Geoff and Jenny Lawford

Message from the Lawfords at JWOC

 Posted by at 8:14 pm  2013 News  Comments Off on Message from the Lawfords at JWOC
Jul 062013
 

Hello from Czech Republic

You’ve probably already had all the JWOC news from the OA website.

It hasn’t been a good week for Ian – except for one brief glorious moment, which quickly crashed to the worst moment of all yesterday. Going to the girl’s control rather than his own actually cost Ian some time so his time for the race was actually very very good and would have had him as the gold medal winner BUT………. Of course, he was completely shattered by this but hopefully, in time, he can see that it showed what he can do and what potential he has and it will motivate him for the future.

What hasn’t been so well reported is the more important races that are taking place – the JWOC Tour for the spectators. These have been races in the same terrain as JWOC usually in adjacent forests. This has meant long walks to the start (2km) and back from the finish (1.5km) are added to your course. One day the walk was along a railway track, as in, between the rails. 2 km of that wasn’t pleasant! All the terrains have been different from steep hills to rocky slopes to flat open forest and also a town sprint. Jenny has won 4 of the 5 races, picking up 2 prizes- a $25 voucher to an O gear shop and 2 bottles of beer plus a pen! Geoff also won a $25 voucher. Geoff has been having a close tussle with some Czech rivals. He was annoyed on Day 3 that he had only come 3rd, so on Day 4 he decided he would “go for it” and show these Czech fellows something. A warning flag should have gone up here. Last time he decided to “go for it” was in Finland a few years ago. That resulted in a 40 min error when he ran off the map! This time it wasn’t so bad but he did run straight past 1 of his controls and so scored a “mp”. Luckily for him, we are allowed to drop one day in our overall score. Today we have a chasing start and Geoff will go out in the lead by a small margin. Jenny will also have a lead but, as her start time is late she will not be able to run. We have to catch a plane from Prague at 7.30pm – next stop Finland.

We’re off to the JWOC relays now- really hoping for a good result to lift Ian’s spirits.

Jenny and Geoff

Ian Lawford’s Leg 1 at Jukola – only 1650 teams (7 in each team) – that’s a RELAY!

 Posted by at 8:40 pm  2013 News  Comments Off on Ian Lawford’s Leg 1 at Jukola – only 1650 teams (7 in each team) – that’s a RELAY!
Jun 242013
 

Jukola!

Wasn’t too sure what to expect for the first leg but whatever it was going to be, there would be a lot of people.

We got a bit unlucky with the entry so the team ended up being dealt number 1582. Which meant there were about 1500 people between me and where I would have liked to be, and on the second last starting row.

The start was hectic. I was out behind all the old people so had to use some crazy traffic weaving skills learnt in the Gdansk pamphlet race. I figured out quickly that there was no actual technique to it, just pretty much pick the gap, no matter how small, and then shoulder your way through.

I got in some good map reading time so I figured out what I was actually heading for, and then put my head down. This allowed me to get a really nice line through the controls and I feel like I passed a fair few teams just on the small route choices. First radio control at number 5 – place 253 +2.36min down.. Made up some nice few places.

Heading into the thicker stuff now and not as many chances to smoke the pack by running beside it. I worked hard running up the hill to 6, getting pretty pissed off with all the slow people when I hear “hey sexy boy” beside me. I had caught Olle. Took my own little route choice down the hill to 7 but I didn’t watch closely enough crossing the marsh and lost myself on the opposite hillside, losing maybe 2mins.

Considered cracking a gel when passing 8-9 but was feeling a bit seedy, so opted not for it.

Put on a show for the cameras at 9. Later watched the footage and it looks like I have no idea what I am doing!

Heading 9-10 I opted for the same directish route choice as the pack, which I later realised that maybe it was smarter to take the track option and destroy everyone else. Was getting pretty agitated by all the slow people at this point. I was feeling really strong but couldn’t find any passing opportunities. I took the time to read ahead and identified some hard controls coming up 11-16 and decided I would strike then. Went through these really smoothly, apart from a minor slip to 14, and passed a fair few teams.

Got a little bit carried away running to 20.. I hadn’t really been reading too closely and was having a bit of a running to nowhere moment. The line of slow people was infinite so I was still getting pissed off and looking forward to the open running 23 – 24. Didn’t really get what I wished for, with the indistinct track and ride being turned into massive tracking, it wasn’t too good for passing.
Made my way past another few teams with a short sprint on the road coming out of 25, then had to sit all the way into the finish sprint.

So all up – crazy race. Placed 146th +10.41. Happy with how I went. Feel like I could wipe a lot of minutes off my time by starting higher up in the pack.

Team did really well! Finished with place 229 after a strong finish by Bryan. Looking forward to next year.

Ian Lawford