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Discussion: WOC-93 30th Anniversary

in: Orienteering; General

Oct 13, 2023 2:47 AM # 
Today is the 30th anniversary of WOC 1993 Classic in Harriman SP, NY.

Allan Mogensen and Marita Skogum took gold.

seems like yesterday and the maps are still some of the very best in North America. For me I will remember that week by the amazing performance by the late Brian Graham in the classic (I miss him greatly) and the breakthrough relay by team GB taking the silver.

how do you remember WOC 93?
Oct 13, 2023 6:47 AM # 
I think it was one of the team leaders from Europe who observed that it was the worst weather ever for a world championship event. But rather than focus on the day that a lot of us spent wet and shivering, I'll wish a happy 30th anniversary to Pavlina and Joe Brautigam! The most star-studded orienteering wedding ever.
Oct 13, 2023 7:35 AM # 
Steve Hale's run on last leg of the relay.
One of the best performances of all time?
Oct 13, 2023 8:53 AM # 
I'd certainly rank it up there. Certainly one of the best ever runs at WOC (and I'll second the assessment of the weather on the long distance day).
Oct 13, 2023 10:47 AM # 
This was the year I took up rogaining, coincidentally in October (the 2nd, if you exclude the urban event from earlier in the year). I didn't know what orienteering was until years later so I can't comment on WOC from this or any other year really.
Oct 13, 2023 10:49 AM # 
In 1993 I was 5 years old.
Oct 13, 2023 11:03 AM # 
I was a yearling (sophomore) at nearby West Point. It would be another 2 years before I met cmpbllj and discovered orienteering. So close, but yet so far!
Oct 13, 2023 11:42 AM # 
Back in 1993 I was dreaming one day I would come to America and conquer it,
but with my 9th place in the national Champs was not even close to getting to the WOC.
Oct 13, 2023 11:55 AM # 
Stan's relay run felt incredible to witness and brought tears to my eyes.

The banquet (and wedding) and after party were memorable indeed...
Oct 13, 2023 2:23 PM # 
Did cmpblllj know what was going on at Hotel Thayer and nearby terrains?
Oct 13, 2023 4:07 PM # 
Too many memories to include here. The weather on the long certainly was memorable. At the start I turned over my map, saw all the detail in its 1:15 glory, and rejoiced. Because back then I could read all that stuff.
Also: my mom & dad helping out (Dad was so proud to escort the medalists to the drug testing area ;-) and Mom got to stand on stage holding part of one of the award quilts that she helped make).
The Highlander will revisit the Long venue (Surebridge and Sebago). The areas are still fantastic and everyone should run here at least once!
Oct 13, 2023 4:50 PM # 
I had only been orienteering for ~3 years, dating Spike for ~1 year. So it was so cool for me to be hanging around the elites and watching the best in the world. I share many of the same memories already listed, but there is one that stands out in my mind.

EricW went absolutely crazy (in a good way) the first time a competitor on the Short course (as it was called then) finished around the expected winning time. I didn't know who he was at the time. Suddenly this man next to me started jumping up and down shouting "I knew it! I knew it!" over and over. Apparently, there had been a lot of discussion on course length and expected winning time and EricW got it right.
Oct 13, 2023 7:31 PM # 
cmpbllj says he attended the ceremony at Trophy Point and the A-Meet during the O-fest following WOC.
Oct 13, 2023 9:25 PM # 
I learned about the quilt projects too late to contribute a club block for the winners' prize quilts, but early enough to volunteer to hand-quilt one of the wall-hanging prizes given for other placings. (Thanks to Mary Jo Childs and others for organizing the quilts!) It was great to be a part of that, and a poster of one of the prize quilts hung on a wall in our house for a long time.

Then we attended the corresponding public events (US Champs, I think) and I was in medal contention in my age group after the first day but did a 180° in the fog near the end of the second day's course (and recognize that area when I've orienteered there subsequently) and dropped three places. I'd competed in my first A meet the year before (World Cup at Pawtuckaway!).

I didn't meet Joe and Pavlina (or many of the rest of you) until later.

Great memories :-D
Oct 13, 2023 9:39 PM # 
Many memories from a whole week of activities. I was working the scoreboard for the classic day. It was a large wooden structure that we carried around the park on a trailer. It had wooden name cards for every competitor and we did everything by hand. Much like the scoreboard at Fenway Park.

At the end of the classic day I remember taking off my shoes and dumping out a couple of inches of water. In those days each control had a person hidden nearby to record when competitors came through. We worried about some of the people like Caroline and Kent Ringo who sat at their control for many hours in the pouring rain.
All in all, I think it was a miracle that we pulled it off without any major glitches by all working together and doing whatever needed to be done. Probably the highlight of all my years in orienteering.
Oct 13, 2023 11:46 PM # 
long distance weather. soaked by the time i reach the start point. route choices for controls 5-7 ( or so) rather early in the race were in some open terrain, that it looked like after a world war movie ( burned trees & rootstocks, rain stopped by then - fog just start lifting what a scenery).
years later i learned that was a big fire that summer- and then i understood the scenery..decent result ( 25 min behind gold medalist on a 13.5km/700m) on one of the best ever terrain/map that i ran.

(oh tempora).
always a pleasure to return to the area
Oct 13, 2023 11:59 PM # 
I remember watching controls at those events. The most fantastic was the relay - I was at the first control (on one forking). I found a small crevasse between boulders that I could squeeze down in and see the control, while making myself almost invisible.

In the far distance I could hear the sound of the start, then silence. Then the distant snap of a small branch or stick. Then another. Then several. Then more. And MORE. And the Forest was suddenly alive with crackling! A spiked shoe clattered on the rock inches from my head. And then, as suddenly as it began, they were gone, except for a couple wandering stragglers. Spectacularly exciting.

After several of the cool, wet days in the forest, we returned to our hotel and Vladimir Gusiatnikov, still a young graduate student fresh from Russia exclaimed in his then very thick Russian accent “Dees room smellz like Orienteerz!”

The next day, when we returned to our room, even though the outside temperature was maybe 5 to 8 degrees C (in the 40’s F), the housekeeping staff had left the window as far open as it would go! (And the still-stinky room was now freezing!)
Oct 14, 2023 1:25 AM # 
My best memory about '93 is quite distant in place and time from the event itself.
I was participating in the Empire State Seniors Games about 2005 or so and for the weekend was staying with many other seniors in a Syracuse U residence. At dinner I sat opposite a senior lady much older than I was. I told her I had competed that day in triathlon and orienteering,
"Oh orienteering," she said. "I love it"
She told me she was from Highland Falls NY and although she had never orienteered herself she had volunteered at WOC'93. She was one of the local residents who answered the call for volunteers and her experiences with you great folks who had also volunteered to help your sport had left a lasting and positive impression on her and probably many others.
Good on you all!
Oct 14, 2023 2:40 AM # 
I was 12 years old and was recruited by Linda to sell competition maps to tourists. It was super fun. One of the sharpest memories was the old Swedes who hadn't been to the US in a long time and who paid for maps using old coins, like Buffalo nickels and Mercury dimes. Naturally, i exchanged those for modern nickels and dimes and pocketed the old coins.
Oct 14, 2023 3:01 AM # 
I wouldn't start orienteering until about 6 months later, in April of 1994.
Of course, I guess that means my 30th anniversary is coming up. Yikes!
Oct 14, 2023 11:41 AM # 
What was Stan’s min/km 30years ago today on the anchor in the relay?
Oct 14, 2023 2:39 PM # 
Legs were 10.0-10.4km with 400-425m climb.
Stan did 49:25.
Oct 14, 2023 6:10 PM # 
Don't really remember my long run at all, but still remember waiting around in the rain to start, and my reaction when I flipped the map and saw the Surebridge map for the very first time!

The relay was my favorite - perfect (cold) fall day.

It was amazing to have the Worlds in the US, and it was an amazing amount of work. Many of the key organizers kind of vanished from orienteering afterward, sadly. But a huge thank you to everyone who made it happen. So many memories.

Read all about it here:
Oct 14, 2023 9:03 PM # 
I have a copy of "Wild Swans" by Jung Chang. Its twice as thick as anyone elses, and thats because is spent the day hunkered under a rock in the pouring rain where jane and I were manning a control and taking split times. Excellent use of your DVOA-Scots volunteers!

The short distance race, where Stan put in the best GB run ever, 4th spot. Then the long, where Yvette put in the best GB run ever, 3rd spot. The the relay, where our men put in the best GB run ever, 2nd spot.

And, the IOF advisor quitting because the courses were far too long (shortest winning time ever). Ha ha ha!
Oct 15, 2023 3:51 AM # 
I imagine 2th spot is always your position in the hold queue when you phone the dentist.
Oct 15, 2023 6:51 AM # 
Is this the one where Evalin’s parents got married?
Oct 15, 2023 7:15 AM # 
Indeed it was.

I was reserve (alternate) for the Australian team but came over anyway and ran the supporting races (if I recall correctly a two-day US Championships was part of this?). I still rate Surebridge as one of the top five areas I've run on anywhere in the world (it may have helped a bit that I got to run on it in decent weather).
Oct 15, 2023 8:53 AM # 
The public races were five events, one on each map (short qualifier, short final, classic (x 2), and relay), and you're correct that one of the days on the classic map plus the one on the relay map served as the two-day US champs for all categories except M/F21, which had had their championships earlier at the team trials.

We (including Evalin's parents) got to run on Surebridge yesterday in steady rain, albeit somewhat warmer. They brought cake!
Oct 15, 2023 10:31 AM # 
Not sure I knew that that wasn't the US Championships in M21, but it makes sense. Certainly there weren't too many Americans to be seen in the upper parts of the field. Jon Tvedt (who I guess would have been Norwegian reserve or close to it) was the star of that field. From memory I was about 10 minutes down on him each day, which I was quite pleased with.

The South Africans, making their WOC debut, ran most of the spectator races as well as the WOC ones ("the rest of you came here to orienteer, we came to learn how to").

Another slightly oddball memory was seeing flyers for the following year's US Championships in Alaska, with the note "mosquito repellent will be provided at the start, the finish and all water stops".

And a couple of slightly quirky ones - the surrounding towns were festooned with "Re-Elect Grant" signs (there was an election on), so we made sure Grant Bluett was photographed alongside them (one of these signs may also have been souvenired). The Australian team was also very amused by being behind a van marked "Fast Rooter: Sewer and Drain Services", for reasons which will be apparent to anyone familiar with one of the Australian meanings of "root".
Oct 15, 2023 11:49 AM # 
The SA team ran with labels on the back of their shirts with a letter L, which apparently in some countries one puts on a car to indicate a student driver.
Oct 15, 2023 3:19 PM # 
Did they really? That hilarious! I did not remember this.
Oct 15, 2023 4:36 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Yay, a memory about uniforms! That's a good one!
Oct 15, 2023 5:29 PM # 
Joe Brautigam was reminiscing yesterday about the USA team uniforms, supplied by K-Swiss. He did not remember them fondly. I may still have some of that stuff in a drawer somewhere.
Oct 15, 2023 5:49 PM # 
The L story is money.
Oct 15, 2023 10:06 PM # 
I was a control sitter for the long, pretty close to the end. When Allan Mogenson came by he just looked so strong and focused that I remember thinking, "He is going to win".
Oct 15, 2023 10:18 PM # 
I recall an era when K-Swiss was making a push into off-road shoes. AFAIK they weren't up to the task. Their bread and butter is court shoes, right?
Oct 15, 2023 10:30 PM # 
Anyone have the background on how the partnership with K-Swiss came to be?

As an Orienteering shoe, it didn't look great.
It would probably sell really well today as a light approach shoe.
Oct 15, 2023 10:38 PM # 
Nike also made an orienteering shoe
Oct 15, 2023 10:45 PM # 
The Nike "orienteering shoes" were notorious. At the end, I think the remaining stock was selling for something like $5/pair. They were so bad that a friend of mine managed to completely destroy two pairs in a single event! (Granted, it was a 24-hour Rogaine, but still...)

The K-Swiss shoes came in two versions, and neither was particularly good. I used mine a few times, then they got consigned to field-checking duty, and eventually I gave them away to a friend. The sponsorship started in 1991 or 1992. I remember going to some significant effort to get their logo onto the original Pawtuckaway map (not straightforward in 0CAD 3).
Oct 16, 2023 12:44 AM # 
My K-Swiss became field checking shoes as well, and as I remember, just fine for that, but for O racing, no way.
OTOH, I loved the Nike shoe. True, they wore out quicker than I wished, but for me they preformed very well, especially in rocky terrain, in the pre spike era. The waffle/nugs were just right, they were light, and fit me comfortably.

...and having learned the Aussie "root', still gives me a few chuckles around here.
Oct 16, 2023 12:53 AM # 
I had K-Swiss for squash and racquetball. Were fine for that. The thick flat sole would not work for running. Transitioned to ASICS when we started running.
Oct 16, 2023 2:20 AM # 
In a box somewhere handy I still have some shoe shaped K-Swiss key chains.
Not sure where I got them or why.
Oct 16, 2023 5:29 AM # 
I had a pair of gray K-Swiss shoes that Rick Worner had won at a meet, but that didn’t fit him. At the time, maybe early ‘95, Zack was a little kid and had a deeply felt need to walk around in my shoes, generically, in “big shoes”. His favorites were my “Rick Worner gray shoes”.
Oct 16, 2023 11:36 PM # 
I think at some point K-Swiss committed a lot of money to USOF/OUSA. I think that they were hoping that Orienteering would get into the Olympics. Seems like I recall that Bruce Wolfe had a large supply of shoes that he hauled around and sold for a few years.
Oct 17, 2023 2:00 AM # 
Glorious early 1990s. Iconic Adidas Trail Response shoes, Casio SDB 500W watch. I still have a curvimeter and a Sport-3 (made in DDR )
Oct 17, 2023 2:29 PM # 
The Casio SDB 500W splits watch has never been improved on, though electronic punching made it obsolete. I wish I still had one.
Oct 17, 2023 5:22 PM # 
+1 also loved my Casio. We’re drifting a little off topic though.
Oct 17, 2023 6:03 PM # 
@arnold. A little off topic, yes but I did spend many hours under a rock in Surebridge using my Casio to note down times. Wonderful though it was, I'm glad that nobody has to do that anymore.

(this experience may have contributed to me settling in a country designed exclusively for people who don't mind getting rained on)
Oct 18, 2023 5:55 PM # 
Dave Pruden and I manned the road crossing on the long course, after control #15. It was a long, wet day.
Oct 22, 2023 5:30 PM # 
I was manning the first control for the women on the classic day. We got taken by one of the planners / assistants and told precisely where to sit. The control was at the foot of a crag, on a downhill approach, so we were tucked in at the base of the crag two feet from the flag! And not to move. For a few hours in the rain. Being the first control and knowing start times we knew their exact leg time. I remember one of the favorites with a late start totally missed: we saw her running past downhill about 50m away before returning some minutes later. Can't remember how we then got to the finish.
Oct 22, 2023 7:12 PM # 
I guess that would have been the last WOC with officials at all controls? (by 1995 Emit was being used).
Oct 22, 2023 10:21 PM # 
Actually, we didn't have officials at every single control. We didn't have enough people for that.
Oct 23, 2023 9:52 PM # 
I'm pretty sure the predecessor to Emit -- Regnly was used in 93. But there was a completely independent manual timing system running in parallel with it, just in case. I was part of the finish line crew, as was Scott Pleban. We were assigned to aid runners who collapsed after crossing the line. Nobody really warned us this is a really popular past time among European athletes.
Oct 23, 2023 10:28 PM # 
The competitors were carrying just punchcards, though, and using pin punches on top of wooden stands. The control flags were above the stands, at the insistence of the controllers. (I think the punchcards were special WOC ones, and I think I still have a couple around somewhere.)

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