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Monday, 23 September 2013

Interview - Georgia Whitla


Christchurch based Georgia Whitla attended the World Games this year in Colombia. The last couple of years have been good for Georgia as she helps rebuild Christchurch at the same time as establishing herself as one of our strongest and most consistent elites. We caught up with Georgia as she prepares for the Super Series.

Georgia, whats news?

I'm back in New Zealand after 3 weeks in South America for the World Games + some travelling after. I'm back at work now but I've spent the last few weekends tramping/adventuring in awesome terrain around the West Coast and Kaikoura. There's nothing quite like going overseas to make you appreciate what you have in your backyard!

The World Games, that must have been an interesting experience?

It was a fantastic experience. I've never seen so many police in one place before! The events weren't the most exciting in terms of orienteering but the whole event was definitely worth attending.

Highlights?

All the other teams being more relaxed than normal and everyone just generally having a good time.
The Colombian public treating us like celebrities.


Now I'm not going to mention your narrow loss in the final sprint, but you must have been hurting?

I though you said you weren't going to mention it? I should have done more interval training back in NZ.
Did you get a chance to have a look around Colombia after the event?
Yep. Tane, Rachel, Me and Kathryn Preston from Aus travelled around for about a week after. It's a great country with fantastic variety and culture.
Now back in Chch, hows your motivation?

Motivation is OK. I've been sick for about 3 weeks since I got back. I probably should have just taken some time off to recover earlier. Im healthy now so real training is back on.
Super Series coming up, are we going to see you in the North Island?

Of course, I'm excited about the revamping of the Super Series this year. Michael Croxford is doing a fantastic job to inject some enthusiasm back into the events. I've already booked flights to Auckland and Wellington and I wouldn't miss the South Island events!

Hopefully you North Islanders will make an effort to travel down to the South Island. I think the Christchurch and Rotoiti rounds will be something special if we get strong fields.

The womens grade is looking open this year. A big spread of ages from the teenagers coming through to the likes of the Smith twins. How does it feel to be the favourite now?
The womens grade will be tough. I wouldn't say I was the favourite, and looking at the facebook discussions I don't think many others would either! However, I would say that having two rounds in the South Island will put the odds in the Southerly Storms favour. Both Lara Prince and I will be hard to beat at home.
What areas of your game are you focused on improving heading into the Super Series, and thinking about the next international season?
I'm in a bit of a middle ground at the moment. I fell like I need focus on speed and physical toughness for the Super Series but for the international season I am considering focusing on the World Rogaine Champs rather than orienteering. Endurance training will be the key to success there.

Any particular lessons from the World Games, or other recent races that you would like to share with us?
Biggest lesson from the World Games? That sometimes you need to pace yourself in orienteering races. I hit the wall like I never have before in the middle distance because I approached it like a sprint. The heat and pace of the race got to me at about 20min. I've never consciously considered pacing myself before because the terrain in the longer races usually slows me down to a sustainable speed.

Hey Thanks Georgia, and best of skills for the upcoming season! 
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