With the arrival this afternoon of Kaia Joergensen, straight from JWOC, the New Zealand WOC team is now complete and in residence in the Athlete’s Village in Rocksresort at Laax.
The majority of the team have now been in Switzerland for at least 2 weeks, and with hard training behind them it is now time to taper and relax a little before competition kicks off on Wednesday with the middle distance qualification. Terrain for the middle distance has incredible detail with multiple rocks, cliffs, knolls and quite significant topography. Everyone in the field can expect to make mistakes. A clean run could be really significant. The alpine terrain, up to 2000 m altitude, for the long distance with incredibly steep slopes and a mix of forest and open will almost certainly test route choices to the full, as well as lungs. Quarantine for the long is at the top of the cable car.
In recent days time has been spent in productive meetings between manager/coach and individual athletes to sort out any issues, requests, and to discuss approaches to competition. Tomorrow there is a final training run in the morning for those in the middle distance, after which we head to accreditation. In the afternoon we undertake coach Florian’s mystery team building exercise, which sounds as if it includes both water and rock, but presumably no navigation!