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Discussion: So how was the overall WMOC experience?

in: Cristina

Aug 13, 2016 11:23 AM # 
Following all the Americans in Estonia has gotten me excited for New Zealand. I didn't realize there were so many races during the week, it looks like a fun format. Any thoughts about the overall experience and how it compared to other events?
Aug 17, 2016 8:51 PM # 
I thought it was a ton of fun. I really liked having qualification and final races. (For sprint there's one qual, for long there are two quals.) It probably wasn't as exciting for me as for the people in the big age groups like 65 and 70, but it was still fun to have the smaller group with a nice spread of people in 35. It was also fun to see the intense competition in the older age groups as well as watching the World Champion in W95 finishing her races.

Unlike at other big events where the elite age groups are the focus, here everyone was allowed to care about their age group the most. It was different. I liked it. Makes me look forward to continued racing as I get older, probably facing a lot of the same people year after year!
Aug 17, 2016 11:28 PM # 
Wow. That sounds awesome. I'm excited!!
Aug 18, 2016 6:58 AM # 
I have heard lots of negative impressions and stories, plenty of collisions in sprint final with tourist getting bleeding wounds for falls after getting bumped in a runner, run being spoiled by angry frustrated tourist seizing competitor who appeared after some earlier collision/incident and so on - simply race being held at the time town was way too crowded by regular tourists. And using that marsh pond area in final was seen just a bad joke, lots of luck into play, some got stuck and some luckily managed to wade without getting stuck. I guess that was a gamble played by organizers, slightly more dry summer might have made it just fine, difficult to know in advance. But difficult to say, I wasn't there.
Aug 18, 2016 7:51 AM # 
Wow, I did not have that experience at all. There were definitely tourists out and about during the sprint final but it didn't seem like they got in the way. It was also was the least crowded of all the days we were there, by far, which makes me think the had picked the best day for it. Old Town was about 7x more crowded the next day (I think several cruise ships came to town and unleashed their passengers on the area) and in places it was difficult just to walk. Would have been impossible to hold the sprint that day. Even so, if there were indeed bleeding wounds then it sounds like they could have used more course marshals or something at tight corners and narrow alleyways, shooing tourists aside.

As for the long final, I loved the pond area and thought it was awesome. The pond mapping seemed right on and you could see the controls from quite far, plus the OOB streamers made for a nice solid reference point. I didn't do any wading... then again, I did slow down and pick my microroutes carefully, which I suppose helped. I guess those who were fighting for medals may have approached it differently.

Here's the map with the cool pond area:
Aug 18, 2016 3:21 PM # 
I agree with Cristina. I was not aware of any serious tourist-runner problems a the sprint final, and I thought it was a great course and very well organized. The days after did have a lot more tourists and it would have been much more difficult to have a course. The marshes in the long distance races took a little getting used to, but they were fine. By the end I took some routes straight across them and it was generally faster than going around. I thought the whole meet was great.
Aug 19, 2016 8:45 AM # 
The problem was guided tourist groups, dense cloud of tourist trying to be close enough the guide to hear what she is telling blocking narrow alleys totally, then runners squeezing though and pushing tourists made some of them mad. Apparently it was not fun to get seized and pushed on the ground by a pissed of 2 meter tall mad man during a sprint final. Mist likely those tourist were Finns, those are scary people ;)
Aug 19, 2016 5:18 PM # 
The rules of the Tourist:

Tourist shall never maintain course and speed. They will invariably stop or turn directly in front of you.

Tourist shall stop in narrowest part of any aisle, alley or passage. If a narrow doorway is available, tourist will choose that spot to tie shoe, adjust backpack, or otherwise obstruct the passage at its narrowest point.

Where a narrow sidewalk is already partially blocked by construction, sign, or sidewalk cafe, tourist shall stop directly opposite said obstruction in
such a way as to completely block any remaining passage.

If said tourist has luggage or a pram, they shall park it alongside them in such a way as to maximize blockage of passage.

If said tourist is carrying umbrella or walking stick, they shall swing it like they are directing a symphony, invariably to the side you are planning to pass.
Aug 20, 2016 1:58 PM # 
And I thought it was just my kids who did that!

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