By Will, Sam, and Trey
Hungry for time out in the woods, the US Team began our first full day venturing out to the national parks surrounding Miskolc. The day began with a scrumptious breakfast and discussion about the day’s activities. After talking about what aspects of training we wanted to focus on most, we made our way to the busses and began the day’s journey. After a 45 minute drive and an 800 meter change in elevation, we arrived to our first location. We quickly changed into our gear and hit the courses as quickly as possible in order to maximize exposure to the new terrain. We were provided maps with courses that were created by the Hungarian team, which are used as selection courses for their own team members. We quickly became acquainted with their unique features such as charcoal burning pits and lime burning pits, which are littered all across the map. They are similar to depressions and are a popular place for controls to be located. They will surely serve as good point features for the races ahead. We do believe that there were somediscrepancies with the white and green areas, but we understand that these areas change season to season.
After finishing the first courses and eating a quick lunch, we made our way to the second training site. While some runners caught some rest on the way over, others admired the beautiful landscape through the windows of the bus. As a team, we had the opportunity to share stories about each other and our varying levels of experience with orienteering. All those from West Point listened intently to the invaluable lessons and experiences provided by the veterans on the team. Having members on the team who have spent a considerable amount of time orienteering in Europe has been extremely helpful and has helped to build confidence among the runners who are new to this part of the world. Once arriving to the second site, we hopped right off the bus and got down to work. This training session proved to be more strenuous as we practiced longer legs on more challenging terrain. After finishing another demo course, we took note of the reoccurring trends on the maps and talked about our route choices. Tired and worn out from a hard day of training, we got back on the bus and returned back to the dorms for some hot food. After dinner, we had the opportunity to meet some of the other WUOCcompetitors and expanded our vocabulary past our native tongues!
With the first full day of training under our belt, we all feel much more confident understanding the small differences found on maps here, in addition to navigating through the hilly terrain of Hungary. We look forward to another good day of training and representing the United States at the opening ceremony tomorrow evening! Go USA Orienteering!