Saturday, 6 August 2011

France Rocks!

Quite literally too... After a week here I have 2 bad ankles, but not bad enough to stop me enjoying the awesome terrain. Before coming to France I had only heard negative things; 'It's soo green', 'It's soo rocky', 'It's way too hard', 'Don't waste your time, save yourself for another year'. I came to France with a positive mindset, I figured that being negative wasn't going to help me to have any fun here. So far I have been pleasantly surprised with the terrain. I can agree that the running is difficult in places, and the navigation even more so, but isn't that what orienteering is all about?? The more challenging the terrain and courses, the more satisfaction you can get from having a good race right??
I travelled to France after Fin 5 and Oringen (I'll write more about them later if I get the time - but highlights were 7th (video here)place and 9th place respectively in the sprints), to meet with Amber (my oldest younger Sister - her WOC debut is this year) for some casual training. We have been on as many maps as we could get our hands on.
Most of the trainings involved me putting out toilet paper controls (mostly in the right places :P ) with Amber running the course a little later. It can be quite frustrating sometimes to have to double/triple check everything and spend so much time standing around in the control circle, but it will be better next week when our coach Dieter Wolf arrives with sport-ident and controls. Check out the quickroute Prepoulin training below - slow going at the moment!. We have both had some really good patches of navigation and also some shocking mistakes. However, we are both slowly getting a good feeling for the maps, terrain and the best places to run. One of the highlights for me has to be the sprint training we made in Annecy (see the video below). It was such a beautiful city, and although it became a pedestrian dodging competition in the town we both finished the training with huge grins on our faces :)
We have played around a little with 3DRerun. My GPS watch has been playing up a bit so you might see some crazy things, but contrary to popular belief I can't jump buildings in a single bound... So enjoy the videos (best in full screen):

Montmelian:


Annecy Sprint:


Foret du Grand Roc Sud 2x trainings, the first training a shocker for me. I had a bit of a meltdown and couldn't think, but the 2nd was better, Ambers brain aneurysm came in the 2nd training instead . Check out the mispuches from both Amber and I!! woops! And also where my good ankle became my bad ankle at 3.16:


Here's today's training on the Le Creux Qui Sonne map. This is probably my least favourite map so far.. The paths are really hard to see (check out my #1 - there was a bigger path the way I ran) and there are a lot of thinnings on the ground. Some parts of the map are really strange too, I don't agree with what's there (like around #6 and #12, and the path before #13 was in a re-entrant) but I wouldn't like to try mapping it!:



I don't know if I'll get time to blog again before WOC, so hopefully next time you hear from me I have some good news :)

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