This blog is in recess. New contributions will still appear from time to time and new contributors are welcome. Check out and the facebook o scene for your regular online orienteering fix.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Finally a report on Chris and Em's blog

Worth checking an idea of the atmosphere at WOC...sounds challenging. I remember at JWOC in Bulgaria those bloody ozzies stole our towels out of our hotel room then there was a massive fuss when we left. Gotta watch those towels. Also looking forward to the report Clem has been threatening on Maptalk.

Monday, 27 August 2007

7)to be challenged and work to the limit

Yeah enough of this pissing around. We need real goals, really fit athletes and success.

NOS membership should not be a right for an athletes career, it should be conditional upon commitment and continuous improvement. Its not about who can win Nationals every year, its about getting on the path to international success, or building that path for others.

Athletes need to be supported, but with increased support comes increased expectations...

The Week thats been

Hey, busy week around the place, none more so than over in Ukraine where our dudes battled it out with the best in the business. While no truly outstanding results in the finals full kudos to Chris, Tan and Ross for making that grade. Maybe next year will see you back up there Rob. It sounded like a hell of a challenging WOC, and while I haven't had time to sit down and analyse any courses yet I'm looking foward to it...maybe we can get a few discussions going and hopefully Ross will be able to bring his maps up to the Taupo training weekend. Other happenings: Brent is nearing the end of the XPD chasing Robbie Prestons team for the win. Bryn ran a half marathon last week which I have officially stopped looking for the results of as they are still not up...unlike the Coromandel Classic results which were available the moment competitors crossed the line, courtesy of sportident and CMOC. The results showed Rachel Smith in her first multisport race finishing 2nd...and that includes riding a shitty old mtb on the roadbike stages.. I better get my A into G with those athlete needs postings...but I seem to spend my NOS time chasing people up about profiles, paying for stuff etc...instead of doing constructive stuff. Take care out there people and train hard Jamie

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

6)specific, individualised, periodised training programmes

All athletes need individualised, periodised training programs, orienteers in my opinion especially so. We are a diverse bunch of athletes, who race over lengths from 10 minutes to 100. We have many different body shapes and race tactics. Its my goal to see all the athletes in our hp programme on a good programme. One problem we have is a lack of coaches, there are very few. Some squad members are coached by family or people from other sports but some have had very little support at all. Over the next 6 months I plan to work with squad members to help them find appropriate coaches and mentors. As a first step what I have been encouraging is the use of which is an online training log. This at least provides people an online community to which they are in someway accountable for their training. It also provides very handy graphs for looking back at your training to determine the structure you should press forward with. I am also investigating the best way of providing online training programmes which can be slightly modified for individuals. So when it comes down it I can at least help people out a little myself if need be.

Get those Auckland Champs Entrys in!!

Akld Champs entrys close fri, nice online entry system so easy peasy. HBOC's Labour Weekend also has an online system up and running

Monday, 20 August 2007

And other goings on...

Yeah it seems people are busy. Casser himself is heading out of the country for a month on wednesday to visit Europe, Southerly Storm have their annual night nav series coming up, see and a few of us fronted for the Tough Guy in the weekend. Penny claimed the Tough Gal title, with me and Neil 2nd and 3rd in the Tough Guy. Neil was between by a couple of old brutes (veteran men) while we were both beaten by this skinny kid from Whakatane called Daniel Jones

Michael Adams wins off road race

While we are following the great results at WOC some orienteers still have time to get out and about to do a bit of exercise. Michael Adams won the 3rd race in the The 2007 Leppin Off-Road Run Series, which is based around Auckland.
Results 3rd race in the Leppin Off Road Series
Darren Ashmore raced into a top three place as well and some other orienteering names can be found in the list.
These races look like a good chance to get out and kick some roadrunner butt!
The 2007 Leppin Off-Road Run Series ->Homepage

Thursday, 16 August 2007

5)Performance based, individualised, specialist, support services

No ideas! Perhaps the squad members that lose a race should have to massage the legs of the winners....

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

4) Exposure to cutting edge, innovative coaching that acknowledges research and overseas best practice

Ok great we can make this work! I love SPARCs new framework there seems to be a real focus on "innovation" which is great. For way too long we have had the mindset, we need to do what the Scandis are doing. I need to move to Scandinavia and learn to orienteer like them. What we need to do is take the best bits out of the Scandinavian/Continental orienteering schools, mix them together and add the kiwi spark. On the physical side of things we need to try and hook up with some of the more established endurance sports, triathlon, athletics and try and get some of their secrets, some of their cutting edge coaching practice, based on research. Right, my plans then (some off the top of my head, others not). 1) I'm going to get in touch with some other high performance sports, starting with triathlon to see if we can get some cross code co-operation going. 2)I'm going to take a bit of time next year to go and study some coaching methods around the place, both in Scandinavia and Continental 3) I'm going to encourage innovative thinking. What are you going to do? The least you can do is train bloody hard, preferably on terrain, cause this will still be the bottom line!

WOC Blogs update

Nice reading this morning of Chris and Em's blog, with photos on Aussies blog and Bryns put some Ukranian Cup results up on maptalk, nice.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Bushrangers Team

Better mention this I guess, looks like the gloves are off with the aussies with their mens team being reinforced by top guys Shep and Julian. Looking forward to the battle! Team here

3)Expert technical and tactical coaching-group and individual

ok, not so sure where I'm going to start here (maybe thats why Flynn was bugging me to write this). I think its pretty damn obvious we need more of the above but how to get it...

my first step from here is to get NZ route gadget cranking, get all the maps from the big comps up and cajole/coerce everyone into putting their routes up. Having splits is one thing, but looking at them combined with route choice is going to be an amazing tool for any athlete or coach seriously looking at improving performance

It will allow people to see the legs that they are keeping up, and think about their strengths and weaknesses against other athletes. It will be easier to determine the type of mistakes being made, the time, and with further interrogation the thought processes behind them.

Not the be all and end all, but hopefully it will get people thinking and talking about orienteering technique/tactics and create a clearer picture in coaches/athletes mind on skill development needs and contribute to a greater quality of technical training sessions when the opportunity arises.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Aussie WOC Blog

Maybe there might be some good insights here

2) Input into vision, goals and planning

This is about having athletes taking "ownership". We need this to legitimise the goals we set and strategies we take to achieve them in a small community of amatueur athletes. As an athlete myself I have decided to act proactively to do what I can do to make my and my peers elite careers more focussed and goal orientated. There are also plans to have the wider elite and junior community involved in goal setting/ strategy making for the hp programme, starting at the squads weekend in Taupo 8/9 September.

Friday, 10 August 2007

MTBO Sprint Map

A quick exercise in route choice decisions

1) A Culture of Excellence

Yeah what does this mean?

Our culture is the sum of our combined behaviour and beliefs towards orienteering. We need to shape this towards a search for excellence in our sport.

When I think of excellence I think of the All Blacks catch phrase "continuous improvement". Excellence doesn't standstill, it is dynamic. It's like an orienteering mistakes, your perception of it changes as you and your environment change.

Seeking excellence involves not accepting the status quo, it involves identifying barriers and seeking out ways around them. It involves consciously accepting the challenge of trying to be the best you can be.

A worthy goal I reckon

ideas for developing a culture of excellence

1)positive peer pressure, eg triathlon, accountability to your peers for performance, dedication, to develop recognise members of squad who always give it their all, set high standards.

2)set clear goals as a group, don't settle for mediocrity, continuous improvement. Us against the world mentality, we are a small community but we can achieve big things, again look at the kiwi triathletes or Arthur Lydiards runners, excellence can and does arise from small groups that face big hurdles and accept the challenge of overcoming them.

comments welcome!

SPARC High Performance Athletes Needs

Hey, have spent a little bit of time today checking out the experts advice on what high performance athletes need The points below are straight from the SPARC Coach Development Framework.

At first glance they seem pretty sound. I am keen to get people thinking about these outcomes and how we can provide them in an NZ Orienteering HP context. This is in lieu of our goal setting weekend (evening for SIers) in September. I will discuss my brief thoughts on each point one a day for the next 17 days, starting today (since its always best to start today!).

This probably bores some of you to tears, but oh well, the status quo just isn't good enough anymore.

1)A culture of excellence 2)Input into vision,goals and planning 3)Expert technical and tactical coaching-group and individual 4)Exposure to cutting edge, innovative coaching that acknowledges research and overseas best practice 5)Performance based, individualised, specialist, support services 6)specific, individualised, periodised training programmes 7)to be challenged and work to the limit 8)a focussed high quality training environment 9)training opportunities that prepare them for a changing environment and performing under pressure 10)Opportunity to make decisions, innovate and try new ideas 11)Regular access to high quality technology, equipment and facilities 12)Timely and clear technical and performance feedback based on expert analysis - individual/group 13)Clear understanding of where they are at and ideas for improvement 14)A coach who creates a positive environment, provides leadership, and role models expected behaviours and ethics 15)Recognition of efforts and performances 16)Having views and opinions valued and respected 17)Lifestyle and longer term/planning support

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Chris F wins Transylvanian Open!

Chris Forne outsprinted the Norweigian Leader (no name has been revealed) in the chasing start to take the overall victory in the Transylvanian Open in Romania. Congratulations on a great effort!
Read the whole exciting story through the words of em on their silly billy blog


For those who haven't got round to having a look here the link to the JWOC mens sprint More JWOC maps can be found here

Wednesday, 8 August 2007


The MTBO Champs is underway, with Michal our sole representative, check out the link here

Michal has started of with 45 in the sprint and 58th in the middle. He has also been caught out of position in the opening ceremony. The little girl holding the NZ pole looks very lonely :-)

Friday, 3 August 2007

Chris's secret O training

Those serious orienteering types aren't going to know what hit them when Chris rocks up at WOC, this from Em's blog on their recent trip through the Transylvanian Alps.. "At about 3am it started raining very hard, and the first wave of thunder and lightening came roaring through. It was the loudest thunder I have ever heard, and for 3 hours the three of us did not get much sleep!! It was pretty scary, but finally it subsided and we emerged from our tents unscathed to find it drizzly and grey. We were planning on climbing over the summit of Nigouri and around a steep ridge to Lake Avrig, and from what we could see yesterday this was a very steep route and apparently involved using some fixed chains and ladders. Of course, even though the weather was bad, Chris was super excited to take the harder route, Ed and I a little apprehensive but persuadable, so as everyone else headed down we headed up toward the Strunga Drucului (Dracula's Chimney). Very appealing!! We hauled our way up the chimney, grateful for the fixed chains on the steep slippery rock and onto as misty summit. We were pleased to be on top, but as we descended we encountered another party who warned us of the difficulty of the next section...but it was a bit late now!! Sure enough, the ridge steeped, and we had to climb over and around some very steep ground. Luckily, Chris the pack lugger would climb or descend the tricky section with each of our packs before helping us over it. He ended up climbing some bits 4 or 5 times!! And slowly but surely we made our way along the ridge to safer ground. Eventually we reached a sign pointing back the way we had come which said: Route Forbidden in Bad Weather, opps!" The full story can be found here. Looking forward to the story about the Transylvanian Orienteering Open!

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Neil wins a running race

Yes, it happened, check this link. Well actually the link shows neil in a zebra suit but if you look at the results from the 1st of August you will see the glory (sort of)

BillEdwards profile

just stumbled over this on the net while looking for something completely different. Get to know your your selectors!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

World Cup Middle Map

From Osterbo's blog, here. One of the best O Blogs for maps and in English too which is great. Interesting to look at those legs and think how they might be generalised, which side is it better to aim off to slightly so you can pick up an attack point on the edge of the circle...

Adventure Racing Russian Style

Greg Barbour reports: Usually a 12 hour adventure race would not scare me but I was a bit curious going to my first race in Moscow what exactly I was in for.

Getting an entry was the start....did they reply to emails or eventually rang English speaking friend who did the deed. But still wasn't sure even what to I brought the lot...climbing gear bikes tents wetsuits etc. Driving in Moscow is like an adventure race anyhow so I was prepared... its a bit like driving with no need traffic lights on the pavement. There has been three deaths on the road outside our house in the last year...another story.

Got to race with plenty of time I thought. But then the fun started...200 competitors could any speak English?... event I discovered was rogaine style with three types of controls, some only on foot, some only on bike and some special(climbing swimming etc) Started at 7 PM finish 7AM. Individuals or teams. First problem...clues in Russian, I can speak but not words like under a rock at the edge of thicket halfway up a tree. Eventually found help but was so late I missed the start.(only 5 mins!)

I decided to start running figuring it was raining and it is always easier to run before biking...good choice.Amazing controls, the map was an old photocopy in two pieces on normal half the green color was blue...impossible to read and then I found out it was 30 years old. I have never been on such a poor 1;50000 map even the power lines where missing or in the wrong place, tracks where all overgrown if you could find them and the overgrown was nettles!! Yow wee!! Give me NZ native any day.

Amazing found all the controls half by luck and half safe route choice. The controls were placed "near the feature" so on a tree some up as high as 5 m..try climbing that in the rain...I failed and waited for a group to come along and let them punch for me! ( I did try...honest) After 4 hours I had all the foot controls and a girl following me as I found some controls for her!(she did ask if I minded if she came with me) I had also waded a 1km unmarked swamp and ran for an hour or so in nettles.

Now on to the bike for nighttime. Got one control then decided to go for a special control which I discovered was swimming in an unlit lake now past midnight. No lights no safety boat just told to swim about that direction until you hit an unseen island and get unlit control....weed everywhere in pitch black I started to realize we have a built in safety culture.This was reinforced at next control a MTB control where you had to cross a field in long grass that was obscured by a row of trees..... unmarked. Eventually sorted out only to spot control 4m up a tree in head high nettles...abandoned the bike (hoped I could refind it!!)and climbed tree. Things then got worse...took a route choice via a building and down a road found myself on the wrong side of an 8 ft fence(honest I did not climb any fence to get there!!)...and a guard coming up behind me with wild barking dog!! Managed to climb the fence and reach over and retrieve bike just before guard arrived..sprinted away down the road.(maybe the guard was just coming to pen the gate for me?) Missing track and impenetrable unmarked creek blocked next control, gave in and went right round.

Decided on long road leg to make controls easier but light went out. Then things got rough and slow with a little petzl...amazing still found controls in the nettles on my own and then the sun rose...just in time for my next swim in a dam this time had to dive under to 2 m to punch each control which where underwater!! Weed everywhere.

Finally got to the climbing, too late but they had another novelty in an old deserted chemical factory they sent us to find controls following arrows in the dark...building completely derelict sharp metal, corroded metal ladders, crumbling wet concrete, descending in wells and through manholes.... eventually emerges on roof of three story building with no obvious exit route only to realize they wished us to climb unprotected off the side on an old metal ladder (very old very corroded) and then jump on an old balcony with no floor only railing following which a 3 m jump to the ground!!

Nearly finished but time is running out..take easy track back to finish only 2 km on the bike...problem is track is missing and just head high nettles and liana...I hour later and 45 mins overtime the finish at last ...spirit finally broken.

I knew Russians were tough and uncomplaining but this lack of safety and bike controls with no obvious track was something new for me...did not bother to check results...just went home and tried to heel my stinging legs for two days actually cracked from the nettle stings.

Yep I am m probably stupid enough to do it again ...but will check more carefully the map and area.