*Unfortunately, I'm struggling with uploading maps and photos to the blog, it will be corrected as soon as possible.
I guess the post's title should have been my title for the post on the pre woc camp in May, but I never got round to writing that one. The problem with this terrain and these maps is that any time you enter them, the shock hits you. We arrived yesterday and managed three training sessions since.
Yesterday, on the way from Geneva, the three of us had a good sprint run in Annecy (All the credit goes to Oystein Kvaal Osterbro, who published this course on his blog). We were tired and hungry from the train ride, plane flight, car drive and waiting time, that started for some of us on Tuesday morning, but the run went well. We all ran the course in aprox. 22-23 minutes.
The hunger and fatigue beat our will to practice and we called it a day.
Today was a little longer and a little more energetic. The aim was to dive into the deep waters of French terrain and see what we remember from the May camp. Today was focused on middle and sprint training. We started with a slow jog through the forest towards the second part of the training. It was hard finding the spots without controls but it was a good way to regroup our orienteering skills.
The second part was a relay practice aimed to bring us into contest speed (sort of). We ran two intervals of aprox. 800 meters each (one combined control, a split and then another combined control before the finish. The practice did not pass without its mistakes. All three of us made mistakes and found his way to recover. The pace was good in parts and terrible in parts. It was good to remember what this forest has in store (fallen trees, stones and dense growth), but it was also good to see that it can be run, and controls can be found when concentrating.
The thirs part of the practice was collecting all controls from the southern part of the map at each person own pace. Pavel and Guy (as our representatives in the long discipline ran the course on a 1:15,000 scaled map. The change wasn't easy and caused some confusion for the two. Both found them selves too high up on their way from 33 to the north.
This was the time for tests and examinations: running through light green forests or detouring them? (running through is not that problematic when there are clear marks on the way); How does a row of depressions look like? (A gully); Is the forest any different than may? (No snow in the forest and a little better to run in). Not all our question were answered but many of them were.
After having a nice lunch we went to an afternoon sprint run in Montmelian. This was a nice 3.5 km sprint in the small hilly town. We changed the order of controls a little (as seen in the photo 1,8,7,5,4,3,6,2,9,10,...) to avoid leg 6-7, which wasn't so interesting.
I made a 30 second mistake on the way to 9 (entered the correct ally and then passed the control), and another on the way to 20 (entered the dead ended ally just before the control).
This was the last day of fast paced training before the competition starts. Tomorrow will be a much more relaxed model day, preparing for the long distance qualification. I don't expect much from the model event since the terrain chosen looks a lot simpler than the ones practiced on in all the other training sessions in France.