mcd Photo: Megan Carter-Davies, WOC2018 Middle Race, courtesy of Janis Ligats / WOC2018 Latvia

With four disciplines to run, I thought the major challenge of the week would be physical: making sure I was in good condition at every start line. Of course, I've raced hard at the JK and World Uni's day after day so I knew I could cope well enough.

Anyway, it transpired that the biggest challenge I would face would be mental.

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al Photo: Alice Leake in the current leader's chair at World Champs Sprint Final, Riga 2018, by Maprunner

On The Red Line editorial. On Saturday 4th August, after qualification races earlier in the day, the World Champs (WOC) Sprint Final took place in Old Town Riga, Latvia, and Alice Leake, the current British Women's Sprint Champion, came eighth. Alice made her WOC debut three years ago, and in previous years was 35th, 22nd and 22nd. She said on Twitter "8th in the world. What is even happening." It was the highest position by an individual British athlete at the 2018 World Champs. It's the fifth best British Women's sprint result at WOC ever. Like many of her fellow athletes Alice combines full-time work with her orienteering and time and money are precious. The Riga race was rightly hailed as "a breakthrough performance".

Alice explains what happened.

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alan Photo: Alan Cherry finishes in the Long Race WOC2018, credit Janis Ligats / WOC2018 Latvia

Women

  1. Tove Alexandersson, Sweden
  2. Maja Alm, Denmark ,
  3. Sabine Hauswirth, Switzerland

British runners:
> 25. Jessica Tullie,
> 28. Charlotte Watson,
> 31. Jo Shepherd.

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hhPhoto: Hector Haines running in last year's World Cup Long Race in Switzerland

The World Champs Long races are on Saturday 11th. These are the final races of WOC2018 Latvia. They are in the Gauja river valley "and side ravines". It is hilly, and the runnability varies from very good to hard. The visibility is mostly poor due to the dense vegetation.

GB has three women and two men running. Good luck to them. The women's race is first; and a two minute start interval is used.

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kris Photo: Kris Jones starts leg 2 for the GB men's team, WOC Relay 9th August 2018, by On The Red Line.

The races took place in very hot weather in the forest next to the Turaida fortress in Latvia. Both were decided right at the end.

In the women's the favourite teams pulled away. On the last leg it was Sweden and Switzerland together at the last difficult control after a climb to the wall of the fortress. The race was decided in the short parkland section right at the end.

In the men's there were nine teams almost together at the run-through on the last leg, and at the end here were eight teams within a minute. But after all the drama it was the favourite teams who took the medals. It was the long leg up to the fortress that had decided it.

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ralph Photo: Ralph Street, on the runthrough, WOC Middle 7th August 2018, by On The Red Line.

World Of O's Preview

Neither of the GB teams are amongst the favourites, but both have the status of outsiders who can do well on a good day.

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ali

Alasdair McLeod (pictured) and Ralph Street ran the World Champs middle race in Sigulda Latvia today. Ali was 52nd and Ralph was 13th. Ralph improved from being 38th at the first timing point and was less time down on the winner at the end than he was on the then leader at the first timing point.

Kris Jones asked Ralph a few questions after the race.

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megan

Megan Carter-Davies recorded the highest British position in today's women's middle distance World Champs race. She was 20th. Cat Taylor was 26th and Charlotte Watson 53rd.

The forest was tough, with mostly low visibility; it was not possible to stay on a bearing because of obstructions, and climbing and crawling needed to be part of an athlete's technique.

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middle-runners.jpgPhoto: The five GB athletes who will run the Middle races

The World Champs Middle races are on Tuesday 7th.

GB has three women and two men running. Good luck to them. The women's race is first; and a two minute start interval is used.

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kris Photo: Kris Jones, WOC Sprint Relay, Riga, Latvia August 2018.

Great Britain, helped by a great run from Kris Jones on second leg, were seventh in the World Champs Sprint Relay in Riga, Latvia. The medals were won by the same countries as in 2017, and 2016, although as last year there was some swapping of positions.

The race, held in Riga but across the Daugava River from the Old Town, was an experience far removed from that of yesterday's individual sprint finals. And indeed from the experience of the vast majority of British orienteers.

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alice Photo: Alice Leake running the arena passage in Riga Old Town Square, World Champs Sprint Final.

Alice Leake had the best run of the British athletes in this year's World Champs Sprints: she was eighth.

The fact that both the men's and women's titles were retained by last year's champions, Daniel Hubmann and Maja Alm, is to disguise a great deal of drama.

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parade Photo:Maprunner - of the opening ceremony WOC 2017 Tartu Estonia

The World Champs (WOC) first races are early on Saturday.

We are fortunate that once again Jan Kocbach has written a comprehensive and entertaining reference to the competition:

WOC 2018: All You Need to Know

and, although described as "Technical - for Teams", orienteers may also like:

WOC 2018 Bulletin-4

WOCprovidedPhoto Photo: WOC Latvia

Today team officials and many of the sprint orienteers arrived in a very warm Latvia. For example Kris Jones training blog. They continue to taper their training: Peter Hodkinson wrote about tapering - "not as easy as it looks" this time last year.

Jonas Merz gives his expectations for WOC for the IOF's Live Orienteering site. Jonas will be commentating for the international broadcasts, alongside Katherine Bett.

Will Gardner tells the readers of Athletics Weekly about WOC.

Lillomarka's guide to WOC (in Norwegian, but with many pictures) features their seven athletes taking part.

What happened last time:

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WOCprovidedPhoto Photo: WOC Latvia (of Sandra Grosberga)

Update 2nd Aug 10am: Timings updated from Bulletin-4.

If you like this coming weekend, in the morning you can run, and in the afternoon you can watch World Champs sprint orienteering - perhaps with some fellow members of your club.


Here are timings for the World Champs races in Latvia.

You can choose between paid-for Internet TV (it is €20 for the week, there'll be an individual race option too) and free-of-charge online results and social media.

Most interesting:

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woc2018team Photo Composition: GB WOC Team 2018 by On The Red Line

The World Championships are in Latvia with races from 4th - 11th August. They are also Round 2 of the 2018 World Cup.

WOC Bulletin-3.

An IOF article in January is entitled

A very special WOC on a very special year for Latvia

The championships in Latvia will be 35th WOC and the last one in modern history of orienteering with both sprint and forest races on the programme.

The British team is quite large, with seven women and seven men, all members of the senior squad.

Of the fourteen athletes, three are selected for sprint only, three for sprint and forest, and eight for forest only. We noted in our 'one race' article how half the team, seven athletes, are concentrating on a single race.

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woc2018team Photo Composition: GB WOC Team 2018 by On The Red Line

A campaign is launched inviting members of the British orienteering community to contribute towards the cost of the GB team attending the 2018 World Championships (WOC.) The fundraising campaign is, as last year, via the BT MyDonate site and the charity The Orienteering Foundation

The campaign page provides more explanation and provides the way to make a donation.

The success of last year's campaign really helped the athletes, easing financial pressure and being boosted by the support shown by the orienteering community.

The On The Red Line Team Announcement News Item.

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