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Thursday, 6 February 2014

Auckland Sprint Training Weekend - Report from Gene Beveridge (part 2 of 2)

On the Sunday of AOTC's Auckland Sprint Training Weekend we ran Sprint Auckland Day, also known as SAD.

The third edition of SAD reflected the rapid growth of orienteering in Auckland, especially amongst the junior ranks. We had 38 starters up from 13 when it started in 2011, making it the biggest training that AOTC has held.

The format remained unchanged with a prologue and 15 sprint races contributing towards a total time for the day. The 15 sprint races were all held on building based sprint maps with courses about 1km straight line distance averaging about 1.5km of running distance according to my GPS. The prologue was an easy 0.5km course around my house and the adjacent park. This totalled 22km of racing over the day and those of us who have done SAD in previous year knew just how much our legs would be burning towards the end.

We started off at 9:00 from the new map I made around my house and San Bernadino Park. This was a short stage to get the day started before the real sprint orienteering began. The prologue was taken by young Cam Tier.

The first full length stage was run at Massey High School and featured a complex array of buildings and route choices. Stage 2 and 3 were on the less complex maps of Rutherford College and Henderson High School. Up to this stage Cam had a minute lead over Tom Reynolds, with myself 14 seconds further down. Imogene Scott was the top girl on stage 3 but was still 38 seconds down on the lead with Greta Knarston winning the prologue and stages 1 and 2. A gap was already opening to the younger competitors Alice Tilley, Kayla Fairbairn and Danielle Goodall.

Stages 4 and 5 at Green Bay High School and Lynfield College saw Thomas pull back some of the deficit to Cam with 2 consecutive wins while Gene and Matt continued their good start to hold onto 3rd and 4th, 2 minutes down on the lead. In the girls, Greta and Imogene further distanced themselves from their younger rivals.

Matt took his first win on stage 6 at Roskill Campus and Tom took out stages 7 and 8 at Epsom Campus and Epsom Girls Grammar to take the lead off Cam. Imogene had another win over main rival Greta but it wasn’t enough of take stage 6 which went to Kayla. Imogene repeated another strong performance taking stage 7 and the overall lead leaving Greta 8 seconds behind in 2nd. Imogene’s lead was not to last as Greta won stage 8 to regain her overall lead in the girl’s class.

Finishers of stage 6 seeking the shade in the middle of the day at Roskill Campus.

Stages 9, 10 and 11 at Auckland Grammar, Rosmini College and Westlake Boys High School saw Cam take 3 more victories in the men’s class and also saw Matt overcome myself to 3rd, 3 and a half minutes off the lead and 1 and a half minutes from 2nd. These stages saw Greta extend her lead with 3 more wins, but not by much. While Kayla and Alice found each other seconds apart after over an hour and a half of racing.

Top woman, Greta is back on the scene.

Jourdan has also made an impressive comeback to orienteering.
 The final for stages at Rangitoto College, Massey University, Kristen School, and Albany Junior High demonstrated Matt’s level of fitness as he pushed hard to take 3 more stage wins. Tom and Cam continued with fine form to finish off the long day without any further shuffling of places, and Tom posting the overall time of 1:32:09. I was noticeably fatigued in these later stages but held onto 4th ahead of Great Britain’s Adam Potter who had run a very consistent 16 races to hold 5th ahead of school boy Tommy Hayes. The girl’s class wrapped up with Greta, Imogene and Alice sharing the top spots in the final 4 stages. Greta finished with a victory on stage 15 extending her lead over Imogene to 3 minutes and finishing with a total time of 1:45:48. After swapping position 6 times, Alice got the better of Kayla by a mere 41 seconds to take 3rd in a time of 2:02:06.

Overall it was a super tough day of training and after a long time with so little orienteering it was exactly what most of us needed to get our heads back in to orienteering mode and our legs into super speed mode. I personally noticed that my brain processes route choices far quicker now than last week, and I’m looking forward to putting this to use this weekend at Sprint the Bay.
The survivors enjoying refreshments after the last stage.
Big thanks to NWOC for letting us borrow their Sport Ident system for our timing!

Splits times are available here on winsplits.

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