When I first discovered the feasibility of coaching the NZ team for JWOC this year in Norway I was very excited and put my name forward. I knew most of the team well from previous coaching I had done and I got the job alongside manager Anna Robertson. This was her 3rd year as manager and I learned a lot from her experience. I also worked with the Australian coach and manager to improve the training opportunities we had during the week prior to JWOC. The star athletes in the team attribute their successes mainly to years of quality training and high level of competition, but the JWOC training week definitely makes a difference to the results of the whole team and the confidence that all the athletes carry into the JWOC competitions.
The results achieved by the team this year ware again an improvement on previous years and the young age of the team gives very high hopes for the next 3 years. The star performers were as expected with Tim Robertson retaining his world champion status by winning the sprint distance for the 2nd year in a row and Shamus Morrison getting our top results in the middle and long distance, 1 place ahead of Tim in both races. I think Shamus’ result in the long distance makes him the top placing New Zealander at a JWOC long distance. Kayla Fairbairn and Danielle Goodall showed great promise by placing 1st and 3rd in the middle distance B-final and the women’s relay team placed the highest they had in recent years, while the men’s relay team slipped 1 place down from last year’s 6 place, but still keeping us amongst the strong nations.
I didn’t get very much running done during the JWOC week but I did get a chance to experience the men’s relay by running in the coach’s race and the men’s long distance as training the day after JWOC finished. I loved the terrain and the courses but unfortunately didn’t manage to pull off completely clean runs.
Here are my GPS routes for both.