Juniors began arriving to Izzy’s house in Cambridge, MA on Wednesday evening. We had a late dinner and headed to bed to be well rested for the long weekend.
Thursday morning, we all piled into cars and headed to Mystic River for the first trainings. The focus of the morning exercises, as explained to us by coach Erin Schirm, were to practice the four laws of sprint orienteering. Law #1: Read everything to the first control. Law #2: Smooth your route. Law #3: Look up. Law #4: Read the whole route. We ran a short course for each of the four laws, and finished with a final, longer course in which we put all of the laws together.
Before the afternoon training we went back to Izzy’s house. We relaxed, went grocery shopping and prepared a sauerkraut and sausage dish for that evening’s potluck.
Thursday afternoon we did a contour only course and then ran a sprint race at Pine Banks park. After the training we added our sauerkraut to the growing pile of food and dug in. When we got home we played a very entertaining game of Cards Against Humanity. Tears were shed (from laughing so hard).
Friday morning we drove to Skyline Park. Alex Jospe led us in some dynamic stretching to wake up, and then we ran four micro orienteering courses. The map was 1:500 and the contours were 25cm! They were very fun and challenging. Then we did hill repeats in which we were given a sprint map segment at the bottom of the hill and had to figure out a route before reaching the top. Next, three tricky Maze-O courses, and finally a normal sprint race.
Friday afternoon we headed to Nahanton park for an exciting two-man relay. After the relay we were all very tired but Alex had the brilliant idea of doing strength and inviting anyone who wanted to join her. Erin volunteered all of us, thanks coach!
Saturday morning we got to sleep in a bit because the first training was at Magazine Beach, a short walk from Izzy’s house. Alex led dynamic stretching again, and then we did an exercise working on maintaining flow while changing direction. Next, we ran a “One-Way O” through Cambridgeport. This is a street o in which you have to follow the one-way signs as a car would. That added a lot of extra distance to the course and forced you to plan ahead. We finished at Dana Park where we ran four more micro sprints similar to the ones at Skyline Park. When everyone finished we walked back to Magazine Beach for a tasty catered lunch from Clover. Yay falafel and lavender lemonade!
Saturday afternoon we went to North Point Park for a sprint race. The start location was pretty cool. There was a large skate park and some architecturally interesting bridges.
Sunday was the national meet at Franklin Park. There was a qualifier and a final. We warmed up to some catchy tunes played from Izzy’s phone that really pumped everyone up. In the qualifier we got to run through some old animal cages in a tricky, technical area of the map. The final was mostly in the woods, and many people made mistakes. The winners got a tasty, baked treat that Alex made. Thanks Alex! Also thank you to the winners for sharing with the slower folks.
Photos courtesy of Dave Yee