Friday, 25 November 2011

GoPro head-cam training video

I managed to save up some mobility in my feet for a training camp with my club last weekend :)

Here's a video I made with the GoPro camera footage from one of the trainings. (It looks better if you change the resolution to 720p and play it bigger or full-screen).

My orienteering is nothing spectacular, but it's cool to see what I was doing again after the run - definitely a great analysis tool. I can see already by comparing to the other guys in my club that there's things I really need to improve on!

You can see the map from this one, and my other trainings from the weekend in my DOMA.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

New Sprint Video

Check out this cool preview for STB 2012.

More and more work is going into STB each year as it grows bigger and better. In 2012 we hope for the biggest turnout yet. Entry has been open less than a week and we already have entries from New Zealand, Australia and Finland.


PS. There will be be a blog post about my 2011 season some time. I think I will find some motivation for that when I'm not injured any more :)

Friday, 12 August 2011

Getting ahead of myself!

WOC is about to start tomorrow (the long qual) with my first race being on Sunday (the middle qual), and although I should be focusing on what I'm doing I can't help but be distracted by this awesome preview!
The oceania carnival 2011 looks superb! It makes me wish I had a big sponsor to help me get there and back after WOC (hint). The terrain is very attractive, it looks very challenging technically, but also quite fast. It would be great if more of the top international runners were able to make it to competitions like these, but it looks like for now we'll just have to wait for some faster/cheaper form of transport to emerge! On the upside I'll be able to enjoy the event from Finland with the live GPS tracking and video and cheer on the omen and the other NZ representatives :)

Saturday, 6 August 2011

France Rocks!

Quite literally too... After a week here I have 2 bad ankles, but not bad enough to stop me enjoying the awesome terrain. Before coming to France I had only heard negative things; 'It's soo green', 'It's soo rocky', 'It's way too hard', 'Don't waste your time, save yourself for another year'. I came to France with a positive mindset, I figured that being negative wasn't going to help me to have any fun here. So far I have been pleasantly surprised with the terrain. I can agree that the running is difficult in places, and the navigation even more so, but isn't that what orienteering is all about?? The more challenging the terrain and courses, the more satisfaction you can get from having a good race right??
I travelled to France after Fin 5 and Oringen (I'll write more about them later if I get the time - but highlights were 7th (video here)place and 9th place respectively in the sprints), to meet with Amber (my oldest younger Sister - her WOC debut is this year) for some casual training. We have been on as many maps as we could get our hands on.
Most of the trainings involved me putting out toilet paper controls (mostly in the right places :P ) with Amber running the course a little later. It can be quite frustrating sometimes to have to double/triple check everything and spend so much time standing around in the control circle, but it will be better next week when our coach Dieter Wolf arrives with sport-ident and controls. Check out the quickroute Prepoulin training below - slow going at the moment!. We have both had some really good patches of navigation and also some shocking mistakes. However, we are both slowly getting a good feeling for the maps, terrain and the best places to run. One of the highlights for me has to be the sprint training we made in Annecy (see the video below). It was such a beautiful city, and although it became a pedestrian dodging competition in the town we both finished the training with huge grins on our faces :)
We have played around a little with 3DRerun. My GPS watch has been playing up a bit so you might see some crazy things, but contrary to popular belief I can't jump buildings in a single bound... So enjoy the videos (best in full screen):


Annecy Sprint:

Foret du Grand Roc Sud 2x trainings, the first training a shocker for me. I had a bit of a meltdown and couldn't think, but the 2nd was better, Ambers brain aneurysm came in the 2nd training instead . Check out the mispuches from both Amber and I!! woops! And also where my good ankle became my bad ankle at 3.16:

Here's today's training on the Le Creux Qui Sonne map. This is probably my least favourite map so far.. The paths are really hard to see (check out my #1 - there was a bigger path the way I ran) and there are a lot of thinnings on the ground. Some parts of the map are really strange too, I don't agree with what's there (like around #6 and #12, and the path before #13 was in a re-entrant) but I wouldn't like to try mapping it!:

I don't know if I'll get time to blog again before WOC, so hopefully next time you hear from me I have some good news :)

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Cool Orienteering Video

Mick Finn has been doing heaps of great work in NZ lately trying to 'up the profile' of orienteering by creating cool videos and magazines. This video is some of his finest work to date, covering the Queen's Birthday test-match against the Australians - Well done Mick! And keep it coming :)

You can find some more of Mick's work here.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Pursuit of Happiness (Megablog pt.2)

The last month has been a busy one! First up I had a huge weekend over Queen's Birthday, with 5 races - over 50km of orienteering including the ANZ challenge (NZ vs. Australia) :)

The Saturday started with a 'multiday long distance' - 14km in Woodhill sand dune terrain. The race went well for me, I lost around 1minute on the 8th control, where I misread the map. I saw my control but then there was another hill covered by the control circle that I couldn't see, so I kept going. After that it went well, with only a few small hesitations. I won the race by about 3minutes, so I was very satisfied. See winsplits and routegadget.

In the afternoon we headed to Massey University campus in Albany for a sprint race. I had a shaky start to the race.. the map was detailed with a lot of shorter controls - it was raining and slippery and a lot of people managed to 'arse over' going around the corners. I had a lot of trouble becoming accustomed to all of the olive green. Duncan Morrison was running well in the first half of the course until he made a mistake and I caught him. I eventually managed to get into the map and start to push and managed another win :) Here are the results in winsplits.

Day 2 began with another 'multi-day long distance' in Woodhill, this was a bit shorted, 13km but a lot more climb and some tougher terrain. I was tired, both physically and mentally from the start - probably from pushing too hard the day before. I made a huge mistake on the 2nd control. I ran nearly to the control but didn't see it, then I went to the next broad spur to search for it and finally returned 6mins later. Damn! It was hard to stay motivated to run well for the rest of the course and I was very messy and lazy with my navigation, I lost a lot more time, but still felt obliged to finish the race because I was in the pinestars team against Australia. I finished well down the field as expected, I was also beaten by my younger brother Duncan Morrison which is a bit hard to swallow. See the routegadget and winsplits.

Kate Morrison who had been carving up in the elite field over the weekend, even though she is still a junior. Stage 4 was a 2-man (well a man+woman) relay against the Australians. This was by far my most favourite event of the weekend. The race was again in Woodhill forest in a smaller, very detailed sand-dune area. I was in a team with my little sister Kate was running well on the first leg, smashing everyone right from the beginning with the steep climb to the start triangle. Hwover Kate made the mistake of flipping the map to check a control description on the guys course (the map had the 2nd leg printed on the back) so she thought she was at the wrong control and lost some time. She came in about 1min behind the leader - Angela Simpson, and in about 5th place behind some of the Aussie teams. I headed out on the 2nd leg together with Duncan, and after the disappointing run in the morning I managed to step up and push right from the start. I ran a really good race only losing 5seconds on the 7th control. I had caught the leader Tom Reynolds by the 3rd control, and luckily we had different forkings on the 2nd pivot, so I was able to push a bit to get ahead. I managed to come back in the lead for Kate and I to win the relay for NZ and the central scorchers superseries team.

Day 3 was the third and final 'multi-day long distance' race. I was feeling very tired again in the morning, but it's always easier to push when you know it's the last race for the weekend. The beginning of the course went well for me, I only lost a little time on the 7th control, where I went right past it and didn't see it behind some bushes. My biggest mistake came on the long leg - the 10th, where it was very vague before the control. I doubted my direction at the end (even though I had been right) and the went to the left to check for the control by some other hills.. Doh! I lost over a minute here. The rest of the course went pretty well, but I ran out of energy near the end. I finished in 4th place, and I was satisfied with my run after a tough weekend. Gene Beveridge, an NZ junior heading to Poland for JWOC this year managed his first big elite win with a very impressive run. Check out the routegadget and winsplits. Also check out the cool superseries trailer for the weekend (with promises of more to follow) made by Mick Finn below:

After a big weekend of racing it was back to reality with my first exam week. There was a lot of cramming late nights while trying to recover as well. The exams all went well, better than I had expected. My last exam was on Monday the 13th of June, the day before I planned to fly out to Finland in the pursuit of happiness. That night my brother had organised a final hill tempo session on Mt. Eden in Auckland and farewell dinner at 'La Porchetta' with all of the Auckland crew, and even my Dad who was up there on business. Cheers Duncan!

My first week in Finland was also a very busy one. I arrived on Wednesday afternoon and managed a very lazy jog before getting the much needed sleep that seemed to elude me on the plane. The next day I had an easy terrain training before heading to watch the first stage of the NORT tour/World cup race. It was great to see the top guys competeing, I just wished I was able to run too (It wasn't possible to enter in just 1 stage of the NORT tour, you had to run in all three, and that was more than my wallet allowed for!). I got a chance to run the qualification course that everyone had run in the morning before the sprint, I felt the full effects of jetlag like never before, but it was a fun course.

Saturday was the day I had been looking forward to for a long time - Jukola! To the layperson Jukola is an orienteering relay with 7 team members that runs through the night. I managed to make the 3rd team for my new Finnish club Rajamäen Rykmentti, to run first leg. This year there were over 1500 teams on the start line, my team was starting in about the 4th row back, check out the start here(you can see me in Black and Yellow:

The start was fast (as always) and I felt a bit fatigued and stressed, I managed to get the first control well, still up with the leaders. The 2nd control however was not so good and I lost 1min 30sec. This put me back into around 300th place, aaaaaaahhh!!! The rest of the race went well, but it was just such a mission battling past other runners. I found myself taking unorthodox route-choices just to avoid people which actually resulted in making up some time. I ended up in 81st - the 1min 30sec I lost in the beginning ended up costing me a lot more over all. Check out my splits here:I also uploaded my gps route to the new 3d rerun thanks to Jan Kocbach (World of O creator) It's really cool to see and compare to the other top teams. You can hold the ctrl key and click on the start triangle and the the little video camera by my name to mass start the runners from there and follow me(My GPS is a bit inaccurate on the way to the first control, but then it gets better) So you can see my big mistake on the second control. You can also hold ctrl and click on the 4th control to see a mass start from there, it was re-assuring to see that I didn't lose so much time from here on in the course. So check out the 3d rerun here :)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Vote for Me! (Please??!!!) :D

Hey hey people, here's your big chance to help a kiwi Orienteer! I applied for an AMP scholarship to help kiwi people 'do their thing'. One of the categories is a peoples choice award, so the person with the most votes get's a $10,000NZ scholarship.

Orienteering at an elite level is pretty expensive for a kiwi. Travelling to Europe every year is not cheap!! (and we pay all our own flights, accommodation etc!)

So if you have a spare 2 minutes, please follow the link below and vote for me! Also you can click the facebook share button to share it to all your friends!

Vote here:

Thanks to everyone for the help and support! :)

Monday, 23 May 2011

Training Training Training

NZ champs was the perfect motivation for me to start enjoying my training again. I'm not saying I wasn't having fun before, but now I'm looking forward to each session and always have a specific focus or goal in mind. I had some good results at Nationals, but technically there was a lot of room for improvement in my orienteering.
I have been working quite a lot in my part time job at shoe science, so that I can save towards moving to Finland in June. This means that most of my training has to be done in the dark. Normally this would be a bit frustrating for me, but right now I'm making the most of it :) I will be running Jukola relay shortly after I arrive to Finland, so to prepare I've been doing a lot of night training in Woodhill forest.
In the first few night sessions I was making a lot of mistakes especially in the vague areas where I couldn't seem to run in a straight line! But my technique has quickly improved. Also it is sometimes hard to know for sure if you are at the right control point because we don't have any markers or controls, just our oxygen deprived brains and 10m of vision. The latest night training I did at a moderate pace, with only a couple of small mistakes (hesitations on #2 and #11 and a mispunch at #25 where I didn't check my compass). With 69min over 11.5km I was quite happy. It was also the biggest training week I have had in 2 years with 151km of running - 37km of which was night orienteering.
My next goal is a 5km time trial next Tuesday where I will attempt to beat my personal record of 15.30. Then I have the Australia vs. NZ test match at the Regal Orienteering Carnival over Queen's Birthday weekend. I will be looking to have some great technical races to build my confidence before heading to Europe. It will be interesting to see what it's like to run in Woodhill terrain in the day time after so much night training :) I think it will be a challenge to beat the up and coming NZ junior runners, especially the 'O-men', who are running up in men's elite, they all have a lot of experience in Woodhill and I know they've been training extra hard and are frothing at the mouth for JWOC in Poland!

On a final note, here's a video made by Mick Finn from NZ champs with my Route:

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Double National Champ!

Well then, from the title of this blog you can see that the NZ Champs at Easter weekend in Hawkes Bay went better than expected!

As I mentioned earlier I was the mapper and planner of the NZ sprint Champs on Friday afternoon. It was great weather and such a nice event centre, so it was so good to finally relax (sort of) and enjoy all the hard work that myself and my club mates had put into this event! The map covered two private girls schools in Havelock North, Woodford House and Iona College. Here's a snippet of the building detail in Woodford House. There were a lot of canopies and weird shaped buildings with stairs and height differences which made it really interesting for route choice legs. Have a look at the routegadget to see the courses and winners routes. The winner of the Men's Elite grade was Toby Scott. Toby is still a junior and will be competing at JWOC in Poland this year. He ran up in the elite grade because the NZ champs were also the trials for WOC. After Toby's performance it looks like he will be my team mate in France this year, but we are still waiting on the team to be named! The Women's Elite winner was Lizzie Ingham. Another impressive performance was by Kate Morrison (my little sis) who won the W20 grade, and had a faster time than Lizzie on the same course. So the sprint turned out to be a day for the Juniors. It's exciting as the quality and standard of NZ orienteers seems to be improving - it will be interesting to see some world class performances in the next few years!
See winsplits for the sprint here.

The middle distance was held on a new map called 'Fire Station'. This is on the Maraetotara plateau adjacent to one of Hawkes Bay's most well known maps. It consisted of areas of detailed rock over open farmland, some pine-forest of varying run-ability and NZ native bush. Finally it was my chance to race. I was itching to compete in orienteering again since I had regained my fitness level of last year. I had some problems in the beginning of the race with controlling my speed, this is something I will have to work on as I am getting faster. I also made a couple of mistakes after the spectator control where I was a bit unsure of the map and hesitated a bit, then got distracted by the camera man. I made one bad route choice later on in the course (#15-16) but apart from this my race went well enough to win! It was a good feeling as always to win a national title!
See winsplits and routegadget for the Middle.

The Long was again a new map, a bit further south of Maraetotara this time. This map was a lot more farmland with more intricate areas of rock detail. This proved very hard to read while running on 1:15000. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning of the course, on #2, #6, #7 and then I got really stuck in the 'white' forest leaving from #7 and lost nearly 1min. I didn't give up after these mistakes, I thought that if I am finding this difficult then so must everyone else! So I pushed through the rest of the course, only making some smaller mistakes. I managed to win by over three minutes so I was really happy. It would have been nice not to make any mistakes and have a huge win, but 3mins is still enough for me :D
See winsplits and routegadget for the Long.

The relay was the final competition for me. I ran first leg for my NZ club HBOC. There was a very elaborate forking system and butterfly loops on first leg which made it a pretty cool course! I had a huge forking on the first control and then ran really fast to catch the leaders again, but it was too fast I guess and I lost 1min 30 on the 3rd control. I managed to pass everyone (except Karl Dravitski who had a commanding lead) through the butterfly loops. I then pushed ahead of the main pack to chase Karl, but I had no idea he was ahead, I actually thought I was leading. I went really well for the rest of the course until the 2nd to last control where I lost over a minute. I had a lot of trouble understanding the map in the control circle. I was just standing still trying to make sense of anything I could. I got caught by the pack and was passed by 4 runners. I managed to find the control and then pass 3 of these runners and then had a really exciting finish sprint with my little brother Duncan for a 3rd equal finish on first leg. Unfortunately my little sister Kate didn't have a good run either and our last leg runner mispunched so we were disqualified. The winning team was PAPO, with superman Carsten Jørgensen on the last leg it was hard for any teams to match the pace!

So overall, I was very happy with my results from the NZ Champs, but there's a lot of work to be done!! I've already been out for 2 night trainings in Woodhill forest after coming back up to Auckland, and I can feel my navigation improving every time! This is a crazy butterfly loop training set by NZ junior Matt Ogden. You can see I'm starting to make less mistakes than usual :)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Getting back into it! :)

Sup! Things have been a bit up and down for me since WOC last year, both with training and just life in general. Now things are starting to look really positive again J. I had quite a long break after WOC last year, a few months with only really light training just to stave off obesity. I didn’t have so much motivation to train after the unfortunate appendicitis ruined my world champs, but after sprint the bay and being beaten by the stars (Julian and Øystein) I decided I didn’t want to feel slow anymore! So a little ass-kicking was all the motivation I needed to get back into training. I decided to do a bit of track racing with what was left of my summer, and managed to beat my 1500m PR several times, getting it down to 4.01. Now I’ll have to try again next year to break that 4min!

It didn’t take me as long as I had expected to get back to my form before WOC. So I am quite confident that I will be faster than ever this year! My biggest obstacle will be finding the time to get out to the forest for technical training more often. With Uni 4 days a week and work on the other 3 there’s not much daylight! That’s why I’ve invested in a decent headlamp, which I’ve already put to good use twice in the last 3 days!

See the map from my night training with NZ junior Matt Ogden.

50 controls with over 15km, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday night!

Controls 10 to 27 were really fun, and it felt so good to focus so hard again! I have to say though; night training in Woodhill forest without controls or refl

ectors is quite difficult! You can see there’s a few missed controls there on the long warm up and warm down parts!

We’ve had the first Auckland OY competition of the year. See the results here, and route-gadget here. The course was very physically demanding and the map was questionable in parts, but all in all it was a good preparation for NZ champs in Hawkes Bay next week. The middle distance will be 3.8km with 475m climb, so quite steep!

Speaking of NZ champs, this year will again be unable to take the illusive sprint title as I am the mapper and course planner. It’s my first time setting a WRE, so I’m quite nervous to see how it will go! (More so than my own individual performances in the middle, long relay…). The area is of Woodford house and Iona College, two adjacent private girls’ schools in Havelock North. The terrain is beautiful for sprint orienteering, with intricate building detail, hills, park and forested areas making for interesting courses with plenty of route choice. We are planning to use this map for Sprint the Bay in 2013 straight after the world cup in NZ. Unfortunately I can’t upload any pictures or map snippets of the area until my next post!

Last night was another night training with my little brother on one of the maps we made for Sprint the bay (Maison de Sante).Even after doing fieldwork and ocad there, night still made it difficult! There were no big mistakes, and it was a nice hill tempo and a chance to wear in my new inov-8's.

At the moment it’s likely that I will be buying a one-way ticket to Europe this year. I plan to move to Finland after WOC. At the moment I’m trying to sort out a sporting visa and making sure I can continue my studies in computer science. It will be an exciting move for me, to live somewhere with such cool terrain, and of course to help prepare for WOC 2013! I’m also excited about the winter, I’ve never lived somewhere with so much snow, so it will be fun to learn how to ski and give my body the break from running that it desperately needs!

My main focus for WOC this year will be for the sprint. My running is improving a lot at the moment, and with proper sprint training and preparation I believe I can do really well. I also plan to run the middle and the relay (the long still won’t be possible because of my problems with cramps). I have also been having problems recently with my ankle (that I hurt at WOC in Ukraine), so I will have to do a lot of work on it before France! J

Well, that’s it for now I guess! I plan to start blogging again a bit more often, that way I won’t have to write so much!!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Sprint the Bay 2011

For the last few months I have been involved in organising the 2nd year running of Sprint the Bay. The new tour-based sprint orienteering weekend has caught the attention of a lot of orienteers, both in New Zealand and internationally. The event consists of 6 sprint orienteering races over 3 days, and simulates the Tour de France with a yellow singlet for the overall leaders, a green singlet for sprint leg leaders and a polka dot singlet for hill climb leaders. Last year, NZ's Darren Ashmore managed to take down Swiss runner Martin Hubmann for the Yellow singlet, and NZ's Angela Simpson a close second place to Denmark's Maja Alm.

This year we have some top elite runners from Norway: Øystein Kvaal Østerbø (4th place WOC sprint 2010) and Elise Egseth (5th place WOC sprint 2010). Other top contenders include Julian Dent from Australia, Rassmus Andersson from Sweden and our returning champ from last year, Darren Ashomre. In the women's competition, Angela Simpson will be out to prove herself after her outstanding 6th place in the sprint at WUOC last year.

Check out the website to see videos and results from last year, or to enter!