Friday, October 31, 2008

Training in Hungary

Last week Boris, Sandra, and Kat went to Hungary for several days to train and race in relevant terrain for WOC 2009. It sounds like a great time, and here's a bit of what Kat had to say about it:

"This was the most organized training camp I have ever been to and it was extremely helpful in terms of preparing us for WOC. Thanks to the US Team for supporting us!!

Over the course of five days, we did two middle distance trainings, one sprint training, one route choice training, two long-distance races, and one middle-distance race. The trainings included controls, SI units, and even start times for some of them! As I said before, it was incredibly organized.

Boris has taken pictures of maps from training and racing, as well as two photos of the white forest. You can find them here.

You can also look at some other training maps and old maps of the WOC competition area on the WOC 2009 website.

My overall impression is that WOC in Hungary is going to be both very fun and very tough. It is obvious from the maps that strength on hills is necessary, but I think a lot of people (me included) underestimated the technical difficulty. The steepness, negative terrain, point features, and green all take some getting used to. And it is difficult for everyone! When I made my 10-minute mistake on Saturday, I saw three other women (from Finland, Denmark, and Sweden) also out searching for the control. I think this just goes to show that orienteering in Hungary is not trivial. That said, it seems to be the type of terrain that can be mastered given enough practice. I expect that by the time WOC comes around, everyone who has trained for it will be prepared!"