Junior World Orienteering Championships 2018

Dubbed Hungary’s labyrinth, the terrain is very different from back here in Britain. Having had training camps in Hungary over the last year, and heading out a few days early, the team had some experience of the terrain prior to competing. This year there were 6 representatives from Scotland and Scottish Clubs:

  • Grace Molloy FVO – competing for the second time at JWOC
  • Laura King EUOC – making her JWOC debut
  • Emma Wilson CLYDE/EUOC – making her JWOC debut
  • Matthew Fellbaum EUOC – competing for the second time at JWOC
  • Alex Carcas INT/EUOC – competing for the second time at JWOC
  • Eddie Narbett EUOC – making his JWOC debut

Eddie Narbett competingFirst up in the racing schedule was the Long distance at Pirto, with courses of 15km (M20) and 10.2km (W20) and temperatures of >30degrees it was to be a tough race. The area was covered in tank platforms marked like a sort of earth crag and there were large expanses of ups and downs which would be easy to get lost in. Best result of the day from the “Scottish” contingent came from Matt Fellbaum in 27th, a good result, but not the one he wanted. He said he learned some good lessons on how to attack the terrain later in the week (straight as possible is best). The DNF’s from Laura and Eddie were no cause for concern, both having struggled with injury earlier in the season, they went out with the aim of seeing how far they could get through the race cleanly (which might be the whole thing) but if errors crept in they would stop to save the legs for later in the week.

Results from the long:

  • 38th Grace Molloy
  • 77th Emma Wilson
  • DSQ Laura King
  • 27th Matthew Fellbaum
  • 114th Alex Carcas
  • DNF Eddie Narbett

Day 2 of racing and it was sprint time. The sprint area was in the town of Kecskemét itself and a number of artificial barriers had been added to the streets to increase the difficulty. Matthew Fellbaum had a relatively early start and set the time to beat, beating the Long winner Kasper Fosser (NOR) by 1s. There were still 2 hours of starts to go and it was a long afternoon for everyone watching at home, including ScotJOS watching on a projector in the club hut in Gotland on their summer tour. The technicality of the sprint lead to lots of small (and big!) time losses for lots of the top runners, and as time passed Matthew remained on top. It was to be the final starter Colin Kolbe (GER) who would be the only person to bump him from the top spot, meaning Matt won a SILVER MEDAL! This equals GB’s best ever result at JWOC, Kris Jones medal in the same discipline in 2008. Alex Carcas matched Matt’s position in the long with a 27th (again, not the result he wanted but a good one all the same). Meanwhile in the women’s, Grace Molloy had a great result with a 17th place.

Sprint results:Matt Fellbaum (left) on the podium in the sprint

  • 17th Grace Molloy
  • 86th Emma Wilson
  • MP Laura King
  • 2nd Matthew Fellbaum
  • 27th Alex Carcas
  • 46th Eddie Narbett

Alex Carcas on the run inAfter a rest day it was the turn of perhaps the most stressful race of the week – the Middle Qualifier, at Bosca Zoldhalom. The athletes are split across 3 heats in the Mens and Womens and the top 20 finishers in each heat will make it into the A final, the next 20 into the B and the rest into a C final. With 3 runners starting at once (one for each heat) there is lots going on and you don’t know who is in the same heat as you (apart from that the 2 you are starting with are not!). The terrain was a mix of the complex juniper maze (mostly impenetrable) and areas of woodland, with different techniques required in the different areas. Times are close and for some, a close miss of the A final.

Results from the Middle Qualifier

  • Laura King 18th -> A final
  • Grace Molloy 22nd -> B final
  • Emma Wilson 26th -> B Final
  • Matt Fellbaum 18th -> A final
  • Alex Carcas 29th -> B final
  • Eddie Narbett 31st -> B final

Middle final day, again at Bosca, this time in an area made up almost entirely of a warren of Juniper bushes, making for extremely mentally demanding race. Those who were in the B final decided to take the extra rest day in preparation for the relay so it was just Laura and Matt who took on the challenge. As they both qualified in 18th this meant they were some of the first runners out into the terrain and at some disadvantage as they were the runners making tracks through the vegetation which would be used by the later starters. Both had solid runs finishing 46th and 40th respectively.

Middle Final – Bocsa

  • 46th Laura King
  • 40th Matthew Fellbaum

The final race of the week was the relay in Tazlar and it was to be an exciting day! The Women’s 1st team containing Grace Molloy recorded the best British result at JWOC with a fantastic 4th place. Meanwhile the Men’s 1st team containing Alex Carcas and Matt Fellbaum achieved the 3rd best British result in a JWOC relay, 7th and only a tantalising 10s from the podium! Eddie was on leg 1 for GBR 2 and he had an amazing run coming back in 4th only 19s off the lead!

Relay results

  • 4th GBR1 Leg 2 Grace MolloyGrace Molloy (middle) and team mates on the podium
  • 7th GBR1 Leg 1 Alex Carcas, Leg 3 Matt Fellbaum
  • 27th GBR2 Leg 1 Eddie Narbett
  • 20th GBR 2 Leg 1 Emma Wilson, Leg 2 Laura King

Full results for all the competitions as well as maps and GPS are at http://jwoc2018.hu/