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Seven weeks navigating in Europe

Junior-VM  Mellomdistanse kvalifisering Fredag 25. juli 2014

Michael Laraia (left), Isabel Bryant and Ethan Childs are navigating around Europe this summer. Photo: Erik Borg

For weeks, some very keen juniors from the USA have been travelling in Europe to experience terrain and controls in different countries.

Now they are ready for the final races: the Middle Distance Final and the Relay at JWOC in Bulgaria. There’s a full team from USA at JWOC with six men plus six women. There are four more also in the group, plus some adults.

During their time in Europe they have not always stayed together, but they all started at Jukola. “It was amazing to take part in the relay and run in the night when it was still light”, Michael Laraia (17) says. Most of them took a visit to Norway and took part in O-festivalen. Then they travelled to Rauland in the southern part of Norway, where JWOC will be next year.

“I enjoyed the terrain. It was easy to navigate with all the swamps”, Isabel Bryant tells. In the mountains in Norway they are open and mostly good to run across. “Not at all like at home where they can be so wet”, Isabel laughs. She is 17 years old and taking part in her third JWOC.

Ethan Childs (20) is now finishing his fourth JWOC and he also took part in WOC this year. “I ran the Sprint, Sprint Relay and Relay in Italy”, he says. He loved to compete against the seniors, but is also having a good time now. “It’s a lot of fun taking part in both championships”.

The juniors have from two and half months up to three months summer holiday, and this summer a major part of that is being spent in Europe. “It has been a great time. I like going orienteering for seven weeks in Europe more than doing anything at home in the USA”, Eithan Childs says. He has qualified for the A-final on the Middle Distance and is the only one from USA there, but the Americans are showing better results than at the previous junior championships. It’s due to good work on home ground in the big country – and also abroad.

“We have had just four rest days without training. Those have been when we have been moving from place to place”, Isabel says.

When they have been at one place there have also been days with two trainings. They really know a lot more about Europe now – especially about orienteering!



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