Last weekend saw the athletes selected for Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) and European Youth Orienteering Championships (EYOC) heading across to Aarhus, Denmark, to take part in the Danish junior test races happening in the Aarhus and Silkeborg areas.
This Pre-EYOC/JWOC camp focused on finalising preparations for both competitions taking place in a few weeks time, with EYOC running from June 28-30 in Grodno, Belarus and JWOC being held in Silkeborg between 7-12 July. The three test races included a sprint in Marienlystparken, Aarhus on Saturday, a long in Himmelbjerget on Sunday and a middle in the same forest on Monday, before the team flew back later that day. Jennie Taylor, Communications Officer at British Orienteering asked a couple of the athletes travelling out to Denmark to keep a diary of the weekend. Read Grace Molloy's diary account of her time away.
Pre-EYOC/JWOC 2019 Diary Reflections
Forth Valley Orienteers
The team travelled to Aarhus to prepare for the summer international competitions.
Various athletes took the opportunity to either familiarise or refamiliarise themselves with the Silkeborg terrain whilst others went for an easy run to stretch out the legs after travelling.
We had a meeting focussed on the sprint for JWOC where we discussed what we thought the terrain would be like and what challenges it would present.
Some of the team did long or middle style training in a relevant forest but some people rested in advance of the test sprint in the afternoon. I ran middle controls in a group to test lines in the terrain and then we ran a few longer legs with to test out route choices.
The first test race was a sprint and the Danes and the Fins were using it as a JWOC selection race. There were also lots of other JWOC athletes from different countries who were racing to prepare for the competition. The sprint was of medium technicality and we performed well, especially considering most of the other athletes would have prepared for this race and rested in the lead up to it. British athletes achieved the 2nd fastest time of the day of both the boys and girls.
We analysed what we had learned from the sprint and then looked ahead to the long terrain for JWOC. Some of the area was used for WOC 2007.
The long test race was on a much greener map than the other areas we have been training on and that presented more technically challenging legs. Once again, we were able to place amongst the other nations which was a good confidence boost for the British athletes.
We made use of the hotel spa for well-deserved recovery :)
Some of the team struggled in the lower visibility terrain in the long distance so we discussed how to best to orienteer in the terrain. We then looked at the JWOC middle area and thought about how we would tackle a few tricky legs.
The final test race of the weekend was a middle distance on the same area as the long. It was a very challenging course with the majority in slow, low visibility forest. Many of the team had trouble navigating but it was useful to have this practice before the real competition.
The team travelled home - better informed about the JWOC terrain and excited to come back to race in less than 4 weeks time.
Photo credits: Rona Lindsay