O Log - WOC Tour '07


      Here is the WOC Tour '07, Day 1, M40-55 map, and here are my routes.

      Here is the WOC Tour '07, Day 2, M40-55 map, and here are my routes.

      Here is the WOC Tour '07, Day 3, M40-55 map, and here are my routes.

      Here is the WOC Tour '07, Day 4, M40-55 map, and here are my routes.

      Some pics here.

      My father-in-law's health took a turn for the worse while I was on this trip, and he passed away late Friday. It is difficult to orienteer well when you don't care about it, it is mind-numbingly hot (~38 degrees), and the organization is challenged to the point that the meet really isn't all that fun (at least for the WOC tour). You try to hang your hat on the fact that at least the technical aspects seem fine -- the maps are good and the course setting ok, until they mishung a control on the 4th (sprint) day (corroborated by just about everyone, including the abnormally high times and disqualifications in the results vs the other days).

      So, I orienteered poorly, capped off by running off the map in the last race. I found myself in a small village, near dark, no hope with the language, and no f'ing clue where on the planet I was or how I would get back. I've never been scared in an orienteering race before, at least that I can remember. It was simply a case, especially towards the end of the week, of not being able to think of anything except being home, and I was only able to move my flight up 2 days. I guess on the bright side it wasn't all bad -- I orienteered well enough to be a shoo-in for the podium in my class were it not for the last day, but it was still bad. (My class was only 9 deep, and 3 or 4 where disqualified on the mishung sprint day).

      I didn't find the terrain to be world class, or even that interesting, aside for the middle. I can only compare to other venues I've been to (previous WOC/WC or otherwise). I did form an opinion of what I found WOC to be about (in some people's minds), but I'll let that editorial pass. I was misguided for thinking it could (or should) be about terrain and organization. (You had to be there for the Austrian coach's comments about a certain artefact in the forest on a particularly egregious day for the organizers). I will say that there is absolutely no issue with USOF putting on a better meet; comments that continually and specifically disparage USOF notwithstanding. (And I am no jingoist or USOF flag-waver, just attempting to be objective).

      The positives, of course, were Sandra making the A final in the sprint, and Sam and Sandra just missing in the long. Moreover, I think everyone on the team had at least one solid run, and the girls' uptrend overall seems to be quite strong. The other big positive was the crack photography team of eddie, j-man, and triple-double.

      I can't really find a humorous way to spin the anecdotes of the of the organizational issues, so I'll let it pass. At least at the end of the organizationally-challenged Kazakhstan trip, I was able to write that they had big hearts. Not so for the orienteers (not myself) actually requesting refunds here. I don't recall seeing that before.