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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Orienteers at the Frontrunner Off Road Running series

This series set up by Al Cory-Wright, has been happening for several years now. As it is pure off road running the events have typically been dominated by Orienteers. There is 3 events in the series, The first is a race up and down Mt Vernon - A brutal single track up a valley that gets steeper and steeper the closer you get to the top followed by a steep flat out decent that gets steeper and steeper the closer you get to the bottom. I find this one the toughest, there is no let up. The next from Taylors Mistake out to Godley head and back - Fast and flat, small hill at the Godley Head then flat along the top with a steep decent into Taylors Mistake. The final race is in Sumner - Flat hard run to end of the beach then up a steep hill, long hill up followed by a long down hill and a flat long straight at the end. Its no coincidence that Carsten and Marty Lukes have battled it out in the previous years. But this year it was time for some others to take over...

Carsten did himself some damage selling off his rocks on trademe and rendered his back too sore to compete in the series this time....All three events were won by a Temporary visitor from England, Mark Tucket. Tane Cambridge had to play second fiddle to Tucket and ended up a close second in the first two races and third place in the remaining race to take out second overall for the series. Lara Prince was out paced by a very quick triathlete who did very well and would have placed in the top ten in the mens grade. Lara ended up second overall in the women's grade. Tim Farrant screwed the system and managed to compete in the junior grade, completing a clean sweep of all the events to win probably his last Junior event...he even got all the competitors in his grade up for a photo (only thing is he didn't have any one with a camera to take a photo....). Junior Alistair Richardson was also second in the series to another Papo Orienteer Ryan Batin who completed a clean sweep of the under 16 grade. Ryan's Sister Rebecca also came second in the under 16 girls grade.

Full Results

Friday, 18 December 2009

The NZ Great Santa Run

Forgive me for blowing my own trumpet but I am officially the fastest Santa in Christchurch. Just imagine a hot Nor-west day in Christchurch, putting on a 100% polyester Santa Suit and running around Hagley Park. Probably not a wise idea in dodgy Hagley Park on most occasions except... last Wednesday evening! Half of the entry fee went to Cure Kids so it was all in aid of a good cause, and plus we ran past the hospital so all the kids in Hospital got to cheer us on...well so they told us in the briefing...When I ran past in the lead going into the final straight they all had a good laugh!

There was a series of Santa runs all around NZ all co-ordinated to start at the same time. A few orienteering names popped up in the results. The best performed orienteers were those in Christchurch, Myself winning and Tim Farrant coming in third. It was a pretty cool event well worth doing for the extra heat and Sprint training!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

HP Calender

In the spirit of information and keeping things as transparent as possible a High Performance Calender including important events and selection dates has been released by the High Performance Director Carsten Jorgenson. The calender is here, and a link has been added to the links menu on left.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Rotoiti Training

Show day down in Christchurch a month ago was a perfect excuse for a training weekend up in the Nelson Lakes, made all the more exciting by the Nelson OY on the famous Rotoiti Map on the Sunday.

Thursday night we headed up in some nice warm weather, camping in Deer Valley up by the Lewis Pass. Overnight it rained so our plans to cruise around the hills near by was quickly canned and instead we headed straight to St Arnard....where the sun was shining. Lara, myself and Tim had a race up and down Mt Vernon in Christchurch the Wednesday before so we were feeling a bit tired and a lot sore. Anyway we headed up to and unnamed peak which Georgia decided to name for her self on the St Arnard range. Then in some pretty strong wind cruised along the cool knife edge like ridge and down a spur that looked nice and enticing. Turns out there was a trap line down he spur so we smashed it and ourselves going hard down the steep slope pausing only briefly to do some yoga and allow the girls to catch up. Surprisingly only Joe and Myself were keen on getting in the lake at the end. It was a nice relief for my legs after a long run!

Next day it was Lara's mission to destroy us all. We headed up to Mt Robert Ski area and then back via a different track. Tim the hard man of the day decided run an extra 8 or so k's back to the bach (what us Southern South Islanders call a crib!). I took the opportunity to use the lake for some leg therapy once more and got attacked by two huge Swans who flew in to gate crash my little paddle in the water. Then while we all sat around and cooked dinner Lara took Matt out to smash him Mountain Biking in the evening.

So then came the Sunday, the day we were all looking forward too. Rotoiti. Its a special map like none other in NZ. Go fast and your likely to get smashed by girls...which turned out to be true for some of us. Smithson was very smooth and beat us all by a good margin, Matt stuck in there and only just beat that damn adventure racer Nathan Fa'avae...Lara was pretty close behind him and the rest are just not worth the embarrassment of mentioning!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

NZ Orienteers Dominate Goat

Just to clarify that title; the Goat is a mountain running race traversing the 22km of round the mountain track between Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields on Mt Ruapehu. Personally it's about my favourite mtn running race and being quite a rough track and requiring concentration the entire way, the race has proven to be popular with orienteers. Such was the case last weekend when around 490 runners lined up for the start, including over 10 current and former NZ (and adopted NZ) orienteers.

Having run the race last year in near perfect conditions, Rita Homes and I were hugely amused to be called out as 2nd and 3rd seeds respectively in the womens race. Turns out her seeding was well deserved, i still think mine was a bit of a joke...a lot of women from last year can't have been racing this year!

Unfortunately the week prior to the race had seen a fair amount of rain, leaving the single lane track perfect for the front runners to mulch up. I found the track slippery and treacherous in the 1st wave of starters, so i can only imagine how Tessa found it in the 4th wave! Despite my plan to stick with Rita for as much of the race as i could, i somewhat lost my gameface (see below article) in a pile of mud about 3km into the race. Once I found my feet again, i could just see Rita disappearing off into the distance! I spent the rest of the race watching Rebecca Smith's back gradually get further in front of me, and Greta Knarston staying a steady couple of hundred metres behind me.

Meanwhile, somewhere in front of me in the boys race, Tom Reynolds had decided after reading Jamie's version of our profiles that his gameface needed a little bit of work. This was successfully accomplished with a full face plant, landing on rocks (as opposed to the only other option of mud). Must have worked though, Tom one of many impressive results coming from orienteers:


  • 2nd Piret Klade
  • 4th Rita Homes
  • 6th Rebecca Smith
  • 8th Lizzie Ingham (2nd junior)
  • 10th Greta Knarsten (3rd junior)
  • Tessa Ramsden (6th junior)

  • 7th Karl Dravitzki
  • 8th Dennis De Monchy
  • 10th Bryn Davies
  • 11th Tom Reynolds (2nd junior)
  • 24th Jourdan Harvey (7th junior)
Also hard luck to Penzy Dinsdale, who busted both ankles early on in the race.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Forget Fornication

It was only second this year at the World Adventure Racing Champs for the Fornicator, and I love this photo (stolen from Chris and Em's blog) of the man himself having given everything washed up on a strange beach in a strange land.

A belated congrats to the Adventure racers amongst us. Aaron and Brent ensured three out of the top four teams had NZ Osquad members guiding them around!You guys rule the lets just sort out your priorities aye?

Lizzie and Tom

Well they had the opportunity to introduce themselves, but declined to take it so I guess that gives me the opportunity.

Lizzie Ingham

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

Tom Reynolds

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