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:
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!