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Discussion: US team to WUOC2020

in: Orienteering; General

Jan 23, 2020 4:10 PM # 
LKohn:
Congratulations to the following for being selected to represent the US in Russia at WUOC2020:
Diana Aleksieva (QOC)
Izzy Bryant (CSU, NEOC)
Tyra Christopherson (COC)
Julia Doubson (BAOC)
Martin Heir
Michael Laraia (MNOC)
Thomas Laraia (MNOC)
AJ Riley (DVOA)
Danny Riley (alternate)
Peter Zakrevski (HVO)
Additional information about WUOC2020 can be found here.
Each participant will be paying ~$600 each to cover their accommodations, any donations would be appreciated to help them defray the cost. Go to University Team to donate.
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Jan 23, 2020 5:13 PM # 
cmpbllv:
What a great team. Go USA!
Jan 23, 2020 5:42 PM # 
Sandy:
Looking forward to following the team in action. Congratulations to all the team members!
Jan 23, 2020 5:57 PM # 
BorisGr:
What a great team! Congratulations and good luck to all!
Jan 23, 2020 8:53 PM # 
yurets:
$600 is not bad, close to the avg cost of attending an A-meet here.

Smolensk in July. Lots of old trenches and bunkers in the forest, from WWII battles in 1941 and 1944. Swampy bottoms are overgrown with stinging nettles.
Jan 23, 2020 9:09 PM # 
Sandy:
Note that the $600 does not include whatever it costs to get there, so a bit more than an average US A meet.
Jan 23, 2020 11:12 PM # 
peggyd:
I think this is one of the strongest teams we've had in years. I'm looking forward to watching from afar.
And, yes, transportation costs are in addition to the accommodations.
Jan 24, 2020 3:56 AM # 
angelica:
Congrats to all!
Jan 26, 2020 10:47 PM # 
LKohn:
@yurets remember that college students generally have limited funds...just saying.
Jan 27, 2020 2:39 AM # 
yurets:
LOL, yurets was a graduate student for many years, + worked night shifts to pay rent etc.

Clubs can support promising juniors, certainly those who made the national team.
To afford that, stop offering orienteering as a close-to-free entertainment for "whoever", scouts, ROTC, etc. I was appalled seeing the whole troop marching to forest @ VOC meets paying a single $5 "map fee".
Jan 27, 2020 3:07 AM # 
Gswede:
It seems like usually the best way to bring about those changes is to start your own club and show how successful that model can be.

Until then, let's continue to support our teams representing us at world championships!
Jan 27, 2020 3:23 AM # 
jjcote:
I often have seen clubs step up to support their members financially when one of them gets selected to a team like this.
Jan 27, 2020 3:50 AM # 
yurets:
@Gswede,
let's continue to support our teams
Did I say let's not?

Your sound idea (under different circumstances) to give consulting/coaching/advising for a fee did not work, in the U.S. of A., I mean. Why? Because bulk of potential newcomers to orienteering, and beginners, here are corrupted already. They believe deep inside orienteering is worthless.
Jan 27, 2020 3:52 AM # 
Gswede:
It didn't work?
Jan 27, 2020 3:56 AM # 
yurets:
I do not see them congregating to your Scranton trainings, except maybe Cat Dealer.
Driving a few hrs? Big deal...

My first coach, V. Grigorieva, was a U.S.S.R. Champion.
Learning basics the right way gave me skills and confidence to compete with those hugely superior, in physical terms. You are a U.S.A. Champion. Did many parents approach you asking to give lessons to their children?
Jan 27, 2020 3:59 AM # 
Gswede:
Yeah, because who wants to be in a hellhole like Scranton except for me?

But the TSS is actually doing extremely well, despite the fact that I'm the one running it. So I'm quite optimistic about our future : )
Jan 27, 2020 4:36 AM # 
yurets:
Scranton, btw, is not that bad, only #55 on the list of Most Dangerous Cities in America, ver. 2020
Jan 27, 2020 5:23 AM # 
miclaraia:
-----
Jan 27, 2020 5:39 AM # 
Gswede:
To be honest, Yurets, it's much worse here than your sources tell you.

Just look at this vintage postcard from 1908: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2...

You can practically see demons coming out of the fires to commit crimes and write scathing reviews on city info report sites.
Jan 27, 2020 5:48 AM # 
jjcote:
The troll is well-fed today...
Jan 27, 2020 8:57 AM # 
gordhun:
I drive through Scranton / Willkes Barre at least twice per year. I envy residents there not so much for the towns but for the woods all around them. Looks to be great orienteering and rogaine territory.
Jan 27, 2020 8:59 AM # 
Thompass:
Didn't realize I believe orienteering is worthless, woah. Better move back home, guess I'm done here. Maybe I'll find any way forward in Scranton, but then again what's the point, orienteering is worthless. I'll go back home and start a milk farm instead. All the other juniors are free to join me, let's grow some milk.
Jan 27, 2020 9:16 AM # 
blairtrewin:
Most Australian students who go to WUOC (or another official FISU championship) get a reasonable amount of financial support from their university - does that happen in the US?

By the way, in case you were wondering, whether WUOC is moved will be a decision for FISU, not the IOF. Since the Russian appeal to CAS won't be finalised until late March/early April (at this stage) I think it's very unlikely that any move will happen (there is a clause in the provisional decision about events which are contracturally or practically impossible to move, and I expect that moving a WUOC on 3-4 months' notice would fall into that category).
Jan 27, 2020 12:39 PM # 
bhall:
I'll join you Thomas. I love growing milk.
Jan 27, 2020 3:23 PM # 
yurets:
>does that happen in the US?

No, the system is very different than Down-Under. It has to be an official college sport (typically, football, basketball, cross-country running, a few more, with minor variation) to get recognition or support.

Gswede, I was dead serious about Scranton being a great town. After all I lived in #3 and #4 on that list, and having great terrain (like Oak Mountain) nearby is a huge thing.

JJ forgot today to add his standard "now I feel soooo good about myself, being soooo much better than yurets"
Jan 27, 2020 3:50 PM # 
Nev-Monster:
While I hate to take away from this yurets thread, question: best ever US performances at WUOC?
Would be great to see schools listed when the powers that be have a chance.
Jan 27, 2020 4:31 PM # 
Spike:
This is a dim memory...Margo Thornton had a good result in the early 1980s at a WUOC in the Czech Republic.

Going back to the 1980s, the University of Kansas supported students going to the WUOC. I remember completing an application letter and getting some money for travel expenses. I don't remember the details.
Jan 27, 2020 5:42 PM # 
miclaraia:
----
Jan 27, 2020 6:17 PM # 
BorisGr:
Linda, is it possible to see which university each of the US WUOC Team members represents? Thanks!
Jan 27, 2020 8:09 PM # 
j-man:
I'm glad miclaria has finally said what everyone knows: ["Ukraine is] the beacon of peace, hope, and prosperity in western Russia" as opposed to a critical ally of the United States.
Jan 27, 2020 9:32 PM # 
cmpbllv:
West Point has supported cadet WUOC and JWOC athletes in the past, although I'm not sure on the specifics. Given that cadets can't have jobs while they're in school, the Academy probably covered travel but not food / "incidentals." But that also means cadets are subject to travel restrictions, so no WUOC for them this year.
Jan 27, 2020 10:27 PM # 
peggyd:
This made for entertaining lunchtime reading.
I can confirm that U of Kansas gave us some $ for WUOC (then called Student Champs) despite it not being a big sport. It may be worth it for the current WUOC team members to ask their schools for money. Nothing to lose!
Jan 27, 2020 11:03 PM # 
gordhun:
So I have been browsing though this thread with mild interest and then someone writes something that makes my blood boil it is so misinformed.
"those are the only sports that receive any kind of support at universities in the US."
That may be true at the intercollegiate level but there is an impressive layer of financial support at pretty well every college and university in America just waiting for the taking. That is a portion of student fees that are allocated to studet recreation.
Here is what you do: get a few friends and form a student orienteering club.
Get it recognized by the Recreation council. That is not hard. Hell, some schools even have quiddich club.
Make a quick and dirty map of campus and start holding orienteering events - Interfac, Inter fraternity challenge, seek out sponsors and use the profit to fund your team travel. Student sports clubs are pretty well prohibited from making profits so the money has to go back in to club activities including members' trips to WUOC.
Write press releases extolling that one or more of your members is headed to a World Champs. No one on the school's football team will be heading to the 'World Football Champs'.
Apply to the recreation council for a grant. After all it is student fees that fund the recreational sports.
Why hasn't this happened for orienteering in the past? Nobody asks. For sure if you don't ask you won't get.
Jan 27, 2020 11:42 PM # 
Vector:
Will be rooting for you all, University team!

Indeed I've seen the gordhun formula work not just for this sport, but others too. Probably not going to get full ride scholarships out of it, but there is some support and funding for the taking.
Jan 28, 2020 3:25 AM # 
miclaraia:
Gordhun, I was kidding, I was merely pointing out (rather sarcastically) that the big 10 conference does in fact support more sports than the three that our friend yurets listed.

Also, lol, "get a few friends and form a student orienteering club", give me a break. I think Becky summed up the crux of the problem nicely here, the last time you brought this up.

I'm sure you're right. I'm sure it's stunningly easy to start a club at most universities. Fine. At my university though, I'm just one person. I'd be the one to map our campus. I'd be the one to set courses for other people to get their feet wet in our sport. Maybe some people end up liking it and come back a couple times. But where does that leave me? There goes the time I could have used for homework, or training, or sleeping, or whatever else. At this point everything in my life is a tradeoff. I either sleep or get good grades. I either finish my homework or go to the local O-meet this weekend. I either put together an orienteering club on campus or I do my own training.

Your comparison to Quidditch is also a little ridiculous. JK Rowling sold 500 million copies of Harry Potter books. $8.6 billion dollars in ticket sales for the movies in theaters. Of course there's going to be clubs formed around the franchise. It's pretty much become a part of the collective consciousness of my generation, so of course there's going to be a large enough group of Harry Potter nerds to support a recreational quidditch community.
Jan 28, 2020 3:26 AM # 
emmaS:
“Here is what you do: get a few friends and form a student orienteering club. Get it recognized by the Recreation council. That is not hard. Hell, some schools even have quiddich club.”
Gord, while I certainly agree that it is possible to get orienteering funding from universities, I don't think it's quite that easy. I was the Finance and Fundraising Officer for the UBC Thunderbirds Quidditch Sport Club for two years.
It takes years of work for any club to meet the criteria for Sports Club status. Even as a Sports Club, the funding from the university was relatively minor, with most of the money coming from the students and then fundraising. Sponsors were very hard to get. Sport Clubs (which also include nordic skiing, triathlon, cycling, tennis, etc.) at UBC receive substantially less funding and support than varsity sports (despite having national team members on our rosters).
The number of orienteers at UBC is relatively small compared to the number of quidditch players, making it again less likely to receive funding and requiring considerably more work per person for running the club. Looking at the number of hours we spent doing paperwork and problem-solving to keeping the quidditch club running compared to the funding the club got, it is a less efficient funding source than working a minimum wage job.
Again, it might be possible and this is just a case study of one Canadian university. But I won’t be starting a UBC orienteering club to try to fund my way to WUOC.
Jan 28, 2020 4:40 AM # 
iansmith:
Congratulations to the athletes!

The thread has gotten off the rails a bit here, but it's also worth pointing out that WUOC doesn't receive as much funding from OUSA as JWOC and WOC.

Many clubs do support their athletes. For instance, In the past, NEOC granted money to its member athletes who were competing at JWOC, WOC, and WUOC. OUSA does give money to the teams, but even in the most generous cases, it's usually only enough to cover entry fees and possibly accommodation. It is still incredibly expensive to attend international competitions as a US orienteer and a student, to say nothing of the cost of domestic competitions, training, and the rest of life.

Donations are always welcome. One other relatively easy thing that team supporters can do is organize a local meet. Approach your club about holding a fundraiser meet - where proceeds from that meet will go to team of your choice. Especially if you're also willing to direct and course set - things that we generally do well and frequently, it's hard to imagine encountering opposition. Of course, directing an event takes work, but it's enjoyable and is orienteering.

And a huge thank-you to all the clubs who have organized events to fundraiser both for their own members and for the teams more generally; QOC is one such example.
Jan 28, 2020 6:51 PM # 
LKohn:
Wow...I don't check AP for 2 days and the thread goes wild...I will work on collecting the university affiliations of the team.
Jan 28, 2020 11:20 PM # 
yurets:
--------------------
Jan 29, 2020 12:15 AM # 
Gswede:
@yurets

The single and peculiar life is bound,
With all the strength and armour of the mind,
To keep itself from noyance; but much more
That spirit upon whose weal depend and rest
The lives of many. The cease of majesty
Dies not alone; but, like a gulf, doth draw
What's near it with it
Jan 29, 2020 12:33 AM # 
yurets:
@ Gswede

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46473/if---
Jan 29, 2020 10:07 AM # 
blairtrewin:
FISU have now confirmed that WUOC will go ahead in Russia as planned.
Jan 29, 2020 1:46 PM # 
miclaraia:
----
Jan 29, 2020 2:56 PM # 
Nixon:
@Blair

That's a bit worrying, because if the WADA case is upheld by CAS then Russia would be strictly forbidden from hosting any FISU events.


In other news, Thomas Laraia is part of the University of Edinburgh Performance Programme. We will be paying 50% of his costs. We hope to arrange a training camp in Scranton in the near future. There aren't many Americans I'd have coaching/advising Thomas, but Greg is definitely one of them.
Jan 29, 2020 6:52 PM # 
yurets:
Scranton will soon be the new capital of orienteering in North America due to its premium terrain, LIDAR contours, and friendly inhabitants.

The national team of the newly-independent Scotland will be going there yearly to fine-tune technical skills before WOC.
Jan 29, 2020 7:47 PM # 
blairtrewin:
FISU's view seems to be that the ban (if upheld) only applies to the Summer and Winter Universiades, not other FISU competitions.
Jan 29, 2020 7:58 PM # 
Hammer:
And the head of FISU is a Russian dude right?
Jan 29, 2020 9:17 PM # 
yurets:
Yep. Oleg Matytsin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Matytsin

Look very closely at his photo, zoom in, the badge you see is the stylized version

of this old Russian icon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_George#/media/...

Now read this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_St._George
Jan 29, 2020 10:44 PM # 
peggyd:
Wow, Nixon, that's fantastic! Thanks for supporting one of our athletes.
Maybe we'll send you some more ... ;-)
Jan 30, 2020 2:29 AM # 
LKohn:
The WUOC Team members are representing the following institutions of higher learning:
Diana Aleksieva University of Virginia
Isabel Bryant Wellesley College
Tyra Christopherson Montana State University
Julia Doubson Amherst College
Martin Heir Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim
Michael Laraia University of Minnesota
Thomas Laraia University of Edinburgh
AJ Riley Stanford University
Danny Riley (alt) Cornell University
Peter Zakrevski Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Jan 30, 2020 1:22 PM # 
barb:
@LKohn, would you be up for creating a press release and sending it to each college/university? We did that for JWOC (towns/school districts) and it is a good way to raise local awareness, often generating an article or two. It might also get other students who orienteer at those schools to come out of the woodwork and connect with the athletes on the team.
Jan 30, 2020 11:14 PM # 
LKohn:
Sounds like a great idea, will see what I can do.
Jan 31, 2020 4:45 AM # 
robplow:
Wow this thread got pretty nasty. I get that Yurets can come across as offensive but putting up a link to his negative reviews seems a little unnecessarily personal on a forum like this.

Admittedly I don't personally know any of those involved so there may be baggage I nothing about. But I have always figured Yurets' posts are heavily ironic and self-deprecatory . But what do you expect - those are basic Russian stereotypes. Maybe there is some truth in the stereotype that Americans don't really get irony - that would explain why Yurets seems to so easily offend.

But if you can get past the irony without taking offense he makes some good points. Maybe entry fees are a bit low (ie the sport undervalues itself). If you charged a bit more you might find you had enough money to better support young athletes and for other things - like more maps of good terrain which would also be of great benefit to aspiring 'elite' athletes.

Too low entry fees that undervalue the sport is not something unique to America - also very much the case in Australia in my opinion.

The only thing I know about Scranton is that it was chosen as the location for the US version of The Office. Not a complement.
Jan 31, 2020 5:24 AM # 
miclaraia:
Yeah, I suppose I kinda went off the deep end on this one. To yurets, I'd like to say I'm sorry for being needlessly nasty towards you in this thread. Your posts sometimes are a little inflammatory, and I really wish you didn't write some things that are somewhat unsavory, posts like "General American public is brain-dead lemmings", or "[Boris] could be quite useful for designing a course, or at least for consulting an incompetent course-designer at the recent meet [at] PWF", or "When Putin gets tired of torturing progressive liberals, he orders a freshly-baked British baby, shipped from London."

Nevertheless, none of this excuses me attacking you on such a personal level, and for that, I am sorry.
Jan 31, 2020 6:58 AM # 
robplow:
OK maybe that second quote is offensive to Boris - I couldn't be sure without knowing the full context or relationship between the two. S maybe that one was inappropriate/offensive.

The first one is hardly a novel observation (perhaps not usually made in quite such a sarcastic tone) - plenty of people think that about the general public in plenty of countries. No need to take it as an observation unique to Americans. And certainly no need for anyone on Attackpoint (who are almost all intelligent, well educated, engaged, etc) to take it personally .

I have no idea what the reason for the Putin quote is without seeing the context but I honestly can't see why anyone would be offended by it, Except for Putin supporters. Sure, it is colorful language and even a bit grotesque, but obviously it is not meant literally. Presumably just another example of the dark Russian sense of humor.
Jan 31, 2020 12:00 PM # 
yurets:
without seeing the context

Read the thread "Nasty Russia" or "Naughty Russia", do not recall the exact title
Jan 31, 2020 3:18 PM # 
jjcote:
He also unambiguously insults specific people, Rob, although I think he'd maintain that they offended him first.
Jan 31, 2020 4:48 PM # 
robplow:
That may be - and if so I would say that is also inappropriate here. But I didn't any specific personal insults on this thread.

Despite rereading the Naughty Russians thread I still don't really get what the line about Putin eating British babies was supposed to mean. Overall in that I thread my impression was he seemed to be warning against going too far with the characterization (stereotyping) of all Russians as drug cheats, which I thought was a fair point.
Jan 31, 2020 5:06 PM # 
yurets:
OK, I went back to that thread, I see I was wrong. In fact, now I think any Russian who refuses to apologize to Canadians for constantly humiliating their hockey team at World Champs is a bad, naughty Russian

JJ forgot to add his standard "but I have seen worse--- that guy who stole money from a blind kid was even worse"
Jan 31, 2020 5:51 PM # 
jjcote:
Sigh... are you coming this weekend, Yuri?
Jan 31, 2020 6:33 PM # 
yurets:
Yes
Jan 31, 2020 7:40 PM # 
Pink Socks:
So, we're just normalizing yurets' unacceptable behavior, then?

If you haven't been paying attention, in addition to his sarcastic/inappropriate/offensive posts (both on public forums and personal logs), he also has a long and storied track record of berating, belittling, and yelling at volunteers and event organizers, both in person and here on Attackpoint.
Jan 31, 2020 8:17 PM # 
jjcote:
Nancy just left her two cats at home for the weekend with a bowl of food. That always works fine. I hope you can work out your arrangements.
Jan 31, 2020 8:33 PM # 
Nev-Monster:
Diana Aleksieva University of Virginia
Isabel Bryant Wellesley College
Tyra Christopherson Montana State University
Julia Doubson Amherst College
Martin Heir Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim
Michael Laraia University of Minnesota
Thomas Laraia University of Edinburgh
AJ Riley Stanford University
Danny Riley (alt) Cornell University
Peter Zakrevski Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

I thought this thread was about the above and not someone's cat. Frankly there's as much discussion on Quidditch than on athlete development in this thread.
Feb 1, 2020 4:30 AM # 
bmay:
That's a great team.
Feb 1, 2020 4:37 AM # 
robplow:
"So, we're just normalizing yurets' unacceptable behavior, then?"

Well obviously I don't know all that personal history. So maybe I am missing subtext that is obvious to others. But I just didn't think anything he said on this thread was offensive - provocative certainly - but nothing that warranted that very personal attack.

If he says stuff that you think is offensive then call him out on it but don't stoop the same level.

Perhaps the comment about Gswede's program ’failing´could have seemed a little nasty but it seemed to me it wasn't suggesting Gswede was a failure, it was about the broader issue of orienteering undervaluing itself , and people being unwilling to pay reasonable fees, which is a valid point to make. And clearly he was wrong about it 'failing' which is good to hear.
Feb 1, 2020 6:07 AM # 
yurets:
@Pink, you are projecting again, it is your leftist friends who are violent and intolerant...no one is normalizing you. Find yourself on this video: violent triggered leftists

FYI, Winston Churchill once said "Socialism is the philosophy of failure,...the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries". I will translate it for you: Socialism SUCKS. We love capitalism here.
Feb 1, 2020 7:04 AM # 
Nev-Monster:
Good stuff Rob, subtext as subtle as a form line in Manitoba.
Feb 1, 2020 11:04 AM # 
Hammer:
Great team!
Quick question: What University has had the most all-time US WUOC team members?

In Canada would the answer to that question be UBC or Carleton?
Feb 1, 2020 11:41 AM # 
jjcote:
I would suspect that in the USA it would be USMA. If not... I guess there are a few other possibilities.
Feb 1, 2020 11:50 AM # 
robplow:
subtle as a form line in Manitoba

the thing about formlines in Manitoba sandhills is it is very easy to misinterpret them The orienteer often needs some help working out which way is up and which is down. It is very important that the mapper provides plenty of help with that - slope lines.

I often feel that way with Yurets posts - are they making a valid point or just gratuitously offensive?
Feb 2, 2020 2:11 AM # 
robplow:
Having been filled in on some of the background I can now have some understanding of the depth of ill feeling involved. I had never read anything by Yurets in this thread, or in others, that seemed obviously personal so I was unaware of the reputation for trolling. Not having experienced it first hand I cannot comment on that, but I certainly don't support trolling.

The thing that bothered me was the very personal nature of the reference to his evaluations. I was surprised that no one seemed to think this was inappropriate or say anything. But maybe no one said anything because they all thought he was getting no more than he deserved. Clearly I should have kept out of an issue that I did not fully understand.

Anyway Micheal did the right thing and admitted he shouldn't have done that. I hope that act of good faith is reciprocated by the cessation of trolling.
Feb 2, 2020 3:50 PM # 
Wyatt:
Surprisingly couldn't find an Attackpoint Event for WUOC 2020, so made this one:
https://attackpoint.org/eventdetail.jsp/event_4910...
Feb 2, 2020 5:35 PM # 
DarthBalter:
I competed in Smolensk region at least 2 times in the 1980-s in the summer. Keep in mind there were no sprints at the time in orienteering, so the following information is only relative to forest events.

The terrain is glaciated moraine. The upstate New York Salmon Farms, or Salmon River map is the closest in relief forms, also Canadian - Ganaraska Forest, Idaho - the site of US Champs 2 or 3 years ago, and of course Minessota has various maps of glaciated moraine. So, Thomas and Michael - you are partially in luck.

The hills are not very tall ~ 30-40 meters, but have quite often very steep side banks, and depending on course design, it can become very physical very fast.
I can guarantee one thing for sure: picking good route choices will not be trivial, rather very difficult, and very critical for success.

If you are a serious athlete getting ready to compete in that environment, I would suggest a 10 day training camp, here in North America, in the areas I mentioned,
with variety of maps and challenges presented to athletes. I think, if Canadian and US athletes cooperated on organizing such camp, it would make it logistically easier:
for example,Toronto is a big orienteering hub, and it can help with relatively cheap accommodations and good orienteering expertise. Hammer, Mark Adams, Nick Duka, just from the top of my head. This is just an idea, it does not have to be Toronto.

Back to Smolensk in the summer.
While it is central Russia, the climate can throw some curve balls into competition:
I happen to race in extreme warm conditions, with dehydration being a very serious problem on a long course, it was ~30 C with high humidity both times, while statistically normal weather for that region was low 20-s C, in the middle of the summer.

Terrain has a multitude of marshes with various degree of run-ability, and making right decision on whether to cross or avoid will heavily depend on the type of summer they have. That what the training camp immediately before the event would help. I would suggest 2 or 3 training sessions, focusing what would work for each athlete the best. Must be done on different training maps to see variety, and must be timed to be less subjective.

Vegetation: that is one of the things, I agree with yurets. It will not be easy, but it will be adequately mapped, and you will need to pay close attention to that.
Again, depending on that type of summer they had, grass and stinging nettles in lower parts of terrain, wetlands and open spaces can be overwhelming, especially if you are not in top physical shape, and able to jump for long chunks of the course, it will get to you.
The part of understanding what to avoid and were to take the fight shell be done during training camp, and again, each athlete would need to understand their strong and weak sides. What may work for Mikhail Laraia may not work for Julia Doubson.
And last: elephant tracks will form, and in my experience it will lead to 30-60 seconds per kilometer advantage to later starters. Sorry, but it will not be a fair fight for early starters, and do not have a solution how to resolve this problem, but, back in USSR, the stronger athletes with higher chances of success were chosen to start late. Double unfair :).
With that said, it made very interesting chase start scenarios.

I wish the team best of luck, and want to remind all of them one simple thing: failing to plan is planning to fail.
Feb 2, 2020 5:51 PM # 
DarthBalter:
to all my dear friends on attackpoint, who really loves orienteering, a plea: do not answer to provocation of misguided, and stay on topic of the thread.
Feb 2, 2020 7:00 PM # 
DarthBalter:
Also, while I am not going to Smolensk, I could help the team administrator with a contact in Russia for organizing your training camp.
It is quite simple: Vladimir Zherdev is a mapper, a coach and a former elite orienteer, with high credentials in all of the above and proper education. He speaks reasonable English, and very experienced in organizing student's training camps in Russia, because that's a part of his job in one of Moscow's Universities.

Besides myself you can check his references with Bob Cooley (BAOC), Mike Minium (OCIN) and Vadim Masalkov (DVOA).
The only problem could arise if he is chosen to help Russian Team, or his college team at the same time, than he would be unavailable.
Feb 2, 2020 8:04 PM # 
cmpbllv:
Speaking of training camps, Kevin Brooker and I are working some details to provide a week of logistics (lodging, meals, access to Aloha Foundation properties' maps) for a reasonable cost at Ohana Camp near Lake Fairlee, VT. There will be a weekend event 30-31 May that is youth- and educator-focused, but think there's space for a junior elite training camp to occur simultaneously. We'll look to the Jr. Nat'l Coach to handle the actual training part of the week.

Jim Arsenault has made one map in the area and will have two more done by then. It's also not far to Dartmouth College, Harris Center, Burnt Mountain, and Oak Hill.

AP event placeholder: https://attackpoint.org/eventdetail.jsp/event_4805...

Inviting the Canadians is a great idea, DarthBalter.
Feb 3, 2020 12:21 AM # 
yurets:
@Balter, I ran there as well, in mid-summer, terrain there is varying a lot over the region. The relevant part is Demidovsky District, here are a few links:

https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/swann74/31961374/5...

https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/swann74/31961374/5...

https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/swann74/31961374/5...

The above comes from one blog, the story part may be of interest.

Also these 3:

http://maps.o-stuff.net/show_map.php?user=ijdmajor...

http://maps.o-stuff.net/show_map.php?user=ijdmajor...

http://maps.o-stuff.net/show_map.php?user=ijdmajor...

dear friends (c), I confirm: Balter is legit, you can trust what he writes.

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