We woke to misty rain, enjoyed our breakfast and then headed to “Gorvedarci “ for the morning training. The drive takes us past, what are becoming, familiar Bulgarian scenes – horses grazing on the main street of villages, chooks on the verges of the side streets, people biking or walking with their makeshift trolleys made out of plastic vegetable crates and older people sitting watching the world go (always looking a little startled by our convoy of 4 vehicles)
Whilst Rob, Toph and Hanny put out the controls, the 4 vans had a minor battle of whose music would dominate in the forest – we conceded and let the Aussies take the win over our NZ JWOC CD. The runners decided which sections of the course they would complete – with Rob asking that, as a minimum, everyone did the 1 km long leg as well as the first few controls. Lucy Butt from the British team also joined us for the training.
Karen Blatchford (Aussie team manager) and I waited at the last control for a few photos – providing snack food for the many mosquitoes. The team found some of the vegetation boundaries quite ragged in places.
We enjoyed another 3 course lunch back at the hotel and a breather before heading out to the Sprint training – though no stopping for Rob, who drove back to Samakov to set out the control tapes. Rob must have maxed out his weight limit travelling over, as he had the reams of maps, plastic bags, 30 control flags and a roll of control tape (for the urban trainings) tucked away in his bag, along with what he needed for his Greenland expedition prior to arriving in Bulgaria!
The afternoon training was a series of three 0.9km sprint intervals on the “Turisticheska Gradina” map in Samokov.
The first interval was a ‘self start’ model, the second interval a mass start (with split controls) and the third interval a chasing start – the team were all buzzing with energy by the time we had finished this speedy session.
After dinner we held a team meeting to explain tomorrow’s Long Distance simulation exercise.
The coaches have set up a start draw, allocated transport and a model map, prior to the ‘long event’ start…
so the athletes have a chance to practice their pre JWOC race routine from breakfast through to final warm down.