Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our fearless leaders

WOC 2011 is over. We cheered, we laughed, we gasped in horror at the mistakes shown on the big screen. There were some very fine moments from Team USA, and there were some moments that won't illicit any smiles for a while. But it all went quite smoothly in large part because of the team's two fantastic team leaders, Beatrice and Sandra!

Directing a team of nine athletes at the World Champs is not a vacation - it's exhausting! (Especially with this bunch!) Team USA appreciates all of the work that Beatrice and Sandra did to prepare for leading the time, and all of their tireless efforts throughout the competition. Thank you!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Men's relay - and they're off!

Ross is off on the first leg of the men's relay!

Added: Ross is in and has handed off to Jordan!

Added: Jordan is in but Canada has taken a small lead. Sergei is chasing down Will Smith on the last leg.

Added: Sergei is in, just ahead of Will from Canada!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sam hands over to Ali in 11th

Great run for Sam on the first leg of the relay! Here she is, running over the bridge to hand off to Ali.

Added: Ali has handed off to Alex for the last leg!

Added 2: Alex is in!

Sam says, "It was really technical but exhilarating to run with with all the other women!"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, August 19, 2011

WOC Relay Tomorrow

Tomorrow, August 20, is the final day of WOC 2011 in France. The competitions will conclude with the most exciting race of them all - the relay. The men and women each run three legs, about 3.9-4.2km each for the women and 5.4-5.8km for the men.

The US Teams are as follows:

1. Samantha Saeger
2. Alison Crocker
3. Alex Jospe

1. Ross Smith
2. Jordan Laughlin
3. Sergei Zhyk

Last year, the US women finished 19th and the men 28th.

Go Team USA!!

Middle Final Recap

Today was the long-awaited middle distance race. We wondered what the final would be like after the surprisingly less technical qualification course and most were not disappointed - this was tricky orienteering! In fact, all of the women in today's race made mistakes, including the winner, Helena Jansson of Sweden. Helena ran the course in 33:10, while our own Ali Crocker finished 42nd, in 51:15, with a couple of good names behind her. Ali says she had a mistake in the beginning and one near the end, but it's also clear that she had a great middle of the course. Luckily her hamstring is doing fine after the long and we're all confident that she'll be ready for leg two of the relay tomorrow!

Here's today's map:

For a good look at the terrain you can follow along with the women's course with this headcam + map 3D Rerun from WorldOfO.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Middle Distance Final tomorrow

Tomorrow (Friday) is the Middle Final and once again Ali will be running for Team USA, having qualified earlier in the week. Her start time is 14:19 local time, which is 8:19am on the East coast. You can follow along online at, which includes streaming radio, live videos, splits times, and GPS.

Photo by Eddie Bergeron

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Long final - tough stuff!

Today was the Long Final, and as expected the course was long and tough and, well, long. Ali was our one runner today and she was doing it on tired legs from the sprints yesterday. Unfortunately, though she visited all of the controls, in order, and without any navigational disasters, she forgot to punch at one of the water controls and was disqualified. A tough day, but now she's already looking forward to the Middle Final and the Relay, as are the rest of Team USA!

Here's a panoramic from the arena today:

You can see the map for the women's course or follow along with the GPS tracking online.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Video: Excitement in the arena!

Spectating at an orienteering event is often an activity lacking in excitement. You can't tell what's going on out on the course and you just get a brief glimpse of the runners as they come through. It often looks a bit like this:

Photo: Orienteering fans "spectating" at a control. No runners actually punched this control.

Enter the arena. With a good arena and modern production technology event organizers can make it really exciting to be on scene. At today's Sprint Final fans in the arena could see runners start, finish, and punch two spectator controls, PLUS there was a jumbo screen for more action caught on camera throughout the course. There were live announcers giving updates continuously, noisy fans from all over the world, and constant activity, with runners starting every 1 minute. With two radio controls and a fastest-last start order we were all able to see the race unfold and feel like we were in the middle of it. For a quick taste, here's a video of Ali at the start:

Ali at the start WOC 2011 Sprint Final from Cristina Luis on Vimeo.

It's an exciting place to be!

We've had a great WOC week so far, but there's still a lot left - two more finals and the relay!

The team really appreciates all of the support from fans at home and here in France. Keep posting those comments!

Video: Sam and Ali after the Sprint Final

Sam and Ali (and all of the other best sprinters in the world) were in the quarantine area for hours and hours today, both before and after their race. Luckily we were able to catch up with them right after they exited the quarantine area to ask them how they felt about their runs. Check it out!

I should point out also that Ali is one of only four runners at WOC this year to qualify for all three finals!  Go Ali!

Ali 27th & Sam 38th in Sprint!

A best ever American finish for Ali today, 27th! And also an awesome result for Sam, the 38th best sprinter in the world!

Great day for Team USA!

Photos by Dave Yee.

Here's the map of the women's course, part 1 and part 2.

Panoramic photo of the arena

From the arena you can see start, finish, two controls and a big screen. The atmosphere is exciting, especially when a home favorite comes up! Here's a panoramic:

Live from the arena

The sprint final is in Chambery, and it looks tricky! Can't wait to see the map and how the runners handle it. Here's a photo from the start/finish arena showing a neat control location.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Video: Ali after sprint qual

And another vid, this one of a quick chat with Ali after her qualifying run.

There are a lot more pictures and videos to come, but they'll have to wait until after the Final!

Video: Sam after sprint qual

Here's a video from a quick conversation with Sam after her qualifying 7th place finish in the sprint qual.

Sam's running in the final this afternoon, which you should be able to watch here.

Sam and Ali qualify in sprint!

Samantha Saeger running hard on the way to a spot in the sprint finals! Photo by Greg Walker

Tough races today in downtown Aix-les-Bains, but both Sam and Ali safely qualified for the finals! So hot right now!

The Canadians also had two qualifiers, Louise Oram and Will Critchley.

Location:Chemin des Bateliers,Aix-les-Bains,Frankrike

Monday, August 15, 2011

Interesting stuff on the interwebs

There are lots of interesting maps and videos concerning WOC floating around the internet. You can find most of them at WorldOfO, but here's a sampling:

See what the terrain looks like "in real life" with this headcam video with map from Long Qual. There's also one for the Middle Q.

See the maps and the winners' routes for all of the races so far.

WorldOfO also has some a page for each country with photos of runners. See the USA page here.

Finish Chute videos from Middle Q

Get a taste for the excitement in the arena as North American orienteers finish their courses! Barb Bryant has some great finish chute videos so you live vicariously through the fans on scene.


WOC 2011 08 14 Ali Crocker in the finish chute from Barb Bryant on Vimeo.

Also see Hannah, Alex and Canadians Louise Oram (who also qualified for the final) and Carol Ross.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Middle Distance Qualification Results

Alex Jospe finishing strong in the middle qualification race. Photo by Eddie Bergeron.

Today was the middle distance qualification at WOC, and Team USA had another great day. The highlight was, once again, Alison Crocker, who qualified for her second straight final in impressive fashion, finishing 7th in her heat. Alex and Hannah had good runs as well, and the men's team had solid races across the board, with Ross finishing just over two minutes from qualification after and excellent run.

The competitors described the terrain as very green and junky, and the consensus was that route choices on trails were almost always a good idea.

Check out the video interviews with all the US finishers in the previous post!

Here are the complete Team USA results from today's middle distance qualification:

Women A
1. Minna Kauppi FIN 26:40
2. Annika Billstam SWE 26:44
3. Amelie Chataing FRA 28:29
7. Alison Crocker USA 30:00
15. Carlotta Scalet ITA 33:44
17. Emily Kemp CAN 34:52

Women B
1. Lena Eliasson SWE 27:59
2. Natalia Vinogradova RUS 30:48
3. Annika Rihma EST 30:49
15. Aislinn Austin IRL 35:43
19. Carol Ross CAN 40:27
26. Hannah Burgess USA 47:55

Women C
1. Merja Rantanen FIN 26:03
2. Helena Jansson SWE 27:24
3. Sandra Pauzaite LTU 28:40
14. Louise Oram CAN 31:14
15. Liis Johansson EST 31:27

24. Alex Jospe USA 39:53

Men A
1. Valentin Novikov RUS 25:02
2. Mattias Muller SUI 26:59
3. Tue Lassen DEN 27:01
15. Chris Forne NZL 31:11
27. Wil Smith CAN 37:30
32. Sergei Zhyk USA 39:44

Men B
1.Anders Nordberg NOR 26:31
2.Oleksandr Kratov UKR 26:57
3.Philippe Adamski FRA 27:13
15. Sören Schwartz Sörensen DEN 32:19
20. Ross Smith USA 34:07
25. Robbie Anderson CAN 36:52

Men C
1. Peter Öberg SWE 24:30
2. Thierry Gueorgiou FRA 25:26
3. Baptiste Rollier SUI 26:04
15. Klaus Schgaguler ITA 30:50
24. Patrick Goeres CAN 33:38
29. Ken Walker USA 35:39

Some short interviews from Middle Qual!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Middle Distance Qualification

The long distance qualifying races have barely finished, but it's already time to look forward to tomorrow, when Team USA takes on the physical and technical challenges of the middle distance qualification races. The men's courses are 3.6-3.7km with 190-205m of climb and 11 controls. The women's courses are 2.9-3.0km with 140-150m of climb and 9 controls. As usual, the 15 best runners from each heat go through to the final.

Check out this video of the terrain taken during training by Ken Walker.

Here are the start times of Team USA competitors in the middle distance qualification:

Hannah Burgess 2:18pm CET (8:18am EDT)

Alex Jospe 2:30pm CET (8:30am EDT)

Alison Crocker 2:44pm CET (8:44am EDT)

Ken Walker 3:32pm CET (9:32am EDT)

Ross Smith 3:52om CET (9:52am EDT)

Sergei Zhyk 4:16pm CET (10:16am EDT)

All photos by Eddie Bergeron

Go Team USA!!!

Long Qualification Results

Ross Smith punching the last control en route to 24th place in the Men's C Heat, the best result by any North American man today. Photo by Greg Walker.

Here are the complete Team USA results from today's long distance qualification:

Women A
1. Dana Brozkova CZE 46:33
2. Merja Rantanen FIN 48:42
3. Helena Jansson SWE 49:05
10. Alison Crocker USA 56:00
15. Helen Palmer GBR 58:24
16. Louise Oram CAN 58:40

Women B
1. Signe Söes DEN 49:51
2. Annika Billstam SWE 52:08
3. Sara Luscher SUI 52:58
14. Carol Ross CAN 67:44
15. Laura Vike LAT 70:51
20. Alex Jospe USA 84:14

Women C
1. Minna Kauppi FIN 50:41
2. Tone Wigemyr NOR 51:58
3. Eva Jurenikova CZE 52:51
15. Andra Anghel ROM 65:47
23. Samantha Saeger USA 76:16

Men A
1.Francois Gonon FRA 67:43
2.Olav Lundanes NOR 68:38
3. Pasi Ikonen FIN 70:38
15. Daniel Hajek CZE 85:09
27. Will Critchley CAN 103:43
29. Wyatt Riley USA 106:26

Men B
1. Thierry Gueorgiou FRA 63:14
2. Alexey Bortnik RUS 69:22
3. Tue Lassen DEN 69:56
15. Chris Forne NZL 78:39
30. Damian Konotopetz CAN 97:57
32. Jordan Laughlin USA 103:42

Men C
1. Philippe Adamski FRA 68:57
2. Anders Holmberg SWE 72:09
3. Tero Föhr FIN 72:47
15. Wojciech Kowalski POL 81:34
24. Ross Smith USA 94:13
29. Wil Smith CAN 112:31

Ali makes the long final!

Ali Crocker finished 10th in her heat, safely into the finals!

The long final is on Wednesday.

Ali says she's happy with her race - and "ran the meadows really well and the woods tolerably well".

Congrats Ali, great run!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Long Qualification

WOC 2011 kicks off tomorrow morning with the long distance qualification race.
The men are racing 9.0-9.2km with 20-21 controls and expected winning times of 59-62 minutes. The women are racing 5.6-5.8km with 10-11 controls and expected winning times of 42-44 minutes. There are three qualifying heats for men and three for women, with 15 runners from each heat qualifying for Wednesday's final.

Here are the start times of Team USA competitors:

Alex Jospe, 11:33am CET (5:33am EDT)

Alison Crocker, 12:06pm CET (6:06am EDT)

Samantha Saeger, 12:42pm CET (6:42am EDT)

Wyatt Riley, 13:46pm CET (7:46am EDT)

Jordan Laughlin, 13:55pm CET (7:55am EDT)

Ross Smith, 14:49pm CET (8:49am EDT)

All photos by Eddie Bergeron.

Go Team USA!!!!

WOC 2011 - Getting Ready

Team USA is in its final stages of preparation for WOC 2011, which opens on Saturday, August 13 in France with the long distance qualification race on St François de Sales, in the mountains above Aix-les-Bains and Chambery. Racing the long distance for the US will be Samantha Saeger, Ali Crocker, Alex Jospe, Ross Smith, Jordan Laughlin, and Wyatt Riley.

Yesterday, the team went training on the long distance model event map, which you can see below:

And here are the impressions of some of the US ladies, captured on video by team videographer Ross Smith:

We will try to update the blog daily with the most recent adventures of Team USA. Meanwhile, you can see complete information about WOC 2011 here.