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Junior Jabberwaoc - September 2001

Blanka's bit

Welcome back again after the summer break, fresh for the autumn season of orienteering. For most of you it probably did include some orienteering, if in the form of multiday events like the Scottish 6-days or in the form of summer training tours, which Martin Humphries, Peter Gardner and Helen Gardner took part in. Looking through the results for the Scottish 6-days (having been at the Czech 5-days myself at the time), which lots of you attended, I've come across some great junior results, which are certainly worth mentioning.

Stepping up

Due to lack of space in Junior Jabberwaoc (congratulations to the juniors for providing so much content), I have moved this article, describing the orienteering skills required to progress from White through to Orange or Red colour-coded courses, to the main Jabberwaoc. Sorry if this causes any inconvenience.

[ Dave. (JW editor) ]

Training tours

As mentioned in my introductory words, some of our juniors had been selected to attend training tours during this summer. Without much further ado, here follow their own reports. Thank you to Martin, Helen and Peter for writing the reports and sedning them to me!

Martin Humphries, M14, was one of the East Anglian orienteers who attended the Lagganlia training camp, to which each region sends two juniors (M/W14 or first year M/W16), who are most likely to benefit from the training. Over to Martin:

On the first night after an eight and a half train journey from London we arrived at Lagganlia near Aviemore in Scotland which was the base for the BOF World Class Start Programme for M/W14/15's. In the evening, along with the other 23 juniors selected from around the UK, we did our first exercise which was to take bearings and pace ourselves round a field hopefully ending up where we started.

On the second day we were split into 3 groups. One of the groups went to the north of Inshriach Forest, one in the middle, and one in the south. I was in the middle group, which had to continue on bearings and pacing. We also did a running exercise in which we had to run a kilometre on a path and a kilometre across a forest and we got a ratio to say whether or not to run on paths or go straight across. I got a ratio of 1.9, which meant for every 100 metres I went through a forest I could go 190 metres on a path in the same time. In the afternoon the groups swapped round and I went to the south where we did an attack point and line following exercise. On the attack point we had to talk through the course with a coach before we went out.

The next day the groups moved round to the place that they hadn't been to yet, so my group went to the north. There we did another attack point exercise and a control pick which we used the last control as the attack point for the next. In the afternoon we did the first leg of a relay in which we all had similar courses but it was gaffled.

On the fourth day we travelled to Anagach which was about 40 minutes form Lagganlia. Our first exercise involved what we did the previous night. We had to redraw a map and simplify it so we only drew what we needed and we also did another control pick. In the afternoon we did a fun relay, which is when you are in teams of 3 with 2 maps (one with even number controls and one with odd on it). Two people went out with a map each get a control and come back, the first one back gives the map to the person waiting, and then the next person back gives the map to the person who has just come in and so on till all controls have been punched.

On the fifth day we only trained in the morning. We went to a place, which was a one-kilometre walk from the centre across a deep river or a 15-minute drive away! We chose to go by mini-bus. We did there another attack point and control pick exercises. In the afternoon the people from Glenmore came for the barbecue and the rounders match which Lagganlia won.

The next day we went to Docharn, which is where the first day of the Scottish 6 days was in 1999. In the morning we did a relocation exercise which was cut short because of too much rain. The next exercise was cancelled as well for the same reason. We then did the Short Race, which is part of the Tour Champs. I went well on this despite having two mistakes.

The Final day was the day of the Classic and Relay races in the Tour Champs. I totally wrecked the classic with several mistakes due to some problems reading some areas of the map. The relay went much better when my team came second after 2 of the teams ahead were disqualified for missing controls.

The week provided an opportunity to learn in much more complex terrain than down here using new techniques which I haven't used before and to meet the people in my age class who I'm competing against.

Martin Humphries (M14)

Helen Gardner, who had previously attended the Lagganlia training tour, was selected to go on the M/W16's tour at Glenmore Lodge in Scotland this year. So here are her own words:

This year I went to the M/W15 Glenmore tour in Scotland. This is basically a week's worth of orienteering training in top Scottish forests. This year 15 M/W15's were selected - 5 boys and 10 girls. This seemed like an unusual combination as usually more boys tend to be selected because more boys tend to compete in comparison to the girls.

Despite the large number of minor injuries (e.g. blisters, twisted ankles, horsefly stings, midge bites, etc.), I think everyone enjoyed the week. The training was varied, normally with exercises on subjects like "control pick", "follow the line" and "relocation" in the morning, followed by a specific type of race in the afternoon. I ended up running a total of 52km during the week - that's an average of 8.7km every day! On the first day (which was the furthest), the distance amounted to 10.8km!

At the end of the week it was time for the tour champs, consisting of a short race, long race and a relay. On the 3km girls short race I came second my about 3 minutes with a total time of 34 minutes, having made a huge mistake on one of the controls. On the girls classic race I didn't do much better, twice getting confused as to which control I was going, going slowly because of my weak ankle and tired legs, and in my hurry at the end making a large mistake at the second-to-last control. Actually I ended coming first overall, so everyone else must have been making even worse mistakes than me; I even beat the coach who had run the course and found, after comparison of splits, that I had out-sprinted her on the run-in. Out of the four relay teams, we finished second, beating the coaches' teams who were third overall.

At Glenmore we ended up with lots more time to socialise than we had at Lagganlia, and often we'd visit Aviemore on return journeys from training to stock up on sweets! We looked a very odd lot wandering around in our orienteering gear! In the afternoons, we would do write-ups of the day's work, play rounders or football, eat the delicious suppers and generally laze about. One night we also played dares, with one of the dares being to jump in the pond next to our chalets. The girl who got this particular dare rang up the coaches to ask for permission - and they said yes! Well, then she put on her swimming costume, we all came out to watch, and she was going to jump in when all the coaches came out with surprised looks on their faces: they hadn't thought she had been serious, so she wasn't allowed to do her dare after all. What a disappointment for all of us!

Overall, the training at Glenmore Lodge was a very enjoyable week and definitely worth putting in the effort in order to be selected for the tour.

Helen Gardner (W16)

Finally, Peter Gardner, having himself been to Glenmore Lodge last year, was selected to go on the Scandinavian tour this year. The training took place in Sweden and involved taking part in the Swedish multiday event O-ringen. Peter writes:

This Summer, along with 12 other M/W16's (and two M15's), I went to Uppsala in Sweden to Train and compete in the O-ringen. On the evening we arrived we were introduced to Swedish terrain by a short 3km run through a very varied forest. On returning the braver among us ran down a hill to the local lake to take a swim and were pleasantly surprised by the temperature and cleanliness of the water. After a shower and a barbecue we all prepared to cram into three tiny rooms (one sleeping 16) for the night. The following day the camp properly started with a number of difficult training exercises in the still unfamiliar terrain. The evening brought another swim (this was to become an almost daily activity) and another barbecue.

The next day we moved to the IF Thor (A Swedish Orienteering Club) Club hut where we would spend the rest of our two weeks. The hut itself was amazing and much more spacious than our previous accommodation. Later in the day we went to see the final of the Swedish Park race cup and the opening ceremony for the O-ringen. This was our first example of how big Orienteering is in Sweden. There were over 2000 people just watching and a giant TV screen showed live shots from around the courses. We were told that the winner of the cup won around L3500, something else you wouldn't see in the UK. On our way back home we were given another example of the popularity of the event, it took us over 15 minutes to drive past the tent section of the camp site!

There were over 12,000 people at the O-Ringen this year (normally around 20,000 go) and having that many people running was very different to anything in Britain. Even early runners had large, clear tracks leading to and from the controls and it was amazingly difficult not to get distracted by other people. Following the advice of the coaches I ran the first day very slowly but still managed to get lost more than once. The Swedish forests tended to have fewer paths and ditches meaning that you really had to look at those wiggly brown lines we have so few of here (contours!). The other big difference was the size of the boulders. to make it on the map a rock had to be at least 1.5 meters high and we saw a few large boulders well over 4m!

The training was a lot of hard work but was also enjoyable and well worth while. I came away a lot more confident and more than a little tired. I think that anybody who enjoys Orienteering would have enjoyed this tour and, if you get the chance to go on any of the new camps, I think that it is not something to be turned down.

Peter Gardner (M16)


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