Portugal O-ing

Well a bit late again, but never mind! Here is my (Chris's) Portugal O-ing blog update. After another busy week at work, drinking lots of yummy expresso's, I was off to Portugal for some orienteering training and competitions. This was my first orienteering of the season, so I was a bit unsure how I would go, but excited to do some competitions, escape the snow and hopefully enjoy some warm delicious weather.

Me, arrrr!

For the first 4 days I was based out on the coast about 2-3 hours north of Lisbon running the Portugal O Meeting races. These included one world ranking event (WRE) which is acting as a selection race for WOC this year. Alistair landels and Juliette were also entered for these races, so I got in touch and managed to end up staying with them, their young baby Adam and some of Juliette's French clubmates.

On arrival I was rather disappointed by the weather, about 5 deg and cloudy, but the orienteering was very good. Lots of top runners (about 250 in mens elite) and fun courses in the sand-dunes. I managed to place 37 on the first day which was also the WRE. I was pretty happy with my run, one notable mistake of about 30sec, otherwise just a little hesitant and slow. 37th place doesn't sound too good I know, but it was only 3 and a half minutes behind the winner Thierry Gueorgiou, and still in front of lots of good runners.
Alistair Landels finishing day 2 of the Portugal O Meeting

The next day, I was all eager to run really fast, but unfortunately forgot I also had to orienteer well, so made lots and lots of mistakes, losing about 6 minutes on the 2nd control and many more minutes on the rest. So luckily come the last day of competition I both ran and orienteered reasonably fast and managed to finish up in 28th place.

That afternoon I managed to get a ride with the British group to a very fun sprint training and stayed with them before traveling south and inland the next day to meet up with the rest of the Wing group who were arriving from Trondheim.

Castelo de Vide

The next 4 days were spent at Castelo de Vide, a pretty little village up on top of a little hill somewhere near the Spanish border. The orienteering here was quite different from the previous days with rolling hills, semi open terrain and lots of funky boulders. It was also good to hang out with the Wing crowd.

Wing team training

The first 2 days were spent training on nearby maps. This was great fun, and the weather improved somewhat giving us some sun. Yah! The terrain was covered in large boulders, olive trees and lots of shrubs, providing lots of navigation challenges and entertaining running.

Fun amongst the boulders

Then on the weekend there was another three competitions including a WRE. These went much better than the earlier races, and in the end I managed to place 5th overall. I even nearly managed to win the night sprint race, but stuffed up right near the end running up the wrong alleyway and came 7th instead.

Night Sprint race

Final days competition area

Following the competitions is was then back to the coast for an evening before I departed from the team the next day back to snowy Trondheim.

Back at the coast for an evening


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