ANOC Day 2

The second day of the Aftermatch Northern Orienteering Carnival featured a long distance style race on the recently updated Slater Road map north of Parakai. The courses were set by Matthew Ogden himself and were extremely testing. I have run on Slater Road many times in the past 3 years and often find I can use my memory to my advantage but Matt’s courses had be thinking the whole way.

Initially the elite field was to have a chasing start based on accumulative times from yesterday’s 2 middle distance races but after a gentlemen’s agreement it was decided we would use an ordered start with small start intervals to add pressure and first across the line would be victorious.

The course began with 4 short legs in a small area of technical sand dune detail. I had a small hesitation at 3 but was stoked to get there ahead of first starter Tom Reynolds. Our partnership in this technical area was a bit dangerous for me as I am capable of running faster than my navigation and we started pushing each other quite hard. I noticed Nick Hann was also behind me at 4 which meant I was leading!

Technical start – classic course setting

4 to 5 was a massive leg (totalling 1800m in a straight line) and presented obstacles like hills and dense vegetation and had many tempting tracks. My route, which I think may have been the best, is shown in red and there are many other variations shown. Click to see it closer. It was cool to see both Tom and Nick take different routes even though they were just behind me and could have easily put the map down their pants and followed me. Nick’s deviation from my route is shown in orange and Tom did something similar to the purple line.

Long leg to create route choice – classic course setting

The race ran into a pivot section which made good used of a very cool area of sand dune detail. There where a lot of felled trees on the ground as shown by the green stripe, but they were all pretty rotten and didn’t make anything unfair. I think this area was great for a long distance race as  the rotten trees increased the physcality of the forest and made route choice decisions more crucial. I chose to use the track from 5 to 6. Tom caught and passed Nick and I through this section and had about a minute lead heading to 15.

Pivot in technical area to condense runners and increase pressure – classic course setting

Leg 15 to 16 features a massive slope. The elevation graph from my Garmin shows that almost all the climb during the race happened on this leg. Nick dropped me towards the top and my brain to jelly shortly after my legs contributing to the 3 small mistakes at 16, 17, and 18. I lost sight of the leading 2 but I had a big gap back to 4th and maintained good flow through the end of the course to finish in 3rd.

Technical controls after massive uphill leg – classic course setting

The cool stuff that my Garmin Forerunner 610 does

ANOC Day 1

The Aftermatch Northern Orienteering Carnival was an idea created by Northwest Orienteering Club and implemented by Matthew Ogden. The money raised will go towards supporting juniors from our club by easing travel and other costs. It also encouraged competitors from NZ Champs last weekend to stay on for a second set of races and make use of the training opportunities in between.

My recovery from Nationals wasn’t great and I’m not overly surprised given my preparation before Nationals. I made the most of the training organised by the National Squad coaches which was great, but left me pretty tired come Saturday. The races at ANOC were going to be hilly and require aggression through the rough terrain. I knew I was going to be too tired to perform my best so instead set goals relating to my navigation.

Day one featured 2 middle distance style races held on a cool piece of New Zealand farmland near Helensville. An old 1:15,000 map of this area was made in 1988 by the Auckland Oreinteering Club with the north end named Paehoka and the south end named Kiwitahi. The new map, made by Northwest Orienteering Club, is relatively small but offers more forested areas and more detail as it is drawn at 1:10,000. It is still a relatively easy area but was a refreshing change to sand dunes and the well set courses kept me thinking.

Area of the old Paehoka / Kiwitahi map that was remaped for ANOC in 2012

The morning race was also my first race with my Garmin forerunner 610 and below is a snippet from QuickRoute. This is a look at some shorter legs where it was important to choose good routes based on the combination of contours and vegetation. 3 to 6 was a part of the course where I avoided the vegetation as much as possible. It was great to see some younger members of my club learning to set the courses and Lauren Holmes should be proud of her great job.

Full speed no mistakes

I finished in 5th place with a time of 26:39. I felt pretty shattered but had enjoyed the race especially since it was on a map I had never used before.

Saturday’s second race a bit more technical and my body finally gave up. I was haemorrhaging time in the second half of the course and every fence was a major obstacle. I found it funny how little co- ordination I had while on the course and I was glad to see the finish. Here is the course set by talented youngster Helena Barnes. I finished in a very tired 37:08 for 8th place

First time using QuickRoute with my first GPS watch