Here is my JWOC '02 Men's middle final map.
Nutty is what I get when I come into work covered with scratches,
bruises, and other O evidence and have to explain to people why I
would risk almost certain Lyme disease to do this. It is definitely
I think the reasons many people travel are nutty, whether it be to
count countries or states, visit some tourist trap, or run thru the
woods risking certain death from insect-borne pathogens and unmapped
mine shafts. These may be the reasons some people travel, but getting
you somewhere for a silly reason is good because the travel experience
ends up being more unexpected and serendipitous, and the offbeat reasons
force you to a place you may have otherwise never considered going to,
so you know less, and learn more. I would have never in a million years
had reason to go to Guardamar and Alicante, Spain, but they ended up
being really cool and unexpected places, and I would have never realised
how much fun it was to run thru flowering almond orchards.
The real reason I went on this trip really was nutty; it was more for
the training than the racing. I certainly would not have gone just
for the training, but probably would not have gone just for the races,
One week of technique training really isn't going to change anything,
I guess, but I wanted to just do pure O training for a week, especially
on my big weakness -- technical terrain.
The training was really well organized and worth it. I highly complement
the folks at Sun O, who I believe where
the organizing force. They had at least 11 maps in the area, probably
more, of both sand dune terrain and more
typical inland terrain, both blank and with suggested courses. You could
go out on your own, or participate in races they organized which even
included epunching. The suggested courses were streamered at the
locations. They organized a 3 loop Motala with a mass start in the dunes,
which I guess would have been more fun had I been able to keep up with the
top people; as it was, I was around 7 per/k but never really seemed to be
I think the highlight was the rerun the JWOC '02 men's middle distance
final in the dunes that they organized. The winning time back then was
about 22 minutes. I ran ~31+ or about 6.5 per/k, but this was on my second
run of the course -- the first was a disaster, but fortunately the epunching
system was on the fritz, so we'll never know how much of a disaster. It
still seemed challenging the second time. Control #3 definitely seemed the
hardest; I was shaky on my rerun. It would be interesting to look at the
results from back then to see if there where any booms on this one. Later
in the week I ran the course backwards, and had trouble with it then also.
(I also felt running a course backwards that you had done before isn't the best
training, I'm not sure why, but I didn't feel good about it).
Two of the days I ended up running 3 hours or so in terrain and finding
30 to 45 controls. Other days I toned it down a bit. I never felt really
tired because I guess it was the only thing I had to think about. It was
like it was my job. Technique and confidence did improve, I think. It is
clear how people that can do this week in, week out, will be better. Well,
it was fun to experience it for a week.