It seems only right that at this time of year we spend some time reflecting on the year that has been and taking those thoughts forward with us as we go into the new year. 2015 has undoubtedly been the most successful year of my life, the major highlights being attaining good results to my name at the World Orienteering Champs and also taking my most serious coaching position yet at the Junior World Orienteering Champs. But these mile stones haven’t just happened because of my efforts in 2015, they are a product of gradual accumulation of ability and knowledge over many years.
At WOC this year I raced 3 races, and while I didn’t have the top end speed to deliver the results I dreamed of in the sprint and sprint relay, the longer and more physical relay suited me better and I, along with a young but talented team, pulled out a performance to be really proud of.
Coaching the New Zealand team at JWOC was another obvious highlight with the amazing group of talented athletes and fun individuals in the amazing setting in Rauland, Norway. I was obviously fantastic to see Tim Robertson take defend his gold medal in the sprint distance, but I don’t want to let this overshadow the other amazing performance our team achieved. Shamus Morrison’s 9th place in the long distance is outstanding and makes him a big hope for 2016 in both middle and long distances. Also the general results of the young team we had in Norway bode extremely well for the coming years.
I also have to thank all those who have helped me in 2015, starting with Icebug New Zealand for helping me get more of my favourite shoes, Trimtex and GKO for keeping me kitted out while orienteering, running and cycling, Sportslab (who has recently come on board) for helping to keep my body operating as I want it too, NWOC for the hard cash to help me travel, Good People Run for helping to open up many opportunities and of course everyone that I have trained with both in NZ and Europe. Thanks you, and I’m looking forward to another exciting year working with you guys!
I would also like to give a special mention to the randomest moment of the year, which I think was making the most of my time in transit in Hong Kong on the way home from Europe. I was physically exhausted after 8 races in Scotland, very little sleep on the previous flights, and according to my body it was still the early hours of the morning. After I worked out that I needed a bus to get out of the airport I ran up to 600 meters, into the clouds, in 30°C and close to 100% humidity. This 14km was pretty tough given the circumstances but very rewarding.
2016 here we come!