ranged from feeling ok about their runs to remembering why they liked shorter distances better, especially in such physical terrain. The men's course was 12.4 km with 680 meters of climb, and the first half of their course was the same as the first 70% of the women's course, but they then had an additional long loop including two long legs. The main sentiment post race is that the race was long, but a good eye-opener to orienteering at the elite level.


Since today was a long day for everyone and the weather wasn't meant to be great, most athletes not racing the long stayed at the dorms to rest up. Among these was Giacomo, who is still resting his legs so he'll be able to run the middle on Friday. Since this is World University Champs, all of us athletes are still students, and unfortunately that sometimes doesn't stop even during the summer, as was evidenced by Giacomo spending the day writing his thesis. Thankfully, he now has a chance to take a bit of a break from that and he and the West Point students are off at the movie theater 5-10 minutes away from our accommodation. This is also the reason that I can't provide more details about each of the guys' individual races since they are not around for questioning.

Random anecdote of the day: the laundry adventure. The only washing machine in our building is in the basement, and you have to go get a key and insert that in the washing machine to use it. James went downstairs to put laundry in, and being used to the US where we actually have driers, when he found dry clothes waiting inside an unused machine, he naturally assumed the clothes had already been washed and dried. James therefore took the Japanese team's laundry out of the washing machine and put our team's laundry in. However, it turns out that the Japanese team had put laundry in the machine but not turned in on yet. They approached some of us at dinner, very apologetic that we had used their laundry machine. We therefore wrote them an apology letter using the calligraphy set James had brought with him. No wonder his suitcase was so big... but everything has gotten put to good use!

On to the sprint tomorrow in the zoo!


Summary of WUOC Long

Women:
1. Sund Goril Ronning (Norway) 68:06
2. Aebi Bettina (Switzerland) 72:29
3. Knapov√° Jana (Czech Republic) 72:52
18. Emily Kemp (Canada) 78:05
52. Alison Campbell (USA) 92:07
63. Tori Borish (USA) 100:10
75. Tori Owen (Canada) 110:08
83. McKenzie Hudgins (USA) 126:10

Men:
1. Frederic Tranchand (France) 79:14
2. Matthias Kyburz (Switzerland) 81:03
3. Andreas Kyburz (Switzerland) 82:30
66. Eric Kemp (Canada) 109:12
69. Graeme Rennie (Canada) 111:56
84. James O'Keefe (USA) 139:47
85. Charles Whitaker (USA) 142:17
86. Hans Sitarz (USA) 152:44
87. Jacob Grant (USA) 164:54

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

WUOC Sprint Mixed Relay

WUOC Sprint Relay:



It's Day 2 and the first WUOC 2014 medals have already been awarded here in the Czech Republic! In the Sprint Relay, staged around the town of Kromeriz, Switzerland takes the gold after leading the pack for almost the entirety of the competition. Quite an impressive team the one composed by Jenzer, Hubmann, Gross and Kyburz, with both of the men already part this year's Swiss gold at WOC 2014 - the first WOC-official Sprint orienteering relay in history. About a minute behind, Sweden takes second place, and, only after quite an intense and breathtaking battle with Norway and especially the strong relay from France, it's the home-team of the Czech Republic to secure the bronze. Team USA runs well and earns the 22nd place, +12.50 minutes behind Switzerland.




But before heading to sleep and turning our attention to tomorrow's tough Long Course, let's liger on some fun details! 




Technically quite an easy terrain today for our university athletes, and with no climb on the course the race remained really fast-paced and very physical all throughout. A large part of the map was covering the nearby city-park, a mostly open area with lakes and other water features dictating the main route-choices. In the second part of the courses, instead, the athletes faced some city running with small route-choices in the blocks around the main square. Fun and spectacular for both devoted fans and passerby's, the main technical difficulties for the runners were created by some interesting forkings, with the forked controls often quite far from each other, adding some confusion when picking which pack to follow. 




North America celebrates another great performance by Emily Kemp, able to stick around with Switzerland and Sweden for most of the race, and lose a bit of terrain only at the end, finishing just 38 seconds from the lead. But Team USA also put up a good fight, and it was fun to watch especially Tori (+1.53 min behind Switzerland) close our first leg in 16th place, beating teams like Spain and Italy (which will then close 9th and 10th after 4 legs) and remaining within sight of strong teams like Great Britain, Poland and Estonia. Congrats to Tori! 




Our other runners also performed quite well: Jake recovered from a difficult start under the pressure from all the other runner's company with an impeccable second half of the race, Alison was clean and smart, slightly tricked only by the long route-choice around the lake, and Charles finished it off with a nice run, strong of his past experience running these important types of competitions and able to keep up the focus and speed all the way to the finish line.




Also spectating was quite fun, with me, Mckenzie, Ken and Hans following our team around the square, taking some pics with the other teams, and enjoying the atmosphere in the WUOC arena. 


Only negative note today was the main-dish at dinner: looked a lot like chicken fingers and potatoes form afar (#awesome), only to reveal its true vegetable nature of fried cauliflower. Ketchup, though, did help us finish the plate.

Mixed Relay Recap:

1st Switzerland
2nd Sweden
3rd Czech Republic
17th Canada
22nd USA



Good luck to everyone running the Long tomorrow!

Results and details will follow sometimes afterwards; )

DISCLAIMER: google+ is going crazy on my pc trying to translate things from Czech and capitalizing / miss-spelling random things on our post. i guess extra capital letters never hurt nobody ...

WUOC 2014 Opening Ceremony

Here Giac reporting from Olomouc, Czech Republic:

WUOC 2014 has really begun tonight after the official Opening Ceremony in the city Center. There was no traditional parading across the streets here this time, and formalities started with all the teams seated in the internal courtyard of one of the university central buildings once a military complex. Instead all the teams paraded on and off the stage, saluting the crowd as they passed the spotlight of an otherwise dark quad. Only soft and intermittent rain-showers tonight, but the organizers were ready to provide small plastic ponchos for everyone, red, white and blue like the colors of the home team. Our Japanese friends and neighbors made mock white and red poke-balls out of the containers, amusing everyone in sight. There was a local choir singing the Czech anthem, and also the anthem (in latin) of the FISU, the international federation in charge of all university sports. Before the ceremonial and important promises of fair-play, fairness and sportsmanship by athletes and judges, the local dance company performed a small show centered on red-dressed girls dancing around macho soldiers. Our cadets on the team have very similar gear in their suitcases, ready for use. Could they have danced even smoother? The best part of it all though, was a short light show on the side of the building, using the windows and facade details as backgrounds to a orienteering-themed game of lights and colors. Home-made medals were celebrated and previewed, unique pieces made by a local Winter Olympic Medalist apparently also very talented in molding metals. The medals have contours and a compass-needle, the perfect design for honoring the winner this week. 

Things are ready here in Olomouc, and tomorrow the fight for the medals begins.

Good luck to Team USA's Sprint Relay Team competing in the afternoon!






Sunday, August 10, 2014

World University Team starts at WUOC 2014



The World University Team has arrived at WUOC in the Czech Republic. The team is made up of:

Tori Borish (COC)
Alison Campbell (DVOA/Edinburgh University OC, Heriot-Watt University)
McKenzie Hudgins (USMAOC)
Giacomo Barbone (CSU)
Jacob Grant (USMAOC)
James O'Keefe (USMAOC)
Hans Sitarz (USMAOC)
Charles Whitaker (USMAOC)
Team Leader: Ian Jones






back LtoR - Jacob, James, Giacomo, Charles, Hans, Ian. Front LtoR - Tori, McKenzie, Alison


We have been training since Saturday on the middle, long and then a sprint relay today. For a middle and relay training description please see Alison's Blog post about it (theacrace.blogspot.com). The team then went to the Long distance model map this morning which hopefully Alison will write more about in the next day or so. The main event of today though was the practice Sprint Relay event. So this format is new which involves a 4 person-mixed team running a forked sprint course. At WUOC the format is female-male-famale-male. The course today was around 2km, with an expected winning time of 8-10mins per leg. We entered one official team who ended up placing 15th (Tori Borish, Jacob Grant, Alison Campbell, Charles Whitaker), with a time of 41:23 only 5:31 off the winner. The mixed team (Rosalind Hussey of Ireland, James O'Keefe, McKenzie Hudgins, Hans Sitarz) placing 28th with a time of 45:04, 9:51 off the winner. Most teams however were using this as a learning experience as many of us have not run a sprint relay before. We learnt a lot and are excited for the real sprint relay on Tuesday.


Here are some photos from the day and some quotes from the team:

Ken: "Simple course, favored fast runners."






Charles:

"Awesome experience as a team to exemplify unity and patriotism as we took on our newest competition"






Tori:

"It was fun to finally race this new format. There were battles for punching"










Alison:

"A nice warmup to racing and feeling confident for the week ahead of us"





Jake:

"Short and sweet, the best kind of course"










Giacomo:

"This Harvard business was a mistake... next year I'm applying to West Point! #team-matelove"







Hans:

"Today built confidence and comradry amongst the team"

McKenzie @11pm:

"zzzzzzzzzzzz...."