jeudi 5 juillet 2012

Last Swiss-rigorous preparation before World champs!


           After the European champs in Sweden, it was a quite dense period with a lot of competitions (and some important things at school too with exams and projects-reports as always in June: tough but it must be good to come back to the reality!).
          Just the weekend after EOC, we had some selection races with the French team in the nice but challenging maps of the Jura Mountain. There we can also compete with many strong international orienteers so it was really good to compeer routes and see what to improve in that kind of terrain. On the Saturday, it was a middle distance competition and it went quite well for me with no big mistakes and rather good route-choices.  (See the interesting article of  O'training.net)

On Sunday, it was a ‘short long distance’ (around 65’ for the winner) in the tricky Jura terrain too. It went a little worse for me this time as I’ve done a whole loop in the wrong side before realizing my mistakes (~5’ missed…)
Then, The 8th of June, we had our sprint selection race for WOC in the street of Villard-de-Lans were I won the test-race and I took my first ticket for Lausanne with Vinc, Lucas, Amélie, Celine and Léa (see selected French team down).
           The weekend of the 9th and 10th of June, it was the Middle and club French championship in the south of the Vercors mountain. There the terrains and maps are also really challenging. The middle distance was interesting and we had to stay careful in this rocky ground to decide the right route choices and to properly find the control. It went well for me and I took the French champs title!
      The Club French Championship (CFC) must be the best orienteering event in France: it’s almost the ‘French Jukola’ ;) where all the French club meet and compete on 4 different leagues (more chances to get medals :p ). For an individual sport as orienteering, it’s very fun to run relay and to fight for a team and even for the club! On this event, the main particularity is the team composition: it should represent the whole club. That why in the 1st league, it’s a 8-leg relay where it should be at least 3 women with 1 young (under 18) and one master (over 35) + 1 young + 1 master. Then it’s only 3 places left for elite runners. That why it could be a lot of changes during the race as the teams don’t launch there ‘rocket’ at the same time… For some years, I have the chance to run the last leg in a quite strong team fighting for medals in the 1st leagues: It makes the challenges even nicer to try to get the best result-position for the team (before that, I was also really proud to run another leg in this team). My team has done an amazing job so I started in a perfect 3rd position quite close to the first competitors. So I run very offensively to tried to catch times and places but I may have forgotten to read the map and to orienteer cleanly so it leads to many mistakes and I lost time instead of catching it: Finally, we took the satisfying bronze medal confirming the good shape of Orient’Express club!
           The next weekend, it was the famous Jukola in Finland where I’m still impressed to see how huge can be orienteering. Even if this event took place very close to Helsinki, it was a really nice terrain and a quite wild forest with a lot of bare-rock on the ills top. I was also running the last leg with my Swedish club OK Hällen.
And my team-mate had done a good job before giving me the relay in a good start position with the possibility to catch up other teams. The beginning of my race was ok so I could catch some runners but after some mistakes, I was running in a big group with clubs like KOK or Rehns BK. This group were growing control after control… Then, as I had the good idea to take a different route choice for a long leg and as I missed the control, I lost the group some hundred meters before the finish and I couldn’t catch it again. Finally we took the 30th place that is an OK result (if you compare to the 1 650 teams of the start line) even if I’m not very satisfied of my performance (I didn’t lose any places but I was running with the 23rd before my last mistake).


           On the following weekend, it was 2 world-cup stages in Switzerland with a middle distance on Saturday and the Post-finance sprint on Sunday. For the middle-distance, the Swiss organizers found some piece of forest still unmapped (quite rare in Switzerland) on an ill slope whereas the sprint took part in the city streets of St Gallen.
The middle went well for me in spite of some mistakes (like 1st and 8th control) and wrong route-choices (control 10 to the left) in the beginning. Then, my speed seemed fast enough as I lost only 1 second to the leader from the 10th control to the end.
  Finally, I took a very satisfying 5th place that is my best performance in middle distance in World cup and it confirm all the solid performances I did in this kind of format this year in France (Selections races, French champs…)
            The post-finance sprint is always a really nice competition to take part because of the impressive and spectacular organization: we are like stars in the arena when we run in the middle of the noisy spectators! It’s also fun to get sharing at almost every controls: not that useful in orienteering. The course was really interesting and it was sometime tricky to find the best route-choices. And that was my biggest mistakes as I took bad decision to the 5 and 6 and I lost a lot of time there (~ 2 times 15’’). Finally, the speed was ok and I took the 12th position quite close to the top 6 (7’’) but with still a margin to the lead (47’’). So there are still some correction to make and it should be ok for WOC.
          The last but not least test-race was the long distance close to the WOC Long and relay area held last Wednesday with many other national teams. It was a little bit tough for the French runners to start the earliest in such green terrain so we should fight with the vegetation and make tracks in the overgrowth. However, it was a perfect preparation for WOC to see what to expect for and we could learn a lot of such race.
I’ve finally got my second ticket for WOC long distance and all the French team is now decided (See below). Now, one week left before the world champs in Lausanne, so we arrive in the ‘last strait line’ of the preparation where the goal is to be ready the D-day and we will see what’s happens!





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