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Sunday, July 8, 2018

So the girls thought it would be a good idea to let the boys write their profiles and vice versa, still not sure if we regret it or not, enjoy.


Name: Patrick Jaffe
Year born: 1998
JWOC class: Meat and three veg
Nickname: Patty Pingerz (that’s dingerz but spelt with a P)
Favourite distance: Relay, yeah the boys
What aspect of JWOC are you most excited for: Putting into practice Nick Manfredi’s advice for event 6.
What do you like to put your hot dog in: a Bunn
Favourite meme page: Rompa Stompaz
Biggest orienteering failure: getting rejected by Asha at age 14/Schools Sprint 2016
Favourite travel blogger: Brodie Nankervis @ Time Pressed Traveller


Name: Asha Steer
Nickname: Boylord
JWOC Class: Home base
Quote: “I haven’t had any boy problems for 6 months… oh wait”
“Surely all boys have been in street fights”
What maths did you take at high school: General Maths (easiest option by a long way)
Let’s see how much you remember, what’s your age minus seven: 13
Now double it: 27??
Biggest achievement: Surviving a ridiculous uni workload last semester
How many subjects did you take last semester: one
Who are you cheering for this world cup: England (it’s coming home)

Name: Angus Haines
Year born: 2000
JWOC class: Virgin
Nickname: Haines-Train
Quote: “you know what having big feet means”
Two truths one lie: It took me under 4 hours to do my washing, my “sock” size is xs, I made a full set of orienteering kit with my face on it.
How long did it take you to do your washing: 17 hours
Favourite wreath worn by Ceaser: Laurel
Highlight of your orienteering carrer: 2016 Schools Sprint
Favourite travel blogger: Brodie Nankervis @ Time Pressed Traveller

Name: Zoe Dowling
Nickname: Carnivore
JWOC Class: 3rd time lucky
Quote: “Not sure if I’ve told you but I actually don’t eat any meat or animal products”
Favourite motorcycle: Harley Davidson
When was the last time you got ID’d: Three years ago
Would you rather have your pants fall down at the spectator control or consume a non-dairy-free choccy milk at the drinks control: Rather not start the race at all
Kill, kiss, eat. Cow, pig, dog? I’m vegan so I’d kiss them all xx
Who are you cheering for this world cup: Germany (exciting initially but didn’t last long)


Name: Alastair George
Year born: 2000
JWOC class: Fresh meat
Nickname: Rebecca
Norwegians, Swedes, Fins or Daines: South Australians
Preference for JWOC party costumes: hotel bath robes
Favourite meme page:  abhorrent aussie memes
If you could be the child of any member of the Danish WOC team, what would you be: Soren's son
Favourite Brodie Nankervis hashtag: #winewinewine
Favourite travel blogger: Brodie Nankervis @ Time Pressed Traveller

Name: Zoe Melhuish
Year of birth: 2006
JWOC Class: Novice
What is your height? Negligible, under 3% (pg 12, jwoc bulletin 4)
Greatest achievement: Beating my sister even though there’s a 10-year age difference
Two truths one lie: I have blonde hair, I’m 12 years old, I deliberately started the 2003 Canberra bushfire when I was 4 months old
How old are you: 15
Who are you cheering for in the world cup: New Zealand, hope they do (Tids)well

Name: Patrick Miller
Year born: 2000
JWOC class: Rookie
Nickname: Patty Dingerz (that’s pingerz but with a D), Tristan.
Favourite meme page: Spur Posting
Favourite morning activity: Physio exercises
Favourite afternoon activity: Physio exercises
Main reason you do physio: getting in shape for event 6
Favourite travel blogger: Brodie Nankervis @ Time Pressed Traveller


Name: Caroline Pigerre
JWOC Class: Double dip
Favourite quote: “…….”
Who are you cheering for this world cup: Sweden (there’s a reason I’m going to live there 😉)
Why did you decide to become a vegan? Because I love animals so much, especially doggos
You’re in the lead in the JWOC sprint. You’re in the last loop. Suddenly you see a 10/10 mint as puppa about to fall off the infamous Kecskemet bridge. Saving it will cost you 47 seconds and the victory. What do you do? Contemplate the situation for 53 seconds then watch the doggo fall to its impending doom xx
When was the last time you missed a planned training session: 2001
What’s your preferred age range? 17-22 (months) - (dw she’s babysitting Jules’ kids)
What’s the difference between a Ferrari and two crying toddlers: I’m not planning on leaving a Ferrari in Jules’ garage.

Name: Joseph DICKinson
Year born: 1998
JWOC class: double parked  
Nickname: Bro-seph, Hoe-seph
How’s your training going: good
Quote: “I’m leaking cucumber juice”
Which result are you most proud of from last year: Can’t decide between top 20 in the sprint and Spanish top 10.
Favourite travel blogger: Brodie Nankervis @ Time Pressed Traveller

Name: Rachel Allen
Nickname: Allen’s is an Australian brand of confectionery products produced by Nestle it is best known for Minties, a soft chewable mint-flavored confectionery, and their varieties of ‘Party Mix’ lollies
What state are you from? Tasmania
JWOC class: Two heads are better than one
Favourite intervals session: 4 hour hike with my family
Favourite distance: Rogaine
Two truths one lie: I like the outdoors, I once woke up to find that one of the boys who I’d got with the night before was my brother, I made a good decision in choosing to move to Launceston.
What’s your biggest regret: Moving to Launceston.
Any truth to the rumour that your boyfriend is actually your first-cousin: No comment 😉
Who are you going for in the world cup: Switzerland (“different post code so it doesn’t matter”)

Name: Aston Key
JWOC class: Neapolitan Ice-cream
Year born: 2006
Nickname: Eston, Unofficial M18 EYOC sprint champion.
What’s your favourite boys name: Cory
Which side of the road do you drive on in Hungary: Wright
What’s your favourite pre-race food: A wiener schnitzel Berger
Favourite travel blogger: Brodie Nankervis @ Time Pressed Traveller
Quote “I can’t wait to go to the WOC banquet with my mum”

Name: Tara Melhuish
Nickname: Tara Melhooyoouiiosh
JWOC class: Triple threat
What do you do when your sister beats you in a race: punch a hole in my bedroom wall
What intensity should you log walking as in your training log (on a scale of 0 to 5): 4
How many hours of training do you do a week (not including walking): More than the rest of the team combined (17)
Who are you cheering for in the world cup: Norway (I didn’t spend five months there for nothing 😉)
How many holes are there in your bedroom wall: 197

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Dear Aussies/fans/enemies trying to see our expert preparation,
We are writing this from the comfort of our current accommodation, in a place called Morahalom. Beautifully green, sunshine and a pleasant 27degrees. Doesn’t get much better than this.
The last week saw numerous highlights, none more so than the JWOC team video kindly produced by the one and only Pat Jaffe. For those unbeknownst to the beauty there is a link below and for those who have already admired the future ARIA winner we recommend you re-watch because it 100% doesn’t get old.
Up until Friday last week the team was living in none less than a mansion. We’re talking 6 toilets sort of stuff here. There were also 2 kitchens, an outside living area, private lake, DISHWASHER and most importantly a variety of taxidermies that bought back fond memories of last year’s glorious photoshoot, later banned by the IOF. The guy in charge was a bit of a lad too, we had dinner at his local pub the last night where he served up some pretty glorious burgers for a measly $4.5.
Tuesday and Thursday were spent on Long distance relevant terrain at Izsak.  Following an easy session at the infamous middle terrain in Bocsa on the Monday, Izsak felt homey. With pine sections similar to New Zealand (particularly Woodhill) and plenty more distinct features than the maze-like middle terrain, we came out of the forest happy. The biggest adaptation we are having to make for the Hungarian terrain is learning the speed of different types of forest. White is by far the quickest (with Pat dropping some cheeky sub 4min/ks), clearings are obvious but not always as fast underfoot as expected and tracks are some pretty grim soft sand.
Wednesday brought us to some fantastic relay terrain which was a definite training peak of the week. Smashing some speedy 2k reps with the gals, through idyllic terrain with control flow smoother than our dance moves, really got us going and boosted our confidence. We are now super excited but also petrified for how fast the 5th JWOC event will be.
Friday saw the team’s second trip to the notorious middle-distance terrain at Bocsa. Trying the maze-like terrain at speed was a prickly, spiky, hurty experience but overall everyone came out relatively unscathed (emotionally at least). Following our morning session, we moved accommodations from Tabdi to Kiskunmajsa. Since there was 8 of us with a 5-person car and 300kg of luggage we had a car of 4 people and 300 bags and 4 people took the train. For some reason no trains link up in rural Hungary, so the 4 chosen train riders got to spend some time checking out the local op shops in Kiskoros and found some glorious local fashion. We eventually made it to our next accommodation and sorry to say this, but it was a slight down grade. Going from our Hungarian villa to an intimate dwelling which lacked a kettle, toaster and washing machine was a bit of a shock to our tea-reliant, bread consuming, stinky systems, but we powered through.

Left: World’s Cutest Pupper* witnessed on train between Kiskoros and Kiskunhalas Right: Pat’s op shop buy allowing him to embrace Eastern European culture more effectively

*indisputable 100% fact

On Saturday we did nothing (except Tara and Pat want us to mention the did a pretty solid interval session). One easy jog later, we were watching Pitch Perfect 2 and a little bored. Exploring Kiskunmajsa took a total of 5mins since nothing was open, and the longest stop ended up being at a $1 ice cream shop. In the end we killed the time with in-depth Time Pressed Traveller research (we found things even Brodie had forgotten about) and created our masterpiece. Again, if the gloriousness of our squad video has not yet graced your retinas, please click the link below. Don’t even read the rest of this post, go treat yo’self.
Sunday was our final pre-pretraining camp session so we got on to some new long terrain at Bodoglar. Another happy session, and it was all fun and games until Lara got the car bogged. The training made up for this minor crisis however, as it was some juicy forest with lots of line features, visible vegetation changes, and good runability. Post training we got serious about our recovery (train hard, rest harder) and watched some more movies and did some geeking before heading out to find dinner. Upon realising that restaurants in Kiskunmajsa only supply drinks on Sunday evening and no food, we found a take away pizza shop and an hour later after google translating an entire menu we finally got a feed.
Monday morning meant time to return the car to Budapest, meet Brodie, Krystal and Jacob and eventually all convene in Bocsa. Despite a few minor delays (approximately 3hrs behind schedule, no biggie) the official training camp has now started and it is all beginning to feel real. Last week was a great introduction to the terrain for Zoe, Tara, Caro, Pat and us (Jo and Asha) and now we are ready to fine tune our techniques through this week to be fully prepared for everything JWOC throws at us.

Stay tuned for more from your favourite JWOC team,

Jo and Asha xoxo

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Hello again to all our fans back home and abroad! Welcome back to another year of blog posts from your favourite Aussie JWOC team! About half the team is now here in Hungary, so here are some updates on what has been happening recently:

Tara’s travels:
I have now been training and travelling in many countries around Europe for close to three months. I started in Halden, Norway, training with the Halden Skiklubb which was an amazing insight to the awesome terrain of Norway and how Scandinavians train. I competed in Tiomila (in Sweden) and Venla/Jukola (in Finalnd) for Halden SK (feat. Eating breakfast with Elena Roos :O), with a sneaky trip to Switzerland/ Italy in between to visit Lukas Frei, do more orienteering training and see some incredible mountains! It’s all been such an amazing experience and allowed me to learn heaps by running in so many different terrains and making heaps on new friends along the way! After a short stop in Vienna for more running, orienteering, sight seeing and visiting friends, I have arrived in Hungary along with Asha, Zoe, Caroline and Joe, as well as Katie and Lara from NZ 😊

Some of the Aussie team coming together:
We met in Budapest on Friday night before running the Hungarian middle and relay champs on Saturday and Sunday. The terrain was super fun and a lot more relevant than we expected it to be. It was a mix of light green forested areas and open with lots of small thickets, plus some smaller areas rock detail – this vegetation is quite similar to what we are expecting for the JWOC forest races. However, the terrain for these races was steeper with larger contour features while JWOC will be a lot flatter with very small (2m), sand dune-like contour features.
We had two races on Saturday for the middle champs; a qualification and a final. It was quite a long day as we didn’t start the final until around 5:30pm after leaving home for the qualifier at 8am. We all learned new things from the terrain and had lots of fun. Excitingly, Asha placed second and won some surprisingly yummy electrolytes (despite the colour being similar to beer vomit). The relay also had a great atmosphere and us gals came 2nd in W20 and actually won the first prize (lel) which was 3 massage bars - a lot more useful and lighter than the massive medals which the Hungarian place getters received.

Middle qualification

Middle final


Overall we're really glad we made the effort to get to these events, even if it was tricky to find any information about the competitions. Everyone was really lovely and friendly, we were interviewed a few times and lots of announcements were made in English just for us. Heaps of Hungarian people came up to us for a chat and we made lots of friends who will be at JWOC, both in the organising team as well as some juniors who will be racing! One man even wanted a cheeky photo with us, we still don’t know his name or who he really is haha.

Heres a link to a really cool video put together by Gábor (mentioned later) from the weekend of racing, Tara and Caroline both feature :))  https://youtu.be/ps4Ab7LXKHw 

Sunday night we went up Gellert Hill and watched the sunset and all the night lights come on over Budapest which was amazing.

After having a quick look around the central market hall and filling ourselves with $1 punnets of raspberries on Monday morning we drove down to our next accommodation in a village called Tabdi, near Kecskemet. It is quite a small town, so much so that our new friend Gábor (who was working the camera/ drone for the Hungarian champs and will do the same at JWOC) didn’t know it existed. Despite this, our house is beautiful, the serenity is pearler and it means that we definitely get good value for money on the house we have rented – stay tuned to our Facebook page for a house tour soon.  Some of us did a relaxed map walk/jog on a map called Bocsa (relevant for the middle), which Asha says was “surprisingly doable” but also a bit vague and challenging to stay in contact while running fast in some areas.
Today we are really keen to get out and do some long distance training, the weather looks absolutely mint and we are all feeling a lot more refreshed after an easier day yesterday.
Stay tuned for more updates on our training and activities later in the week, and we will be sure to get our team profiles up once the whole team is together on our official training camp!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Aussie team profiles 2017

You may have seen some guys and girls in gaudy yellow running around in the forest over the past week, we thought it is time that you learn a bit more about the 2017 Australian JWOC team.

Tara Melhuish

Year born: 1999
Nickname: T-pain
JWOC year: biathlon champ (2)
Quote: “Sometimes I just get the urge to go aaarrggghhhhh”
Favourite distance: Sprint
Favourite artist: Darude 
Favourite canned legume: Chilli beans
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: Life is a highway
Mediocre fact: I brush my hair
If I could have a sauna with any orienteer it would be: Maja Alm


Asha Steer

Year born: 1998
Nickname: Sleep-lord
JWOC year: Finally managed 2 JWOCs in a row (3 over 4 years)
Quote: “I want to hold someone’s hand!!!!!!”
Favourite distance: Sprint (anything short and sweet)
Favourite artist: Darude 
Favourite canned legume: lentils
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: Love story
Mediocre fact: I am thinking of dropping out of uni
Proudest life achievement: Slept 20 hours out of 28 on Monday (the 3rd)

Zoe Dowling

Year born: 1998
Nickname: Peachy, Mumma-Zoe
JWOC year: Marinated tofu (2)
Quote: “I love a good sing-a-long”, “beans are so underrated”
Favourite distance: Middle
Favourite artist: Darude 
Favourite canned legume: re-fried beans
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: A thousand miles
2 truths 1 lie: I have done a dump on an orienteering course and heard someone coming, I was born in the car on the way to the hospital, I am a squatting Slav.
Mediocre fact: I was born in a Hospital

Caroline Pigerre

Year born: 1999
Nickname: Caro
JWOC year: Virgin (1)
Quote: what was the map called today? “Something-Jarvi”
Favourite distance: Relay
Favourite artist: Darude 
Favourite canned legume: Black beans
Proudest life achievement: Eating 9 pieces of pizza in one sitting (“I felt so sick afterwards, would not recommend”)
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: Life is a highway
Mediocre fact: I did English and Bio in year 12

Rachel Allen

Year born: 1999
Nickname: Rallentino- Rossi
JWOC year: Freshy (1)
Quote: “Can I borrow your…(insert any item of clothing)”
Favourite distance: I like them all
Favourite artist: Darude 
Mediocre fact: I have my ears pierced
Favourite canned legume: baked beans
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: Circle of Life

Winnie Oakhill

Year born: 1998
Nickname: Shez
JWOC year: 1985 Cabernet Franc (3)
Quote: “So do the bullets end up at the other end?” (At biathlon training, shooting a gun)
Favourite distance: Long
Favourite artist: Darude 
Mediocre fact: I’m fluent in English
Favourite canned legume: Red kidney beans
If I could have a sauna with any orienteer it would be: Matty K

Simeon Burrill

Year born: 1998
Nickname: DJ pussy b***h
JWOC year: One cookie left in the jar (3)
Quote: “I will woo them with my boyish charm”
Favourite distance: Sprint
Favourite artist: Darude 
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: On my way
Mediocre fact: It takes me 32 minutes to brush and gel my hair every morning
2 truths and 1 lie: Darude is underrated, Darude is underrated, Darude is overrated

Joe Dickinson

Year born: 1998
Nickname: Jo
JWOC year: Fresh meat (1)
Quote: “no cookies, no deal”
Favourite distance: Sprint
Favourite artist: Darude 
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: “That one with the filthy drop”
Mediocre fact: I play soccer

Pat Jaffe

Year born: 1998
Nickname: Mr Muscles, Patty Pingerz, bubble butt 2.0, Meme Lord
JWOC year: Hat-trick Jaffe (3)
Quote: “For the past 6 months I've just been a legend” "I got Janned"
Favourite distance: Middle, but love getting down with the boys for the relay
Favourite artist: Darude 
Proudest life achievement: getting 2/10 at biathlon shooting but closely followed by a short walk to the bus with some French girls
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: Home among the gum trees

Jarrah Day

Year born: 1997
Nickname: Jammah 
JWOC year: Three strikes and he’s out  
Quote: “no, yah yah, nooo" 
Favourite distance: Middle
Favourite artist: Darude 
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix:
If I could have a sauna with any orienteer it would be: bubble butt

Aston Key

Year born: 2005
Nickname: Aston Martin
JWOC year: Backstreet Boy (2)
Quote: “I’m 12 now Pat, I can do what I want”, “Did you know IKEA sells hot dogs and meatballs?”
Favourite distance: Middle
Favourite artist: Darude 
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: What about me
Mediocre fact: My favourite subject is maths
If I could have a sauna with any orienteer it would be: Thierry Gueorgiou

Toby Wilson

Year born: 1997
Nickname: Tob-dog
JWOC year: Rookie (1)
Quote: “HOLY S**T”, “that’s f*#%ing ridiculous”, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”
Favourite distance: In Australia: Long, in Finland: to the cookie jar
Favourite artist: Darude 
Mediocre fact: I have only ever lived in one house
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: Fireflies
Proudest life achievement: Beating Jarrah from the last control to the finnish in the Tassie NOL long race.
2 truths 1 lie: My favourite word is ridiculous, I love Darude, I don’t drink

Hanny Allston

Nickname: Grandma 
JWOC year: War lord
Quote "Get in your bubble", "Its so beautiful" 
Favourite distance: to the kettle for a cuppa
Mediocre fact: I am Australian 
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: Someone like you 
Favourite artist: Darude 
If I could have a sauna with any orineteer it would be: Graham Hammond 

Graham Hammond

Nickname: Daddy Gray 
JWOC year: New born 
Quote: "I know heaps about orienteering" 
Favourite distance: Down the slope 
Mediocre fact: I am balding 
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: Egyptian - original mix 
If I could have a sauna with any orienteer it would be: Hanny Allston 
Favourite artist: Darude 

Jim Russell

Nickname: Jimbo 
JWOC year: Prisoner of war
Quote: "you can't see too much in that profile, post it anyway"
Favourite distance: as far as the GPS tracks go
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: Jay Sean - Down 
Mediocre fact: I own inov-8s 
Favourite artist: Darude
If I could have a sauna with any orienteer it would be: my nephew 

Ralph Street

Year born: 1990
Nickname: Uncle Ralphie
JWOC year: Judas (666666666)
Favourite distance: Relay
Favourite artist: Darude 
Mediocre fact: I am British
Favourite Jesse Bloch remix: Sexy B***h
If I could have a sauna with any orienteer it would be: Jamie Stevenson
Greatest life achievement: getting my first real job

Friday, July 7, 2017

Ups and Downs

“Experiencing life’s ups and downs has really helped shape me into the artist that I am today”-Darude

The last few days have been almost as much of a rollercoaster as the strip of road that we have to drive through to get from our accommodation to any of the training maps. They’ve been highs higher than the tower in the forest that we climbed and I’ve certainly had a few lows as well but just like a classic stitch up, this has really brought us together as a unit.

We had another quality day in the forest on Tuesday, starting with a fun sesh in a mint-as nearby forest. None of us can really remember anything too exciting about this training other than that we were all pretty happy and there were a lot of mozzies (I set a new world record for most mosquitoes killed in a 5 second period). After restocking with some quality cinnamon buns we were ready to take on the Finns at a local event just down the road. We put on a pretty impressive display by rocking up in full uniform and had a very aesthetically pleasing jog to the start. The general consensus was that this was a nice chance to get a race simulation in and there were some really lush bits of forest (and also some reasonably rough rough open).
Working on our following technique

A low for me during this period was the abuse that I’m subjected to on a daily basis. Within about seven seconds of our team walking in the door at our accommodation, our host Jouko decided to pick on me for having no muscles (even though at least four of the other boys have the same size or smaller guns than mine) and it’s been a non-stop assault ever since. He’s constantly asking me to tense which cracks him up every time and his wife Mallu calls me Mr Muscles whenever she sees me. I have, however, got a plan in place to get my own back as I’ve challenged him in an arm wrestle and have been stocking up on as much protein as possible in the lead up to this so she’ll be right.

Our rest day on Wednesday brought us a trip to one of Tampere’s main tourist attractions- a big shopping centre. We all agreed afterwards that it was quite big. Political correctness doesn’t really seem to be a thing in Finland, we found an aboriginal themed bottle opener that was an interesting shape and also a line of clothing “inspired by the streets” that featured the text “Black Squad”.

Tasteful Finnish artwork
Dress like a Finn, run like a Finn
In the afternoon we were treated to more Finnish culture with our hosts inviting us to their local biathlon training centre. Jouko is a former Finnish national champion and Olympic representative (as is Mallu, in gymnastics, as we later found out) so it was a privilege to get a master class from him in a sport that none of us had ever experienced. Jouko also brought two of his thirteen year old prodigies (one of whom amazed us with his ability to spit 19 times within the first 30 seconds of us meeting him). After learning the basic shooting technique, we were ready to put our newly developed skills to good use in a modified biathlon relay against these juniors.

The warning that we should hold back our competitive instincts and go easy on the running sections was obviously completely ignored. I finished my running loop first and opted for the ‘quickscope’ approach in order to look as pro as possible in the first shooting part. After a disappointing first few shots I finished strongly to get what I thought was a solid 2/5 hits and set out to do my 3 penalty loop runs. To my surprise, everyone else was actually good at shooting and barely missed in the first round. Luckily, I was speedy enough on the penalty loops to change over in about the same time as Toby ‘Bullseye’ Wilson. Somehow I managed to fluke my way into a team with three other people who could actually shoot (Winnie, Tara and Aston) which meant our team had a huge lead over all the others going into the second round.

I decided to learn from the others and actually take my time with my shots this time. Legit, I’m sure my first shot was even more of a banga than Sandstorm but for some reason the target didn’t click over. The same thing happened on my second one. Before I knew it, the laughter of my fellow biathletes was ringing in my ears and as tears started to form in my eyes and my hands were shaking more than Winnie after our swim in the lake on Sunday, my shots began flying even wider than before. As I did my five penalty laps of shame I couldn’t help but think that I’d not been a team player and that we’d never be able to work our way back into the race. Our team was redeemed by Winnie and Tara being absolutely lethal and then it came down to Aston ‘Deadshot’ Key and Rachel ‘Noscope’ Allen at the end for the win. Aston showed that he isn’t just speedy in the forest with an astonishing display of quickscoping to get five hits in about 3.67 seconds.  
When Sandstorm comes on

Everyone else in the team managed to get at least 8 out of 10 shots (including our enthusiastic gun lobby member, Zoe Dowling) but I managed a solid 2. As well as being publicly humiliated and moving even lower in Jouko’s respect books, this brought it home to me that I actually have to be nice to everyone else in the team now if I want to survive this week. Everyone else in the team is thinking about entering the biathlon orienteering world cup next year but I think I’ve got a bit of training to do in between now and then.
"Just pretend there's a nice fluffy animal you're aiming for"

Our day of Finnish cultural appreciation ended with another magnificent feast from Mallu and her promise that there would be a special treat after dinner. This turned out to be an inspirational presentation from our hosts on their careers and goal setting, capped off with a team building exercise where we engaged in positive thinking and some slightly creepy chanting to help us lift up our teammates just with our fingers in a gravity defying display of teamwork.

Just guys being dudes and girls being chicks

In the last few days I’ve been assaulted by giant bloodthirsty insects, subjected to brutal insults and publicly humiliated about my inability to shoot things. When Hanny went around the circle on Wednesday asking us to share the highlight of our day and everyone else talked about their favourite bits of the shooting, all I could think of was some of the cinnamon buns I had that day. But when I really think about it, the last few days we’ve had have been pretty high quality. There’s been beautiful forests to train in, guys being dudes, girls being chicks, filthy bangerz, Mallu’s incredible food, quality team vibes and cinnamon buns. So overall, life’s actually not too bad after all. 

By Pat xx

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Before we update you on our recent training, we will first update you on some recent quotations from our team members:

Sim: “I like to dominate the country I’m in”
Sim: “I will woo them with my boyish charm”
Joe: “Marga Aallm” (poor pronunciation of Maja Alm)
Asha: “I want to hold someone’s hand!!!!”

Over the weekend we finished up our pre-training camp training camp, as well as welcoming more team members….
On Friday the crew headed out to Kortejärvi to do a middle distance simulation run on what was generally considered another likeable map. Unfortunately, we were slightly rushed due to the looming threat of having to wait an additional two hours if we missed our bus home. There were no dramas there however, which was lucky because in the afternoon Zoe had a trip planned to Hämeenlinna to visit her host family and pick up our team t-shirts!! That afternoon we also saw the arrival of Winnie to our apartment, as well as Lara and Nick from the NZ team. After the excitement and suspense of watching the WOC sprint qualification, and many hours of sitting on the couch, myself, Asha, Lara and Nick went for an easy run around the lake including an icy mid-run dip. This left the boys in charge of dinner for the first time, which despite any suspicions associated with this, was very yummy 😊

Saturday morning was meant to be quiet and relaxed, however we awoke to a shocking realisation that overnight, we had lost power to the fridge, and the ice cream in the freezer had melted. We then began a race to finish all our cold food as quick as possible before it went off. After a morning full of emails and calls to the owner, and multiple visits from her and the electrician, we got the fridge up and running again in time for lunch. 
Katariina (our host) fixing the fridge and Tara being super helpful :)

After being sufficiently fed, we were then prepared for an intense session of watching the WOC sprint final on TV. While there were many shots of Tash as first starter, we were severely disappointed to see videos of ducks, and the same building over and over again rather than any of Krystal or Henry. 
Tash on TV!

Nevertheless, watching WOC motivated us to get out for our actual training which was a sprint simulation at Pispala, which was adjacent to the JWOC sprint map, so very relevant training for us. The course was enjoyable apart from the huge climb up what felt like thousands of stairs to the top of the hill for the last part of the course. Zoe was back with us for this training, meaning that we then had 11 people in our apartment meant for 6, which was a little bit cosy to say the least.

On Sunday we spent lots of time packing and cleaning our apartment and Zoe made a morning trip to Helsinki to catch up with her dad. The girls also made a trip out to the shops in order to increase our funky socks collection for the small price of 2 euros. In the afternoon we were thankfully picked up from our apartment by Hanny and Graham, and were all excited to also be joined by Pat and Rachel. It was less exciting to learn that all of Rachel’s things were still stuck in Sydney As we drove to our official training camp accommodation, both our vehicles had laptops up with the TV coverage of the WOC sprint relay, which passed the time quickly. On arrival, our incredible hosts Mallu and Jouko greeted us with an amazing dinner, and we were treated to a not so “20 degrees” dip in their private lake afterwards.
Our private lake 

Driving into our accomodation

Today we had a wet, but valuable day out in the forest, although Asha was horrendously ill (was feeling sick) and had to spend the day on her death bed (her bed). We had a group map walk, then pairs exercise in the morning, and a race simulation re-running courses from the Grano Games in the afternoon. Both trainings were fun and helpful to everyone in different ways. Aston joined us for the second training so we now have the entire team together which is exciting, and definitely adds to the team vibes.

Map walk at training 

Briefing for the morning session 

As the races edge closer we promise to keep you updated on more of our training and shenanigans :P

Tara xxx

How's the serenity?