Wednesday 16 January 2013

WC #2 and #3 + Sprint The Bay

Here comes a short update for the last weeks races in New Zealand as I'm sitting at the Morrison Residence in Havelock North, New Zealand before the 4th stage of Sprint the Bay in the afternoon.

WC #2 - Sprint in Wellington

The qualification race last monday didn't go very well for me, as I made 3 big mistakes of 15-20sek in the middle of the race, and I had to push really hard in the end to make sure that I qualified for the final.
I was really motivated to do better in the final, and the terrain suited me better with a lot of climb, downhill and forest running. The course was really tricky and I took some bad routechoices in the beginning and lost 40sek to the fastest there and was 14th after 5min running. But the last part of the race was good, and I finished really strongly with no bigger mistakes, and ended up as number 6, which was really good, and the best sprint result I have done since I was 6th at the European Champs in 2010.

WC #3 - Prologue and Chasing Start in Hawkes Bay

Again I did a bad prologue, with a lot of small mistakes, and the physical feeling was not good either after having a cold the days before the race. I ended up as 23rd, more than 2 minutes behind the leader. And since the results from the prologue made the startlist for the chasing start, including a lot of bonusseconds to the 12 best, it was not a good start.
I started really offensive and even though I took the wrong routechoice to the 4th control I managed to get contact with a big group of runners starting in front of me. I worked my way to the lead of the group, and felt strong physically, so I was leading the group in the middle of the course. But going uphill to the map-change in the end of the race, I started feeling tired, but I managed to stick with the fastest guys in our group as people dropt off. But at the last 4 controls I couldn't keep up with Kyburz, Kerschbaumer and Sedivy, even though we were suddenly very close to the group in front of us, fighting for the 4th position. I almost catched Hubmann and Bergmann in the finish, and ended up as number 12, and with one of the best racing times of the chasing start.
Overall I'm pretty satisfied with my perfomance at the first 3 World Cup races, and is ranked 9, in the overall World Cup. It gives me some good feedback, for my training the next 5-6 months before WOC in Finland. Firstly I need to improve my technical skills, because the speed is pretty good.

Before going home to Denmark, to have an exam in the end of january, I'm staying for Sprint the Bay, who is organized by the Morrison brothers. The terrains and courses are some of the best I have ever done for sprints, because it's really tricky and different from what we're used to in Europe. So even though I'm not that motivated for competitions right now, it's so much fun to do these races, and really good training :)

Sunday 6 January 2013

WC#1 - Bad performance, good result...

Yesterday it was time for the first race in 2013, a World Cup middle distance on Waikawa Beach, New Zealand.

I have been in New Zealand for a week, and it has been time enough to adjust my body to the new timezone, and the feeling has been good the last days before the races. I have been travelling with the other danes, we started some days in Auckland with some orienteering trainings, and have travelled south to Wellington, via Coromandel and Mt Taranaki. The weather has been really good, with a lot of sun and good conditions for running.
My injury in my groin has not been a problem, and even though it wasn't possible to get it examined before going down here, I don't think they will find anything.

The terrain was open sanddunes, and some small areas of "white" forest, all with a lot of details and complex orienteering all the way. My race was good in the beginning, I was very careful with my orienteering and navigated well until 9th control, where I was in 6th spot. But I stopped way to early to the 10th and lost more than a minute, trying to relocate in the dunes. I struggled to stay focused, but managed again to find a good rhytm in my orienteering. But to 16th, I went down to run on the fast beach, but was not careful enough going back to the dunes and found 22nd control before 16. The rest af the way I made several small mistakes, and on the 3rd last control I lost almost 1minute again. I was pretty dissapointed when I finished, but my race was good enough for the 10th spot in the competition, because almost everyone else lost time on the course.
But more than 4 minutes mistakes in total is way too much, even though it was very difficult and different mapping-style than we're used to in Denmark. I just wasn't prepared well enough, and it's a shame that I realized too late, that the terrain would consist of so many open sanddunes. Because we have quite similar terrain in Denmark, but I have only been orienteering in sanddunes 1 time since I came back to Denmark (DM-long in september).
My physical shape is good and I had some fast splits when I was running well, so I'm optimistic about the next days sprint races. I have been training some good sprinttrainings in december, and have started to do good sprintorienteering, so hopefully I can perform well later today in the qualification and especially in tomorrows final.