O Log - Swiss O Week 06

[29-Jul-06] 

    Here is the Swiss O Week 06, H35 Day 1 map, and here are my routes.

    Here is the Swiss O Week 06, H35 Day 2 map, and here are my routes.

    Here is the Swiss O Week 06, H35 Day 3 map, and here are my routes.

    Here is the Swiss O Week 06, H35 Day 4 map, and here are my routes.

    Here is the Swiss O Week 06, H35 Day 5 map, and here are my routes.

    Here is the Swiss O Week 06, H35 Day 6 map, and here are my routes.

    Here are some pics

    I booked a flight from Vienna to Zurich for 1 Euro, +taxes. I was shocked when I showed up at the airport and there was an aircraft for me to board. Weird.

    Anyway, on to Zermatt for the Swiss O Week. All the races were at altitude. I think the highest, day 3, was around 2850m ASL. I rarely do well at altitude, and, recovering from some sort of sickness on top of it, it took its toll.

    I thought day 1 was easy, both technically and physically. Aside from being a touch high on #5, I didn't have any troubles. In many cases, you could see the bag or feature from quite some distance away.

    Day 2 was a bit more technical, and a bunch more physical. It had the first of many of those sidehill/go low/go high legs, which I'm not particularly fond of, and grew to despise by day 6. What is the right thing to do? How do you know? I didn't have the energy to come back and train all the choices. I bobbled a couple of controls, and aside from being glacially slow, I did fine on day 2. Not sure if I did the route choice leg correctly, tho.

    Day 3 was one of the more interesting days, up at the base of the glaciers, it was a moonscape of interesting, technical rock. Aside from booming the first control for 30 to 60 seconds, I did fine in some difficult stuff. Again, very slow as I am afraid to run on rock. Saw some of my competition bouncing over the rocks like cats. I couldn't do that. I didn't understand what the white was on the map -- there are no trees -- at first I thought it was snow, as there was a deposit of snow coincident with the first one I saw. I think it was some sort of indication of the type of rock, like perhaps a bare rock symbol. I hope the pics show what this place was like -- it was definitely unique.

    Day 4 was quite climby, and had one of those sidehill/up/down legs. I was a little sloppy on #4 and #10. I was shot physically, and had to contour the one line hill midway to #13. I had a devil of a time getting back up the hill to the finish area. My orienteering was ok, but for the 4th day in a row, my speed declined.

    Day 5 was the village sprint, and this was one of the more interesting sprints I have done. I went out in running shoes, which was the wrong choice for the first part of the course, which, at my 8 o'clock start time, was in wet grass and forest. I blew the first control pretty bad, as all I could focus on was getting up the wet grassy hills in my shoes. Both bag and feature were shorter than the surrounding grass. Totally bombed the route choice to #4; have to remember that on a 1:4000 map, the lines are alot closer together than they look. Duh.

    Otherwise pulled it together pretty well, but had trouble with a few controls in the city. Problem was, in these cases, you had to go places where it just didn't look legal to go, such as on a flagstone walkway thru a garden, or thru a cafe. The map showed them as legal, but the brain, not used to this, didn't see alot of choices thru various paths, lawns, etc., as legal, and this became confusing at times. It was just a matter of not being used to it. And, of course, there were tons of gardens, etc., that were out of bounds. Did see someone run right thru a garden of cabbages which was clearly OOB. Disappointing.

    All and all a fun race, tho my worst of the week so far.

    Day 6 was a disaster. Took 10 minutes to find the first control, and I think its about 200m. Looks easy enough -- run down the ride and cut in at the big rocks. Wrong. Tried attacking 5 or 6 times, until I had to walk back to start, set an azimuth, and walk straight to it. Have no idea what happened. Rest of race was too physical to be fun, and I was technically sloppy on top of it. Worse race in 5 years, nothing to learn from it, one to forget. Even blew the choice on the sidehill/up/down leg.

    But, all in all a fun and beautiful week, despite being dogged by illness and altitude.

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