The JWOC Team has made it to Portugal! There were many flight delays, sprints through the airports, and travel issues in general, but we are all so excited to be here.
So far the group has done six trainings. There have been some longs, sprints, mass starts, and control picks to help us get adjusted to the terrain.
Some of our training maps!
We’ve also done lots of exploring the hotel that we are staying at which is absolutely beautiful.
Here are people’s favorite parts so far:
Kirsten: Running through a quaint Portuguese town while on course, and skirting all these dogs roaming the streets.
Lily: The best thing about this week has been learning how to do sprint orienteering. I ran my first sprint course a few days ago, and I really enjoyed it after running through thick, rocky forests. I’ve also liked getting to know everyone, and I’m appreciating all of the mentorship.
Zoe: My favorite thing about this week has absolutely been meeting everybody. So many diverse personalities yet we’re able to make a supportive, cohesive bunch. Particularly grateful that Holden was nice enough to not hate me after I shoved him in the pool.
Holden: Learning the map style and getting lost in a foreign country.
Alex: Rocks – they make navigation fun and they’re cool to think about climbing on.
Anna: The lizards (there was a really cool one with green stripes on the short long course)
Keegan: Meeting all the new orienteers and getting to see the new terrain
Bridget: I’ve absolutely loved getting to know my new teammates and also just getting to spend so much time on maps after a long year of little orienteering.
Ben: The control pick has been the best training so far because it allowed practice of quick navigation with opportunities to work on what you wanted to work on.
There are two days until the opening ceremony, and we’ll also be taking trips to the long and sprint model events to get more experience with the terrain and mapping we will face during the races. And then it’ll be racing time!
What everyone is looking forwards to most for the week of competition:
Kirsten: Getting a chance to race with a (hopefully) more settled focus mentality
Lily: I am most looking forward to waking up early and getting pre-race nerves and consequently the relief that follows. I think finishing my races at such a big event will be a success no matter how well I do.
Zoe: For competition week, I’m looking forward to working with my team after each race. Regardless of how the races go, I think that sitting down with my team and talking through the races will make me a much stronger orienteer.
Holden: Beating someone, anyone, in the long course.
Alex: Middle distance race because I love technical navigation and relay because relays are just fun.
Anna: The middle because it’s usually my favorite – it’s in the forest and a good length. It’ll be interesting to see how fast people can do it.
Keegan: I am most looking forward to being in a race with hundreds of other runners and spectators.
Bridget: I’m looking forward to getting to meet teams from other countries!
Ben: I’m most looking forward to doing the middle quali because it is technical navigation mixed with quick running.
We’ll keep you updated as the competition week begins!