Month: April 2014

Uppsala Möte

This weekend I stayed at home in Uppsala and competed in some local races on Lunsen. Before this weekend I had not run on Lunsen, but it was a map that I was really looking forward to running on. It has been considered in the 101 maps you should run on before you die, so I was very interested to see how the terrain and map compared to others that I have experienced.


On the Thursday, Oskar, Albin, Joseph and I ran some very tough intervals. It was my first proper interval session that I have completed since arriving in Uppsala. The body performed quite well and I felt good, if not smashed, after the session. The Friday, I joined Oskar and Albin at the gym, and we did a nearly 2hr strength programme. This is something that I will be doing regularly, and I feel is something that has been lacking in my training in the past. To be able to run at speed, and to hold that speed, in the forest then sufficient strength needs to be developed in the legs and core. The  suiss runners are doing a lot of this kind of training, and with the Swedish twist that Oskar and Albin have put on it, I believe that I will be doing strength training that will be of most benefit to my orienteering.

Anyway, the Uppsala Möte consisted of a night, middle and long distance. I decided to only run the last two, as I am still trying to come to terms with the terrain in the day, let alone at night. The middle race I was really satisfied with, apart from two controls which cost me 1 minute 30 seconds. I finished in 8th position, however had the speed for the victory. The 13th control, where I missed the most, I think was a result of pushing quite hard into the finish and then not really having a plan in the circle.



In the long distance, I felt really tired. The terrain was a little bit more difficult than the middle, but was still manageable if my technique had been disciplined enough. I was quite tired from a good week of training and work, so I think this was the reason for the absence of focus. The performance was pretty ugly, but after I decided to take it easier following some major mistakes it was really enjoyable and I found a good flow in the Lunsen terrain. I think it will take a few more trainings in this terrain before I can be really comfortable at full speed, but today was just another orienteering lesson! Map.


So after running on Lunsen, more so today than yesterday, I really like the terrain! It is tricky, but the technique is quite straight forward. Hard on the compass, thumbing the map the whole time. It can be very difficult to relocate, so 100% focus is needed otherwise you can end up making some quite bad mistakes! I cant wait to get out there again and avenge my orienteering.

Next weekend is Tiomila! The temperature is suppose to plummet this week, so its going to be a cold weekend away. I am really looking forward to the race, and I think our team is looking really strong. It will be my first time running Tiomila, arguably one of the highlight events of the year. Bring it on! Hoo rah!


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – My First Weekend Away

The Easter weekend just past, I joined the Linné team on a trip down south for a fantastic weekend of racing! I am not going to lie, the first few weeks in Sweden have been very tough for me. Despite being surrounded by a fantastic group of people, both Swedish and non, I found it very difficult to sleep and hence developed some small worrying issues. Even the simplest task became quite tough, but now here I sit, writing this blog post, feeling very confident and excited for the future (despite a rather appalling race today).

The weekend started off with Stigtomtakvlen, a 6man relay with three night and three day legs. I ran in the first team for Linné on the last leg. We were missing the likes of Oskar, Albin and Rassmus who were recovering from national duties at the European Champs but we still had a very strong team. The night legs were held on Thursday whilst I was fast asleep, but it did mean an early start the following morning as we left the clubhouse at 7am to make the beginning of the re-start of the relay. The night legs did not go so well for us, but three very solid performances by Joseph, Jan and myself brought us into 8th position overall. The terrain was spectacular and I found a good flow. My body did not respond 100% but technically I was satisfied, apart from a small mistake towards the end. See the entire course here.


Once finishing the relay we headed off to Lotorp, a very small town near Finspång. This would be the venue for the Silva league on Sunday. In fact we could see the entire arena from the cute little houses that we stayed in! 


On the Saturday, we had the Kolmårdsmdeln. I took this race very easy as I was concerned about my legs. They were a little sore from the race before, especially the sides of my lower legs and the tops of my quads. The map was pretty average to be honest, the terrain was nice, but I didnt have much confidence in the mapping style. Hence, I could not achieve a good feeling in my orienteering. I still managed to finish 12th in a depleted elite field, but of course the result meant nothing to me.

The next day was the Silva League Long Distance, which I opted not to run. Instead I spent the day spectating and watching all my Linné comrades enjoy a nice painful long distance! It was awesome to see Albin and Rassmus smash the course and both finished in the top 5! I really admire these guys, Oskar too, and I hope to one day achieve a level similar to theirs!

The good – Stigtomtakvlen, the bad – the feelings in the legs and not sleeping, and with Sunday came the outrageously ugly! Kolmårdskavlen was another relay, 5 people this time. Again I was selected for the first team, and again put on the last leg. But this time, the four runners before me were the best that Linné have. Joseph, Rassmus, Albin and Oksar all went out and had stable runs to put me out in 7th position. My run is what I am now going to aptly name, a disaster! But I thought it would be better to take some lessons from this disaster instead of wallowing in my own shitty orienteering.  I apologise to my team mates for the run, but hopefully I will do much better in the future!

Lesson #1 – Know who is running ahead and roughly behind you in a relay.

I went out in 7th position, and I thought I was doing badly right from the beginning. I made some small mistakes and I was really concerned about losing the race for the team. Funnily enough I was just behind Ralph Street who finished in 3rd position! But the worse was when I saw Johan Runesson and I thought that he had caught me. In fact I had caught him and that  I was fighting for 6th position at that stage of the race.

Lesson #2 – Focus all the way, a disciplined technique applied over the ENTIRE course.

After I separated from Runesson due to forking, I made some really really bad mistakes. I can only attribute this to my legs and brain competing for oxygen, coupled with shitty mapping, which Gustav found too. You can see these mistakes below (16 and 17), one was a breakdown in my compass and the second was a misinterpretation of the map. Horrible mistakes, just horrible! But we learn, we adapt and then we evolve!


So the good, the bad, and the ugly! But it was a fantastic weekend away from Uppsala, with some amazing people, playing lots of 7 wonders! The brownies on Sunday night were definitely a highlight for me, thanks Ellie and Boris! Next race is the Uppsala Mote next weekend. It will be the first time I get to run in Lunsen, the holy grail of Orienteering!



“to change ones behavior so that it is easier to live in a particular place or situation”

Adaptation is a natural process which an intelligent system undergoes following change in its internal or external environment. This is such a process which has consumed my life since leaving Auckland on the first of April.

My last days in NZ were filled with TONIC2014, an event that I was largely responsible for (along with Greg and the rest of the NWOC team). It did not give me much time to appreciate that I would be moving to Sweden the day after the final race of TONIC. But then, there I was, at the Airport saying my final farewells to my Family as I begun this epic journey.

The journey was, for the most part, irritating. My flight was cancelled in Sydney which meant that I had to spend a night there, and consequently missed my flight in Dubai. In Dubai I had a sub-par sleep next to a travellator, as I could not be bothered going to a hotel for only 6 hours. Finally, after the mishap with the travel plans I arrived in Uppsala on Thursday 3rd of April, to the warm welcomes of Rassmus :). In the afternoon, I was exposed to the first club training. A series of O-intervals were held in Nåsten, with markers at every control site. It was pretty cool to see Thierry at the training and we had a little yarn before they started the training. I just jogged a few controls and tried to absorb the awesome terrain. See a sample of the map below.

Nåsten Ointervals

The first week and a bit now has been quite tough for me. I struggled to sleep during the first few nights due to the jetlag. I then began to worry about the decision that I had made; whether coming to Sweden was the right choice. This was, most likely, my fatigued brain playing tricks on me but it led to even less sleep. I finally got some sleeping pills off one of the nicest guys in Uppsala, Ross Smith, and I began to get things under control. I am extremely lucky to have the supportive family and friends that I have, so that even when I could not see the positives they showed me why I am so incredibly fortunate.

Basically the first weeks; the people in Ok Linné are amazing, especially the people living in Bloden. The training environment is unparalleled and I have barely even scratched the surface. The flat I am staying with Oskar and Bettina (who left me to run EOC) is really nice. It is in a perfect location, only a short jog from the club house, and really close to the supermarket. You can see the façade of the apartment block below.

My living arrangement at 17 Blodstenvägen

My living arrangement at 17 Blodstenvägen

The adaptation has only just begun, but Uppsala along with the people is assuring me that the decision to focus on Sweden/Orienteering this year was the correct one! Stay posted for some more highlights from my journey to come!