Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Alpe Adria Cup 2014

Over the past few days I have been competing in the Alpe Adria Cup, held in Cansiglio, Italy. The competition consisted of four races; long, relay, sprint and middle, held over three days.

Day 1-Long:

After running on a nearby model map the previous day I was confident in my ability to read the complex contours and scattered rock detail the long distance race would entail. The large depressions and abundance of tracking reminded me a lot of the karst terrain I ran on in Slovakia during JWOC 2012, although here, the depressions were often a lot deeper and the ground a lot softer.

View from the Middle Model- Cansiglio

The race itself was incredibly enjoyable. The terrain was picturesque and I often found myself stopping to have a look back at what I had just run through. Although I made large errors on controls four and nine, I ended up placing 20th in the women’s elite class! A map of the course is pictured below.

W21: 5.8km, 310m

Day 2- Relay & Sprint

This mornings race was probably the highlight of the carnival for me. After originally planning to run in a relay team with my brother in the open class, I was approached by Hanny to fill in for Greta in the NZ team. Although our result would ultimately be unofficial, it was an incredible experience to run third leg alongside some of the world’s best elite orienteers. I placed a lot of internal pressure on myself to have a clean run today, and I believe this payed off. My errors were reduced considerably and I pushed myself to read more of the detail on the map before stopping (although the 1:10 000 did lend itself to be a lot easier to achieve this).

Consiglio Forest

Later in the evening the sprint race was held in the town of Conegliano. I felt as if I rushed at the beginning of the race, after exiting the tunnel from the start I made a poor route choice to the first control. Other than this small slip the first half of my race until the map change went smoothly. Following the map change I began to get really tired and physically slowed down considerably and began making sloppy decisions. Maintaining map contact and a stronger focus even when tired will be something I plan to improve on for JWOC. A highlight of the sprint race was the chance to use the ‘SI AIR’! ( an SI card that doesn’t require you punch the control, rather you just have to wave your hand within 0.5m of the unit).

Finishing the Sprint Race- Conegliano
Photo Credits: Maurizio Bez 

Day 3- Middle

The final race was particularly physically challenging. The steep terrain and clever control positioning meant that for the most part, straight route choices were most efficient. Again, I rushed the beginning of this race, too eager to build up speed early on, and blew about five minutes on the first two controls. Other than this, I was happy with my middle race preparation.

W21: 3.6km, 250m

Following Alpe Adria, I have been travelling the Dolomites with my family. Over the next few days I will be training on the WOC training maps before heading back to Venice to spectate the WOC Sprint and run in the public race. The final countdown until JWOC begins: 19 days.

Below is a picture this morning from the refuge we stayed at.

Rifugio Garibaldi- 2845m

Michele Dawson

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