Sunday, 22 June 2008

Gauteng O Champs '08

This weekend we celebrated the winter solstice with the Gauteng Orienteering Championships. Saturday's short course was run in the Hennops River valley; Sunday's classic distance event was run at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria*. I've been skipping events - of all disciplines - for the past few weeks so these were my first O runs since early April. Although I took second place on both days to Tania Wimberley, I did achieve my primary goal; to navigate accurately.

We've all had the experience of [thinking] we're in the right area and then hunting in the bushes and behind tree for controls. Chunks of time is wasted; you get frustrated and you doubt your decisions. These past two days I hit the controls spot-on and didn't have to do the owl-like head swivel when approaching the target area, hoping to catch sight of the control; I walked right on to them.
This break from events has been good for me because going into GOC Champs all I wanted to achieve were clear runs. I only messed up the second-last control (13 to 14) on Saturday when I misread a jumble of lines indicating roads; a silly bloops that cost me the run (I was down 20-odd seconds on Tania at this stage; I finished about 3-minutes behind her). Until this point I'd hit each control spot-on and my route choices had been reasonable (with allowances for slight improvements).

My run today at the Voortrekker Monuments was great. I did take some longer routes than Tania, preferring to run on better terrain than trip over rocks, which I was likely to do. My running is going well and I've been feeling great so I was prepared to sacrifice distance for better terrain. Over some of the splits Tania was faster; over others I was faster. We often hit chckpoints within seconds of each other (we start at different times so race time is not real time; we only saw each other when Tania was going to 8 and I was almost at 13). The leg that cost me the run and set me back 2-minutes from Tania was undoubtedly the leg from 5 to 6; an easy section where I should have run as straight as an arrow, instead of trip-trapping like a ballerina on the tracks...

This was a lovely weekend with excellent maps, fabulous courses and good competition from my friend Tania.

My thanks to the many, many people involved in the events on Saturday and Sunday. It takes a load of work and preparation to plan the routes, update maps, print maps, put out controls and all the other elements involved in making these events possible.

If you're in the Joburg area, come through to Albert's Farm (southern-ish slope of Northcliff) on Sunday (29 June) for an event organised by our mens SA Orienteering team. This is a fundraising event; they're travelling to Czech Republic the following week. More information on this event can be found on the AR Club website ( >> News & Events).

* Of interest... I ran with a GPS unit on Saturday and Sunday. The routes are drawn on the map as-the-crow-flys. We obviously don't always run straight line as this is dependant on the terrain and obstacles. At Hennops the shortest route was a bit under 4km. I ran 5.7km. On Sunday, the shortest route was measured at 7.8km. I ran 10.8km.

1 comment:

alvin said...

Hey Lisa, nice to see some maps from Gauteng O events. Nobody ever posts them online... Would be even nicer if they were slightly bigger, or we could click to enlarge them?

Penoc has started posting routes / maps from events, click on the little photo icon next to Eikenhof lapa.

Some of the international orienteers are using QuickRoute to show GPS data on a O map, it shows were your pace slowed down / speeded up by using colors, and I think it's free. You can see lots of samples of the output at okansas

Sorry for posting a bunch of links, thought you may be interested...