Sunday, July 27, 2008

Big Team at O-Ringen

Americans represented with strong numbers at the World Cup events last week. Three WC races were held in conjunction with O-Ringen, and we had 6 women and 4 men take part. Here are the ladies (Viktoria, Hillary, Kat, Sandra, Ali, and Sam) after Tuesday's race, the sprint:

The setting for the sprint was spectacular. The course started many contour lines up a ski slope and traversed the open slope for several controls, fully viewable by the hundreds of spectators. It was hard to capture on camera, but if you look very carefully you can see five controls in this picture:

The finishers were greeted by young fans looking for autographs:

We had some very strong results in the sprint, with great runs especially by Hillary and Sandra. They were 35th and 38th, respectively, earning some coveted World Cup points!

WOC Recap

It's been a very busy month for the US Team, with a tough World Cup schedule immediately following the World Champs. And not much wi-fi! Hopefully the drought wasn't too painful. Here's a recap of results from WOC:

Sprint Qual:
A. Sandra- MP
B. Hillary- 25th
C. Sam- MP

A. Eddie- 35th
B. Ross- 25th
C. Eric- MP

Long Qual:
A. Sam- 17th
B. Hillary- 25th
C. Sandra- 18th

A. Eric- 20th
B. Ross- 31st
C. Clem- 31st

Middle Qual:
A. Pavlina- 21st
B. Viktoria- 29th
C. Sandra- 20th

A. Clem- 33rd
B. Wyatt- 34th
C. Eddie- 31st

Women- 21st (ahead of Canada)
Men- 26th (almost...)

You can check out all the results in detail on the WOC site.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Eddie crushes it!

Great run by Eric, and another by Eddie, who came in just ahead of
Wil. Here they are drawing their routes.

Sam and Sandra are in!

Sam had a very good run but busted her ankle at number 11. Sandra's
back now and sent Hilly off ahead of Denmark, Japan and Austria. Here
is Sandra after finishing, kissing some Swiss guy.

And they're off!

The women have started and Sam is in the middle of the pack. I missed
getting a shot of Sam ron the phone before she started, so instead
please enjoy this view of adoring fans.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Middle Qual Pics

I bet you're all tired of seeing pictures of people smiling, or running, or otherwise looking good for the camera. So here are some from the middle qual that capture some of the Team in true character.

Viktoria at the start of the middle qual:

Pavlina waiting to start:
Eddie's back, waiting to start:

Also, be sure to check out photos by Wil Smith and Holger Hott on Wil's page.

Relay Tomorrow!

It's Saturday night, which means that WOC is coming to a close - but not before the most exciting event of the week, the Relay.

Leading off for the women tomorrow is Sam, followed by Sandra and Hillary. For the men we have Eric, Eddie, and Ross. You can follow all of the action online once again at the Online Center. You can also see who else will be running in the startlists for men and for women. The women start at 9am local time (3am EDT) and the men at 11:30am (5:30am EDT).

The relay is fun to watch, of course, but it's also a serious competition. And one of our serious goals is to beat Canada, our friendly rivals.

Luckily for us, the Canadians just keep sending them younger and younger:

Middle Qual Maps

The maps from the Middle Qual races Thursday morning are up here, as well as complete results for the men and for the women.

Men's A map:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

They're All In!

A really wet day today and it sounds like the terrain was quite tough.
Evrrone is finished, some quote humbled... Here is Wyatt, fresh from
the woods after his rookie WOC race.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What else do we eat?

Our diets here in the Czech Republic have not been limited to beige and brown food. Here, Wyatt demonstrates the eagerness one should have before consuming a donut:
Ice cream is, of course, a no-brainer.

There is no shortage of locations for calories of the liquid variety. One that we haven't actually visited yet is this airplane/bar:

Other than that, we've managed just fine with the ambiguous meat and the still water that's actually just less-fizzy fizzy water.

Middle Madness Tomorrow

Both the middle quali and final take place tomorrow, and Team USA will be back at it with three + three. Start times for the quali in local (EDT + 6):

Clem- 9:32
Viktoria- 9:47
Pavlina- 9:53
Eddie- 10:00
Sandra- 10:27
Wyatt- 10:36

You can still keep up with the races online at the WOC Online Center, and there will be an update or two from the event to the blog.

What kind of race will it be tomorrow? Check out the model map:

Beautiful People

A bit overdue, a glimpse of some of us before the long quali, starting with Sandra warming up:

Clem waiting at the start:

Hillary and Canadian Charlotte MacNaughton waiting at the start:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"It was frustrating"

All the men are in now. Here's Eric at the finish, he's sitting at
20th now.

Women are all in

The women (and Clem) are in the finish area, with Sandra and Sam
unfortunately a little shy of qualifying. Still waiting for Eric and
Ross. Pictures later.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tomorrow's starts

Team USA's long distance qual mastery begins at 9:32 local time (3:32 EDT):

Clem- 9:32
Hillary- 9:45
Sam- 10:03
Sandra- 10:09
Ross- 10:14
Eric- 10:26

Startlist for the men and the women.

Once again there will be live coverage at the WOC Center website. Go USA go!

Different Strokes

Some people prepare for big races by doing a lot of visualization exercises, some by getting a massage, and others by listening to pump-me-up music.

Sandra goes for a morning jog... and logs it on AP really early:
Hillary looks at lots and lots of maps:
And Clem... well, you'll just have to watch:

What are we eating?

The food at the accommodations is described by various members of the team as "passable", "pretty okay", and "a six out of ten". It usually looks a lot like this:
Mmmm, beige and brown.

Going the Distance

Most of the Team members running the Long quali tomorrow spent the morning on the model map. Take a look:

The general impression was that this map was quite an improvement over the areas where the team had trained earlier in the week. The mapping was accurate, vegetation especially, and the woods were faster than other areas. The general mood is calm and positive!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sprint Qual Wrap-Up

Confirmed results are available from the Sprint Qual for the men and for the women. You can also see all of the maps.

Pictures later!

Solid run for Ross!

This is Ross' first WOC. Here he is just after his debut race, in
which he finished 25th, about 40s back from qualifying. Nice work, Ross!

The women are in

Rough morning for the women. Hillary with one bad control, Sam with a
mispunch, and Sandra missed a control. On the upside, now the sun is
out. Time to cheer on the men.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ready to Sprint - the Videographic Evidence

Each of the men running the sprint today had their own thoughts and ways to prepare for the races.

Now, for the first time, and exclusively from Team USA: an insider's view of their vital preparation.

Ready to Rock - the Photographic Evidence

Sam and Hill on the sprint model, preparing to rock:

Eddie says, "Yeah, we can rock the sprint."
Ross: "Yeah, I rock."
Sandra shows us what rockin' looks like:

Are you psyched yet? You should be.

Sprint Prep

Tomorrow is Sprint Day, with the qualification race in the morning and the final in the evening. It should be a busy day, with no time for our sprinters to lose sleep between the events.

This afternoon the Team visited the model, which was on the edge of the embargoed competition area for tomorrow's final in the center of Olomouc. It should be a good example of the kind of mapping and features we should see tomorrow:
The quali is in Prostějov, about a 25 min drive from the accommodations. The women's race starts at 9:30am and the men's at 10:30am local time (EDT is -6 hours). Team USA start times:

Hillary- 9:32
Sandra- 9:39
Samantha- 9:49
Eddie- 10:34
Eric- 10:44
Ross- 11:03

You can keep up with the races on the WOC 2008 site on the online results page, which will have times from radio controls, commentary, and results. Yeah, it's in the middle of the night for you North Americans, but all the real fans will be there.

Wish us luck, skill, and speed!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Event Cheat Sheet

Just in time to study up before the first event (Sprint on Sunday), here's your "who's racing what" cheat sheet:

Sprint (Qualification and Final on Sunday, July 13)
Women - Samantha, Sandra, Hillary
Men - Eric, Ross, Eddie

Long (Q on Tuesday, July 15, F on Saturday, July 19)
Women - Sandra, Samantha, Hillary
Men - Eric, Ross, Clem

Middle (Q and F on Thursday, July 17)
Women - Sandra, Pavlina, Viktoria
Men - Eddie, Wyatt, Clem

Relay (Sunday, July 20)
Women - Samantha, Sandra, Hillary
Men - Eric, Eddie, Ross

Beat Canada Training

One of the goals of the Team at this year's WOC is to beat Canada in the relay. Of course we want Canada to do well (they're such a nice bunch of folks) but we just want to do better.

We did some relay preparation training today with a few short, forked loops on relay relevant terrain, courses set by Sandra. Each runner had two loops and there were two versions of each loop. The result was some fast and fun head-to-head competition.

Here's what one of the sets of loops looked like on the 1:15000 map west of Olomouc:

The first mini-mass start, complete with starting lanes:
Ross and Eddie warming up:
Cristina, Hillary, and Sam chilling after some running:

Joe hiding in the pit - the last control - with Evalin camouflaged.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Do I see sexy?

For your viewing pleasure, Clem and Sandra model the newly unveiled Team USA threads:

Yeah, that's right. Hot.

"Totally wicked cool!"

Sandra described today's sprint training as "totally wicked cool!" We ran around Brno, which was filled with people enjoying the lunch hour. Here's the map:

Our changing room/staging area was a lovely park bench:

And after the run the three sprint ladies discussed their routes:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Middle distance training

On our way home in the car, we took this picture of our middle
distance training with Cristina's iPhone and sent it to the blog. We'll expect to do this during the races to give you up to the minute updates (with photos!). It
was worth the long drive today to get in some middle relevant terrain. All
is well here!

Eddie has arrived!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Holy messy forest, batman!

We expected scrappy hillsides with lots of rides, slash, and... dot knolls? The Team trained today on some long-relevant terrain and it was simply Botticellicious.

Everyone handled the rain and the new terrain well, despite the rain and the age of the map (which was definitely starting to show). What did people learn? Yellow is hard to see in the terrain, green can be bad, and the knolls... are best ignored.

Here's Hillary staying dry after her run, with some Czech woods in the background:

Sam and Sandra finishing up:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday Monday

Today Eric and Cristina joined the rest of the team in Olomouc, but not before sneaking in an early run in Vienna. The accommodations at the university are pleasant, except that we are on the 5th floor of our building. This is not a big problem, at least now while everyone is fresh and has a lot of bounce in their step. Fortunately, everyone who qualifies for a final will get carried up the stairs by various unnamed volunteers. How's that for motivation?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Make way for the team

Who said Sunday is for resting? Today four members of the 2008 WOC Team (and two officials) arrived and in Vienna, Austria, most after a full day (or more) of traveling. Everyone arrived more or less on time and with all their luggage. Bonus.

Sam, Hillary, Sandra, and Leif headed off to Olomouc and arrived late in the night. Eric and Cristina stayed in Vienna and also arrived at their accommodations late, so no training for anybody today.