For a long time the most ferocious Tom boy of New Zealand orienteering, far more ferocious than Tom himself, Lizzie has spent 2009 slipping out of adolesence, putting on her party dress and revealing her sense of humour to the elite scene. Indeed her dry wit recently led Darren Ashmore to comment "Lizzie is a crack-up", heady praise indeed from the man that has seen talented, and occasionally funny, young elites come and go over the last twenty years.
The question now is whether Lizzie can enjoy the finer things in life and still put her game face on when required. It is going to take a big effort to keep rivals such as Amber Morrison and Rita Holmes at bay, let alone to edge the more experienced elite women. Key race for Lizzie on 2010 - It has to be the Nationals Classic.
Lizzies game face - photo credit Rob Preston
The most talented junior man since Karl Dravitski, Tom was in danger of falling vicitm to tall popply syndrome at a young age, but has since bulked up and like Ingham lost his game face to some degree. Call it the dangers of a balanced life. In the middle of medical school Tom is one of a cohort of young orienteering professionals coming through the ranks. His career is now likely to peak in 2023 when he finishes his specialist training programme.
In the meantime he has dabbled with adventure racing and now increasingly mountain running. Look forward to interesting and varied reports on outdoor activities from this correspondent.Key race in 2010: Nationals Middle.
The control beeped and Tom was startled - photo Martin Peat