Here is my EOC/World Cup '04, Long Q M21-2 map.
Here is my EOC/World Cup '04, Middle Q M21-3 map.
Here is my EOC/World Cup '04, Middle F M21-B map.
Here is my EOC/World Cup '04, Sprint Q M21-1 map.
Here is my EOC/World Cup '04, Sprint F M21-B map.
All these maps were close to Roskilde, which is on the island of Zealand
(as opposed to WOC '06, which will be on Jutland). The sprints were
in the city of Roskilde.
The forest varied from fast to nasty. I was warned that "white woods"
could mean pretty much anything in Danish terrain, and that seemed
pretty much true, tho the worst of the white was better than anything
mapped as green (except some pine areas mapped as green). There really
was alot of pleasant white however, the problem is that you just never knew
when you would hit a section of logging debris or patch of stinging nettles,
both of which were everywhere. The strategy of most runners seemed to be
to use the trail network as much as possible. I imagine the forests will
be pretty much the same in '06, so it will be something to keep in mind at
the model and any pre-race training camps. Due to travel logistics I missed
the model, and that wasn't ideal. It will be essential in '06 to arrive
early for training to test trail vs cross country route choices and develop
smart strategies. It was low penalty terrain, so even on short legs,
route choice decisions may matter more than navigation skill and execution.
It was very tough to pick up vegetation changes and use them for
navigation. Mottled patches of green, rough open scattered trees,
etc., were very challenging to read. White vs green boundaries where
stronger, but not always a sure thing. Coniferous green wasn't too bad,
deciduous green was brutal, with no viz, poor mobility (low, thick bushes
in some cases). The interval was 2.5m, so
it was pretty flat, so it was tough to rely on contours for precision.
There was virtually no chance of trying to hit a control 150m thru tricky
vegetation; looking to backdoor on a trail run or other strong feature
was essential. The mapping of rides (forest cuts) was excellent, and
finding and using them was essential for some controls.
I'm not a strong runner, so I probably did a bit more cross country
than I should of, tho I have to take the route that I think I can
execute the fastest given my skills and weaknesses. I do know I was
taking trail runs that I never in a million years would have taken
I was happy with all my forest races. I was a bit sloppy early in the
first race (long Q), and figured I lost about 3 minutes on the 11.5 K
course. The 2 middle races I was cleaner, and figure to have lost a
total of 3 minutes between them, including a stupid 1 minute mistake
at the end of the middle (B) final because I was racing someone, and
lost focus. I was basically clean on the long (B) final, so 6 minutes
in 4 races, not too bad for me. I was actually finding controls for
people in the middle final, but once I did that favor, they were too
fast. It was cool tho.
Wyatt told me I would finish last, and I was happy that I didn't. I'm
not sure I could have done all that much better than I did. It was
stunning to see how fast these top guys moved thru the forest. Just
really stunning. I've not seen anything like it in the States. And I
was surprised to see that they stop. Quite a few times I saw top guys
stop, but its just for a split second. Chance had it that I stopped at
the same time as a top guy on the same leg, and it took me about 4
seconds. Definite skill. In the States, you can follow many of the
top guys. That was not possible here (not that I wanted to).
I did finish last in the sprints. Not much I could do about it. Less
of a navigational component, and I was physically shot from all the
racing. I enjoyed the sprints, but I'll always finish last at this
level. I was not clean in the sprints, but I was trying to run at
capacity, so it made a bad situation worse. The sprint Q was only my
third sprint, and the course setting was much tougher and trickier
than the other 2 I had done, so it really was a new experience for
me. I was anticipating this, but that didn't help.
I was disappointed in the organization. Due to incompetence with
bus logistics, I had to hike 2k once, and on the last day me and
my roommates had to hitchhike until we got a ride with the Norwegians.
I could write more about my disappointment with the organization,
but it wouldn't be particularly interesting or valuable.
In fact, I could write volumes more about this experience. It was
mostly good, and I was glad I had the opportunity to go. I learned
tons; hopefully it will help my orienteering somehow, and hopefully
it will help US orienteering, but I'm not sure how.