Friday, June 26, 2015

The Prelude

After a tough flight complete with a toddler that conveniently slept for 11 hours and some people that would not stop laughing, I arrived in Sweden to have my Dad pick me and take me straight out to my first Euro session of the year. Another couple of days of training later, we were joined by Herny, who had also been doing a little bit of training in Sweden as well. Early the the next morning (although the sun had already been up for 3 hours),  we set out on the 7 hour gratuitous drive across Sweden and a bit of Norway, which we spent as much time underground in tunnels as above it, to Drammen, where the rendezvous with young Jarrah was designated.

After another long car journey, we arrived in Rauland, our home for the next 2 and half weeks. Settling into our (Dad's, Jarrah's and mine) accommodation, we proceeded to drop Henry off with all his sk8er boy m8s, with which he settled in nicely.

Sitting in a car for nigh on 10 hours is enough to leave the legs feeling lethargic, so we headed out to spin the legs over on a trail near the accommodation. Little did we know that this 'trail' would turn out to  be an hour slog through the terrain! Luckily it was broken up by some picturesque cliffs, waterfalls and even our first run in with the cold, wet sand that the Norwegians call "snow."

Today we set out to the Dauvi map and got our first taste of orienteering in JWOC relevant terrain. And what a fine taste it was! Marshes, hills and rocks were a plenty, especially for poor Herny, who coming from Uppsala where hills are about as common as hills in a very flat city, like Uppsala.

Doing what any self respecting football team would do, we then had an appropriate recovery session in the conveniently located lake.

A short drive took us up into the true alpine country of Skinnarbu, where Henry and I cracked out a fine jog, which this time had more snow, more majestic vistas, but less picking our way through thick undergrowth, which was quite a treat.

We are looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the team (a.k.a. our pit-crew) tomorrow at Vierli accomm, and cracking on with the preparation for JWOC 2015.

Stay tuned for more classic banter fresh from Rauland, Norway, brought to you by Henry, Jarrah, and me, Datt Moyle

(Matt Doyle)

(Terry loves yoguhrt)

Monday, June 22, 2015

We're making our way to Norway!

The first reunion among the 2015 team in Scandinavia took place at Jukola, immediately post Henry's stella run on first leg for OK Linne. Hero, otherwise known as Henry, had a fantastic race and brought his team back in 20th position after overtaking running machine Yannick Michiels in the finish chute, just to make the run all the more impressive! The reunion continued in the corridors of the Jukola boat but from then the two parted ways and I (Nicola) was on my way to Oslo to meet with Anna.

Anna and I have spent the past week living just a 45minute drive from Oslo and a 45second jog to km's and km's of terrain. The first bush training for the two of us in Norway was at a local club training with around 50 participants complete with emit, marshes, and more wet ground identical to the marshes. It was a really good chance for the both of us to run around and work out what we would be able to pick from the map. It's going to take a while to adapt to running in the terrain as well as navigating, so much about orienteering here seems different!

Club training race in Gjerdrum


A few more days and a few more awkward tourist experiences later (including having to leave cafes when our cards didn't work, and mistakingly entering an interior design consultancy thinking it was a homewares store and having to bail when they went to get the only English speaking designer to meet with us), we were joined by Jarrah and Manager Kazza for the Had-o-land 3-day competition!

The view from the drive to each of the events!

The first event was a sprint on the Friday evening. My (Anna) start wasn’t until after 6pm, because it doesn’t get dark here until at least 11. The area was a mixture of village houses and very rocky terrain, which was very frustrating to get through without rolling an ankle! It was a good chance to practice some quick decision making, and getting used to the emit.

The Saturday event was a middle, in more mountainous terrain. I learn something new every time we orienteer, and today it was that marshes are sometimes very tricky to distinguish. Despite some challenges in adapting to the very different terrain it was a fun race!

The third and final day was a long, and our course took us to the top of the mountain. It was worth the climb for an amazing view and marshy terrain most relevant to Rauland. Jarrah was pleased with his relatively mistake-free run, despite picking up the wrong map at the start! The organizer of the carnival gave all the Aussies a drink bottle each. They were meant to be for prizes but we were each given one purely because we are Australian. A bit of a pitty-prize really, kind of like Guy Sebastian and Eurovision situation, but we all love a good freeby!

Jarrah pumping it into the finish of the sprint!