Sorry for the lack of recent posts but don’t stress, it’s not that we’ve been slacking off. In fact there’s been a number of reasons for our lack of internet activity; notably having to watch ‘The Castle’ twice for motivational purposes; browsing dank memes and the fact that we feel we’re not really able to keep up with the standard of blog posting that’s been supplied to us by our buddy Jan (don’t worry, if you think you were confused by the repeated references to him in our profiles, he was even more mystified). Despite all of this, we’ve reached the point where we’ve done more running wild’s than Bear Grylls on a ten day bender so we figure we’d set aside a bit of time to keep you fans back home up to date.
There’s been a lot of good stuff that’s come out of our training week. The team atmosphere is fizzling with more fizzle then an electrolyte tablet in Swiss mineral water and it’s clear that we’re tighter as a group than Ralph Street’s favourite pair of Under Armour shorts. We’re not sure exactly what’s been the biggest contributing factor to this, it could possibly be Ralph’s clapping ritual that we do before each training, the lack of wifi in our previous accommodation forcing us to huddle together in the corridor or even Jules’ classic stitch up in making us do a homework research task on Swiss culture. Either way, we can safely assure you that our team culture is absolutely lit right now, words cannot even start to describe the mad bants at dinner every night.
|A wild Ralph Street in his natural habitat|
In terms of the orienteering training, that’s been pretty flawless as well. Although it's been a reasonably light week, we’ve still managed to fit in quite a few quality sessions out in the terrain. The forests along the Engadin valley have been surprisingly varied, a mix of super technical contour detail and blander slopes, low vis pine that releases toxic gas more lethal than Simeon’s ‘presents’ in our toilet and rapid fast sections almost as attractive as some of the local volleyball players, tricky old town sprints and residential areas with scope for more interesting route choices. The only consistency between all the maps we’ve been on has been the fact that the gradients range from steep to vertical. Luckily, Jules has provided us with some master classes on the 'Swiss walk' and this combined with the rock climbing I did on Year 8 camp his really set me up to cope with this challenge. We’d all agree that this terrain does provide a lot of challenges, however thanks to the coaching we’ve received during the training camp, we’re pretty well prepared to face these tests during the race week.
|Guys being dudes|
We’ve been kept well entertained through the team playlist and although the general consensus is that it’s a good collection of bangerz, some of the more outspoken team members (not going to name names but his name rhymes with Fat Boyle and is Matt Doyle) have expressed their thoughts that a few tunes are a bit “how ya goin” which has led to the rule that we’re each allowed one veto per cycle through the playlist. Definitely the main crowd favourites in the mixtape are Ralph’s europop selections although I’m not sure the Yanks shared our enthusiasm for his pick ‘Russian Roulette’ as we did slow laps of the supermarket car park blaring it over our speakers in a reasonably successful attempt to intimidate them.
|Gals being chicks|
We’ve become well acquainted with the locals, whether that be shyly waving to Simone Niggli while walking down the main street of Scuol (except for Simeon ‘International-orienteering-is-boring-to watch’ Burrill who didn’t recognise her), smiling at the old bloke who we’re still yet to see move from his bench on a side street of Sent or our very impressive demonstration of guys being dudes at the town beach volleyball court. We’ve also had some good times absolutely wrecking some six year-olds who thought they were top stuff down at the town Fuβball stadium. Overall, we’ve definitely made a firm positive impression on the locals though, our ‘photography’ session the other day provided quite the spectacle for passers-by and I think we’d all like to hope that the constant stream of ‘The Castle’ quotes that come out of our mouths would have had some impact on the people we’ve met.
It hasn’t all been good news though. They’ve been a few struggles along the way too. Up until yesterday we had to put up with that thing that was on Matt’s face but thanks to a bit of not so gentle peer pressure, he finally made the call to shave down to race weight. Another low light was on Thursday when we woke up, looked out our penthouse window and noticed that there was a little bit of haze meaning that the view wasn’t quite as amazing as usual. Of course, there was further disappointment when we arrived at our new accommodation last night and had to put up with a slightly extended wait in between the third and fourth course at dinner. To be honest, I’m not really sure how we do it but I guess it’s all just part of being a world class elite athlete.
So anyway, gotta head off now, we’ve got a big race tomorrow and we might just be able to fit in two more screenings of The Castle before the opening ceremony.
The boys (95% Pat, 10% the other boys and the rest is just good luck)