French orienteering university championship

Laura, a K3 student, shares her experience.

“Orienteering is a sport I have been practicing for 5 years in a club, and for the second time I have been selected to attend the the French University Orienteering Championships.

The purpose of the activity is to join control points (beacons) that form a pre-established course (circuit) as quickly as possible by choosing the route between the crossing points. For this, participants must use a map with specific standards and a compass.

More information about this sport here : http://www.ffcorientation.fr/decouvrir/

1st day of competition

This year the French Orienteering University Championships begin with a Sprint Relay in the University Campus of the city of Caen. The sprint relay is a race taking place mainly in urban areas and parks. A team consists of 4 riders (woman-man-man-woman) where the best times on each relay are 12 to 15 minutes.

Our Ile de France team consists of Ambre K. (Paris Dauphine University), Vincent P. (I.L.E.P.S), Jean-François G. (STAPS ORSAY) and myself.

The sun is already starting to hit hard enough and in the quarantine zone it is the excitement. Everyone starts to warm up. The first torchbearers are called to take place. Amber starts first and places the team in a very good position (2nd of the teams that can be classified), unfortunately too many mistakes are made by our two male teammates. When I reach the start, the relay is in 5th position and I know that the podium is already out of reach. I’m doing a clean and error-free race that allows the team to finish just outside of the final podium. We finish just behind the two teams from Clermont-Ferrand (where the Pôle France Jeune is located) and the AS team of University of Lorraine 1.

Evening

We reach our hosting location, not far from the city of Caen. The team celebrates in a nice atmosphere. However we do not forget the competition, we start our post-race recovery ritual to be as performing as possible the next day.

2nd day of competition

This is the day of the individual race, after an early wake up, we take the road to the Grimbosq forest.

After a good warm up under the rain, the time of departure is looming. Chance wanted me to be among the first to leave (the starts being delayed so that the runners do not follow each other).

I start my race and I follow the beacons without any issue. The race looms well until the 13th one: a 3 meters error takes me on elements of the unmapped terrain. I lose the thread of my race and can not manage to understand my mistake, I lose about ten minutes on this post. The next ones are smoother, but I’m still disturbed after the previous mistake. I crossed the finish line in 15th position after 1h25 of race.

I wish to thank the CEERRF school for their precious help and I’m starting to get ready for next year’s championships.”