O Log - Back From Scotland; More on Madeira

[ 7-Aug-05] 

    Back from the Scottish 6 Day. Still my favorite event. Still in denial about being M40, so ran M35 for the third time. Probably will in 2007 as well. Best placing, but points are down from 2003 (2005 18/54, 4359 pts; 2003 23/53, 4441 pts; 2001 31/63, 4193 pts). Points are down due to not having a single good score race like I did in 2003 at Dallaschyle; the run of which I have very fond memories. Did have some good races, but not good scores from them. Best placing was 16th (3 times), compared to 15th at Dallaschyle, but no other top 20 placings in 2003. Terrain was less technical this time around, leading to less volatility in the scoring math.

    Overall, tho, I was unhappy with my orienteering, and did not achieve any of my goals (tho those who read my pages know I feel non-proximate goals are a waste of time). I count 8 booms of 30 seconds or more over 120 controls. Most, tho, were over a minute. This is what I wrote in 2003: I found 130 controls, bobbled 12 (10 sec range), boomed 12 (30-120 sec range, most on the low end), had one 3 min error in the technical dunes, one 4 min error on a very tough leg, and one 10 minute disaster on a very easy leg. Boom count is down, bobble count is down also, but still unacceptable loss of time. Booms are also more expensive. So I suck, and probably always will, as it seems clear that the problems I have are systemic symptoms of my technique if they haven't been worked out after 7 years. I'll admit, tho, this year that I took a very aggressive posture in an attempt to reach (ultimate) goals.

    I'll slip the maps and embarrassing routes in later this week, whilst everyone is glued to WOC (congrats Erin!). In the mean time, I did want to post the following reply to my Madeira entry from Erik Sundberg of Sweden.


    Hello Randy!

    I saw the piece about the WRE-events on Madeira on your homepage. Me and some orienteering friends were there for a week of training last winter (and it's also possible that some of us will go back for the WRE-events this winter). The main focus of the trip was just long runs on the hiking trails, but we also took part in a quite interesting two-day orienteering event.

    The first day was a middle distance in a nice but hilly coniferous forest. Parts of it were quite dense but the only really nasty part was between control 19 and 20 where I got stuck on lots of thorny bushes. Despite a 'downhill' course only a few runners managed to dip below 10 min/km. The map was really good (made by some of Swedens best mappers). Map: http://www.sttunaik.nu/elit/kartor/Madeira1.jpg

    The sprint on the second day was a lot easier and faster. Not very interesting in terms of orienteering, but a good speed session at the end of the week. Map: http://www.sttunaik.nu/elit/kartor/Madeira2.jpg

    The WRE events won't be on the same map and I don't know if the terrain will be anything like this. Orienteers on Madeira seems to be a funny bunch though. Most of them aren't taking orienteering too seriously, but there are some people with experience among the organisers so the events will probably be good anyway.

    Running on the trails of Madeira is highly recommended. Many of them follow old 'levadas' (irrigation channels) and are quite flat despite winding along really steep hillside, others are more like climbing trails (such as the route to Pico Ruivo, the highest peak on Madeira). If you suffer from fear of vertigo choose wisely where to run, but otherwise there will be more scenic views than you can imagine. The best book in english about the hiking trails is called 'Sunflower, Landscapes of Madeira' and contains lots of maps and info.

    You are correct in assuming that Madeira isn't such an exotic location for us europeans. Old people go there in hordes to hike, look at flowers and enjoy the mild and even climate. There are lots of cheap charter flights and hotel rooms to get from Sweden, but I don't know what the situation would be for someone flynig from america. Rental cars are also quite cheap (you want one of these to get to all the nice places).

    If you have any specific questions about training on Madeira, just ask. I have some friends who have been there three times and knows everything there is to know (well almost).

    If you want to publish the maps or parts of my text on your homepage, feel free to do so.

    Best regards and maybe we meet on Madeira in 2006...

    Erik Sundberg