Thursday, 11 July 2013

JWOC 2013!!!

Right, this is my epic blog for JWOC, missed loads out but I could probably write a book if I included it all :P Just a for warning, I was pretty disappointed with the majority of my performances so it’s not going to be the most optimistic thing you ever read but the general week was great with a brilliant GBR team and GBR supporters :)

 Zoe, Me, Charlotte and Jonny flew out early (the Tuesday before the racing – which started on the following Monday), originally also accompanied by Will, though he’d washed his passport, claiming it was his Mum’s fault so was joining us later. The travel across Czech was relatively easy and INCREDIBLY cheap, about £6 for a four hour journey!! The bus station was really close to Hotel Cernigov, the event centre and main accommodation for JWOC. We arrived, went for a slow run (I only managed 2km…felt pretty tired and my ankle was still sore from Jukola :().

We then had Wednesday, Thursday and Friday training and resting before the rest of the team arrived on Friday. We joined in with some training that the Australian and New Zealand team were doing so we got lifts with the Kiwi’s, who had some quality tunes on their buses ;) On Friday, we chilled out a bit and went to an AMAZING pool with three slides, and this one that was like a ski jump! The rest of the team joined us in the evening, including my Dad who was a coach. Unfortunately he brought some bad news from home that my Grandma had died earlier that afternoon. I spent most that evening on the phone to my Mum, who was going to come and spectate but after this news, had a difficult decision of whether to stay and home, support granddad or come out and support me. I obviously wanted to be selfish and have her over here but knew Granddad probably needed her more! In the end, it worked out okay and she decided to fly over for the first half and fly home on the Thursday (the Rest day) so she was home for the funeral which was organised very quickly for the Friday (and Sprint Race Day) so me, my dad and harry all missed it :(.

The Saturday was spent at the model areas, with the maps and terrain holding no surprises. Sunday people were chilling/stretching, just easy stuff before the race on Monday. I did some drills and strides where I felt rapidddd :D and lots of geeking, from the Bulletin 4, we predicted the start and from that the general course, going through some route choice! My start time on Monday was pretty late so I was in no rush in the morning, unlike some others in the team who had to wake up really early!! So it was the usual, bus to the pre-start, quarantine, warm up maps etc etc and I did my usual warm up where I string it out over about an hour, coming back to the GBR base to hydrate and adjust clothes/shoes/ankle tape :) Before my start I was perfect, joking around and feeling happy. Started the course well with a couple of errors to 1 and 2 but nothing huge. 3 was a route choice leg which I’d done before so took no time to decide, I was going left. FO SHO. From then on I was getting tired, not really feeling very sharp and motivation was lacking…I was running the Junior World Orienteering Championships and my motivational was lacking…WHAT THE HELL?? 4-5 was STRAIGHT UP HILL, lost so much time to the fastest on that leg as I couldn’t move. It felt slow and was slow! Annyywaayy, got there eventually, 6 was a distraction mistake but 7 I completely bossed – some DOWNHILL!! Finalllyy :D The rest of the course was pretty solid, nothing too bad just tiredness! Towards the end, at the 2nd to last control the winner caught me up! Complete speed machine, couldn’t keep up at all!! I was so happy to finish and was placed in 18th overall. Peter had DONE AMAZING, coming 17th and Charlotte was the best GBR girl with 12th place! Three top 20’s on the first day was a great start for GB but personally I wanted more :(

Women's long race.

AND THEN I GOT IT IN THE MIDDLE QUALIFIER HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. After the long, I immediately put the race behind me, not going through splits etc (plenty of time for that at home where it won’t impact on the other races!) and so I had a little look at middle maps etc. At the start for the quali, I was focusing hard on ORIENTEERING, not worried about speed but wanting to find the controls perfectly. It pretty much happened! I loved starting with two other people and having the excitement of seeing people out in the forest as I find it makes me concentrate more :) Out in the course I wasn’t feeling especially fast, walking up most hills but on the finish run in I was called out in 1st on my heat :D WINNING YESS!! Everyone came in and that was overall place :D woop woop, really happy but knew it was only the qualifier and had the pressure of starting last in the final!! In the rest of the team there was quite a lot of disappointment with only 1 boy (Jonny) qualifying and 3 girls (Me, Charlotte and Zoe).

Middle Final...
For the final, we did a little geeking and I roughly worked out where the course would go and I was feeling happy for the final. However I really didn’t prepare for how much tougher it was going to be. Starting last mean’t there wasn’t as many people as I would have liked at the pre-start and out in the forest and similarly to the long I felt like I had no energy, SO MANY FALLEN TREES AND BLOODY BOULDERS. I remember going to 3, seeing some cameras in the forest, shitting myself and running into a pile of rocks hoping the control would just appear! I ended up circling around every rock, each time praying it would be just round the corner! I would have been quicker if I’d walked to some controls I reckon! Finished in 19th place so again another top 20. This was the last day before my mum went home so I travelled back to the accommodation with her and was sad to see her go :( That evening me and Katie went to Tesco and brought some water pistols ;) we started a fight outside with the GB boys who obviously lost as they had no guns…but when we came back inside the whole hotel had gone crazyyy with water fights happening between all countries!! The GBR team had dinner that night at a local pizza place, courtesy of my dad :D and the pizzas were MASSIVE!

The huaagee pizzas :D

Time for a waterfight ;)

Rest day, team photo.
Rest day next, team visited the sprint and relay model areas and we had the spectators over for a picnic (where a flash mob happened which we of course joined in with :P). I also had the decision of running in the sprint the next day or not, this year had been the first year the management had mentioned not running all the races and a few of the team didn’t run in the middle final. I didn’t really know what do, feeling people expected me to run all races but I really didn’t want to run in the sprint. I ended up decided the morning before when I went for a run and felt like death, knowing my legs wouldn’t feel fast, which is what a sprint should be! I spent the day with Zoe, spectating the racing, again a mixed day with some great results in the boys, and a few disappointed athletes :( Jonny managed to hold 7th place J (the best result of the week for the GBR team wooooh!) and Tim (one of the Kiwi’s we’d been hanging with) won a bronze medal which I was so happy about!!!

Waiting for Zoe..
The final day, the relay day was interesting with everyone being held in quarantine to stop cheating as there were cameras and gps tracking. Charlotte was my first leg runner (Zoe 2nd and me last), who unfortunately didn’t have a great run, coming back around 6 minutes down on the leader making it tough for me and Zoe to get motivated and pull up places. The whole team were pretty disappointed but with that being sport we all knew that it could have happened to any of us! At the finish I was gutted, but went to see my brother who was a cutie and gave me a big hug <3. With all the racing over there was the coach’s race (me and Katie had bought millions of water bombs which we filled up ready to chuck on my dad and Dave (the physio!)) The weather was also completely beaut which helped the team stay happy J  In the evening there was the Banquet, which was a little messy ;) and the usual scandal went down :P 

The GB team (plus a few extras)

The whole week was organised so so so well, so a massive thanks to the JWOC2013 organisers, GBR team management, the rest of the team and supporters. Although the results were disappointing, I’ve definitely learn’t the most from this JWOC and will take it forward to next year, where I’ll hopefully be selected for my last JWOC in Bulgaria :D. Bring it on. ;)

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