Friday, June 29, 2018

EYOC Sprint

(Written by Niamh)

Today was Sprint day!!!! The sprint was held in Tsarevets Fortress and the old town surrounding it, about 10 minutes drive from the hotel.

Myself and Alastair both had late starts with Daniel in the slightly earlier block of starts. Quarantine was in an astroturf with just enough shelter to keep the sun off! After packing waterproofs and umbrellas what we really needed was suncream!

After standing in the toilet queue for what seemed like an age it was time to chill. Ali and I had GPS tracking so had to collect our vests - fresh out the packet.

Pre start with a -10 minute call up was about 300m away from the quarantine. So after a good hour of lying around and multiple toilet trips I got my shoes on and organised my stuff. I had a jog down and back from quarantine, got my o stuff and then dropped my bag at the bag drop.

After a bit more jogging around and a few drills i was called up to pre start. The -3 call up was 500m up a hill to a gatehouse of the castle.

And....then we were off. Straight up the hill to the very top of the fortress for me and then a loop round the more complex walled bit of the fortress. Down through the spectator control and a loop in the old town with a couple of controls round the church then down the run in.

Ali had a clean run coming in in 16th. My run was pretty average no big mistakes just a bit slow (I came 35th). Dan simply said his run was 'not good'.

After celebrating Megan Keith's win at the flower ceremony we walked back to the hotel, had lunch and a quick team meeting about tomorrows long and then...more time to just chill and get an ice cream (of course!).

Later we have the opening ceremony for the event followed by the official prize giving for the sprint. Another team meeting and a chance to give Paul his birthday presents!! and then off to bed.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Model Day

This was the first proper day at EYOC. We had a nice long sleep after all of yesterday's traveling then breakfast in the hotel, a fun game of "guess what that fried thing is" as well as some familiar food.

After breakfast we headed out into the town to get a feel for the sprint area. We had a small model map which was mainly tiny alleys which were hard to tell apart from people's gardens. There was also a not very relevant to the sprint final monastery as well as a huge (20m) sword monument mapped as a statue. The model was ok but showed us the sprint was going to be tricky, also the fortress section of the final map was basically impossible to recreate so we knew we just had to look on street-view for that bit.

In the afternoon we headed to the long/relay model area which was green and hilly as expected. It was also insanely muddy. The long is gonna be tough and is quite similar to Wass in places. Looking forward to the sprint tomorrow even if it looks tricky!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

An Unexpected Journey

Sooooo the journey begins! Myself and Niamh began our adventure yesterday, and despite the best efforts of Virgin trains coupled with the labyrinth of the London underground we made it to Oxford in one piece.
Here our good friend/ teammate/ legend David Bunn was waiting for us with his dad to execute the "Nigel does the pick up, makes quick get away". This was perhaps the slickest transport change of the day. Soon at Davids house, tea (which was awesome!) eaten, teeth brushed, it was time to head to bed. Stage one of the journey: ✓

7am came all too soon, a couple more hours in bed would have been welcomed, but I had things to do, places to be, last minute shopping trips to do...
A short jog with Niamh to the local Tesco provided a quick leg stretch as well as the opportunity to buy the remaining items needed; namely 8 white tops, but more about that later in the week.
Back with ample time to breakfast, pack up and hit the road to the airport.
On the way we found a roaming DJ Spencer who had been wandering the flat lands of Oxfordshire for a couple of days (jokes he was staying with his family! 😁)
We are now on the way to Luton to start the adventure for real and leave this barmy island behind for a few weeks! Here goes!!

Also I'd like to say a BIG thank you to the Bunn's for accomodating and feeding us; it was very much appreciated!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Preparation Camp

On the weekend of the British Orienteering championships, the three of us travelled to Pitlochry, Scotland to join up with the teams for EYOC and JWOC for a weekend of racing and all sorts of preparations for the upcoming international races.

The weekend began on the Friday evening when we met up with some of the team in Edinburgh to travel in minibuses to the Pitlochry FSC which would be our accomodation for the weekend.

On the Saturday we had team meetings based on the competitions we would be attending with a talk though the maps for each discipline as well as general information about the races.

After this we drove to run the British Champs held at Balmoral later that day. It was a tough and pretty hilly course made harder by the hot conditions as well as the fact that we were all aware that the main focus was now the international races in the summer. 

When we returned to the FSC we had more meetings and a quiz to test you knowledge on crossable/uncrossable features and control description symbols. I was rubbish.

The next day we have to leave early to get to the British Relay Champs held in the small but interesting area of Torphantrick. Alastair, Zac and I successfully defended our M18 trophy with Niamh running well to win bronze with her team in the women's premier.

This was the end of a weekend of prime Scottish orienteering and was the final time we would see the coaches before travelling to the summer competitions in four weeks time.