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Monday, 16 November 2009

Hawkes Bay Training Weekend

Now that I've just about recovered from the stressfest that is the end of the university year, thought it was about time to give Tane a bit of a break and start contributing to the blog again.

So a week ago, the Wellington o-gang ventured up to Hawkes Bay for a weekend of adventure, sun-tanning, training, and in general to make the hb crew jealous of our awesome little training group and amazing skills. Todd Oates, Michael Wood and Jamie Stewart set up some exercises for a fun filled day of training on Smedley on the Saturday. (well, Todd and Jamie set their's on the day, but we'll forgive them so long as they bring amazing food to the next potluck). First up was Jamie's exercise, aiming at reading all the detail on the map, but keeping moving the entire time. After half an hour practically canyoning we got to Jamie's start (we could have taken the road around the gorge but where's the fun in that?) Every control in the exercise was a distinctive tree...on a hill side covered in literally 100's of mapped distinctive trees, and a fair few unmapped! Personally i found the exercis good, although i did hear a few grumbles about the multitude of trees. But reading the contours and other non-arboreal features it was possible to determine when you were at the right tree!

Once everyone had regrouped we progressed onto Todd's exercise, with the aim of being 'smooth'. Having found our way back across the gorge to Todd's start, the exercise then took us in a loop across a spur, and then through a series of controls back across the gorge again! The final leg of the exercise was a meaty route choice, although having been through the gorge a fair few times already, it was apparent that biting the bullet and taking the climb rather than the gorge option was optimal. Undeterred by this, i took up Rita's challenge of trying out the different route choices. This resulted in her beating me to the finish by 10 minutes whilst i tried to bush bash and rock climb my way out of the gorge!

After lunch we moved on to Michael's exercise. going in pairs, the leader would navigate a leg by memory, whilst their partner ran along behind with the map, memorising the next leg. As Michael intended, it was apparent from this just how much faster you can run when you have your route memorised and arent constantly checking the map! A real valuable exercise i thought, even if my legs were shot by the time we did it!

On the Sunday we ran the HBOC OY event on 'the Slump'. A few of us were a little apprehensive of the stroppy cows on this map, given previous experiences, however we all managed to escape unscathed. Despite all feeling rather tired from the full days training the day before, it's fair to say the wellington o-gang dominated the red-long and medium courses. Jamie Stewart and Penny Kane took out the Red Long wins whilst Nick Hann and Laura Robertson showed up the locals, winning Red-Medium.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, hope there are more to come, and bring on wellington champs next weekend!

(I'll attach a map of the training when i find it...)

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