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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Auckland Champs - Some Thoughts

(update: check the new link to Tane Cambridge DOMA for some Auckland Champs maps).

I really meant to convince Chris or Matt to share some of their technical wisdom with us, on this one. It is hard to offer anything of substance when you have been completely owned by a terrain. But here are a few lessons/thoughts. I have excluded my ponderings on how to switch between childcare and racing pyschology in the blink of an eye.

1. If you buy a new compass practice with it before you use it in a race, or at least check that it is designed for the right hemisphere. Penny Kane and I bought new compasses immediately before the Auckland Champs and both were MN.

2. It is fine to know that you should be running straight on a compass, it is hard to do without practice. What do the best athletes do to make sure they are able to do this: a) years of practice b) use of a garmin gps system to review performance c) use of exercises like corridor or night orienteering to build compass skills in an environment more difficult than a typical race situation.

3. Relating map to terrain, and particularly terrain to map is a skill which requires continued practice ahead of a big event. Particularly for forest orienteering. In sprint orienteering this is a much more black and white skill.

4. Start smart not slow. Several times in big races I have deliberately started slow, but slowly getting lost is no better than quickly getting lost. The start is about getting into the map. Making connections with the terrain. Sticking on your compass. Starting a race how you mean to continue.

Anyone, care to comment about how they approached  Control 16 below...I went right around the tracks which was a complete cop out (and I knew it). Is any variation from the line justified? Should one be in touch with the map the entire way, or more carefully relocate when crossing tracks...

Part of the mens elite long distance course
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