Sunday, May 13, 2012

The End is the Beginning

Vasaloppet finish
The beginning of the European Orienteering Championships (EOC's) in Mora starts, for us, at the finish of the Vasaloppet. Ross and I are representing USA at the EOC's, which may seem a bit strange, but they are also world cup races. I arrived on Thursday evening with a fellow Linné clubmate and Lithuanian team member, Rasa Ptasekaite. On Friday we set out from two trainings on a nearby map. It was perfect Swedish springtime weather.

Vasaloppet finish right outside our hostel window, in the rainy weather.
It's like Rasa is saying, "Break out the summer clothes!"
On Saturday, Ross drove up from Uppsala and Robbie Anderson (Canadian, living in Göteborg) joined us for another training. I may have navigated to a parking lot not even on the map, but I was much more successful in the woods. I find the terrain here to be somewhat similar to Uppsala (where Ross and I are currently living). Ok, so there are actual hills here, but the small contour detail reminds me of nearby maps and the swamps are all runnable. Physically, I feel a bit weak, but technically I feel strong. How unusual for me! But I think combination will lead to clean and enjoyable races.

Today the sun came out and we headed to the model event, joined by my parents (yay!) and Leif Åkerblom. The woods were pretty fantastic. I think that because you can see so far it's deceptively easy. At the same time, I don't think people will be making big mistakes out there. Small misses and bad microroute choices will be important to avoid.

Ross and I will be running all the qualification races; the middle, sprint and long. It's a similar system to WOC, but each country can enter 6 runners in each distance, instead of 3.  Also, the top 17 in each heat go onto the finals, instead of the top 15. Will we make the finals? We both hope to, in at least one discipline.

Team North America!
EOC website

You can watch the final races online! It also seems that you can probably watch the broadcast after the fact, by clicking on the links below and selecting "Senaste Klipp".

Middle 17 May 13:10-16:25 CET
Sprint 19 May 13:20-16:15 CET
Relay 20 May 11:30-13:00 and 13:50-15:20 CET

Other suggested titles for this post.
I think I'm Falun for you.
Mora to come later.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

WOC 2012 Lineup!

News of the US WOC team selections have made the rounds on the Orienteering USA website and Attackpoint, but here you'll find the first breaking news of the 'who's running what' at WOC!


Sprint: Ali, Sam, Hannah
Middle: Sandra, Hannah, Alex
Long: Sam, Ali, Alex
Relay: Sam and Ali pre-selected, third to be selected at WOC

Sprint: Ross, Boris, Giacomo
Middle: Eddie, Boris, Eric
Long: Eddie, Eric, Ross 
Relay: Select at WOC

Everyone on the team is psyched to focus their training for the next 65 days and kick some butt in Switzerland.