JHI Athlete Reports

After returning from the JHIs last weekend I thought it might be fun to interview some of our athletes who took part. I initially planned only to use the best answers but reading the replies, they were all so good I have attached them all. What really impressed me was the level of enthusiasm and commitment that all these young people demonstrate. Enjoy!

– Stephanie Pruzina

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ZOË TYNER
1. You’ve just come home from the JHI in Northumberland. What class did you compete in and have you been to JHI before?
W14 and yes this was my 3rd JHI.
2. The planner’s notes for Saturday’s  at Simonside warned you that the terrain would be very tough. How did you find it? Do you like to run on physically demanding courses?
Less rough than expected, but more tiring because it was runnable. I like physically demanding courses, because they are usually in more technical terrain.
3. Which control did you think went really well for you on Saturday? How did you plan your route for it? Did everything on the ground match how you visualised it? There were a number of easier controls where the feature or kite could be seen from afar. (controls 6, 8, 11, 12, 13) Of the harder legs, controls 2 & 4 went well. For control 2 there was choice of running in wood or open and I chose wood because it looked runnable. I planned to stay in wood till about half way, then through the open between the woods and then expect to see the spur of which the crag was part of. Everything matched with what I visualised.
4. Some people find relays very pressured because of the distraction of other runners. Do you like them and did the distractions or the gaffling cause you any problems on the day?
I like relays, though often I don’t like the terrain so much. I like relays because of the mass start and the gaffling, possibly what many don’t like!
Usually I don’t get distracted by others and as a result I had no such issues on the day.
5. What training do you do?
Apart from competing, none
6. Did you do anything special to prepare for the JHI?
Nothing special, I did take part in the junior squad training 2 weeks before and I planned the Leinster League event on Fair Mountain which took place the week before.
7. Three words to describe orienteering?
Fun, map reading
8. Your orienteering top tip?
Only go the speed you can navigate at.

1
RACHEL COLLINS
1. You’ve just come home from the JHI in Northumberland. What class did you compete in and have you been to JHI before?
I competed in the W16 class. This was my third JHI – the previous two were at Oban (2014) and Magilligan (2015).
2. The planner’s notes for Saturday’s event at Simonside warned you that the terrain would be very tough. How did you find it? Do like to run on physically demanding courses?
I found the terrain frustrating because it was hard to run on and there were places where you thought the hard terrain was going to go on for ever! I found the navigation difficult as well. I think this was because it was difficult to keep concentrating on the navigation while working through the hard terrain. I like physically demanding courses on varied terrain but I don’t enjoy running on consistently demanding terrain.
3. Which control did you think went really well for you on Saturday? How did you plan your route for it? Did everything on the ground match how you visualised it?
The leg between controls 9 and 10 went well. I aimed off to a catching feature of a wall and then worked along it until I saw the knoll where the control was. The ground matched what I
visualised but it felt as if I was running for much longer than I expected.
4. Some people find relays very pressured because of the distraction of other runners. Do you like them and did the distractions or the gaffling cause you any problems on the day?
Usually I find it much easier to orienteer alone. However, the navigation wasn’t as challenging as the previous day and I really enjoyed running with others around as it motivated me and was exciting.
5. What training do you do?
I play hockey twice a week, tennis twice a week and train with Dromore Athletics club two nights a week, if possible. At the weekends I orienteer or do a park run.
6. Did you do anything special to prepare for the JHI?
I looked at the map beforehand – though I don’t really like doing this – I seem to have a bad run every time I do so (though this could be pure coincidence!). It makes me feel as if I know what to expect but then it looks different in reality. I had run at the JIRCS two weekends beforehand. This was a large event and helped prepare me for the JHIs. I had also been orienteering through the year at many Irish Junior and club training events and competitions of various levels.
7. Three words to describe orienteering?
Varied, satisfying, adventure.
8. Your orienteering top tip?
Don’t be distracted.

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ÉADAOIN MC CAVANA
1. You’ve just come home from the JHI in Northumberland. What class did you compete in and have you been to JHI before?
I was running the W18 class and it’s my 5th time running at JHI.
2. The planner’s notes for Saturday’s event at Simonside warned you that the terrain would be very tough. How did you find it? Do like to run on physically demanding courses?
Well, it was tough terrain but I only really experienced it on two controls so it would have slowed me down to both those controls but it wasn’t as bad as I had expected for the rest.
3. Which control did you think went really well for you on Saturday? How did you plan your route for it? Did everything on the ground match how you visualised it?
After a very dodgy start with my first two I was very pleased to hit my third, everything matched perfectly, which is fairly uncommon for me!
4. Some people find relays very pressured because of the distraction of other runners. Do you like them and did the distractions or the gaffling cause you any problems on the day?
I’ve a long history of mis punching at JHI relays so I was just hoping I could just get around with out getting a wrong control! I didn’t come across any controls that weren’t mine and was out there all alone so it was just like a normal race for me.
5. What training do you do?
I try to get out for some kind of run 5 time a week it normally includes orienteering and a speed session.
6. Did you do anything special to prepare for the JHI?
No, I probably should have :/
7. Three words to describe orienteering?
BEST SPORT EVER!!!!!!!!!!!
8. Your orienteering top tip?
Take you first control slow.

SOPHIE PRUZINA
1. You’ve just come home from the JHI in Northumberland. What class did you compete in and have you been to JHI before?
I competed in W18 and I have been to JHI just once before.
2. The planner’s notes for Saturday’s event at Simonside warned you that the terrain would be very tough. How did you find it? Do like to run on physically demanding courses?
The forest was tiring to run on, but I could still keep going at a decent pace for most of it, and quite enjoyed it, partly because I knew it would be slowing down some of my fast running opponents. The mountainside, however, was a different matter, with countless pits hidden beneath the heather, so that I fell down the mountain instead of running down it.
3. Which control did you think went really well for you on Saturday? How did you plan your route for it? Did everything on the ground match how you visualised it?
Number 13; the straight route would have taken me through dense undergrowth so I cut out to the path, allowing me to stretch my legs out and run down the hill on flat ground. The control was actually sooner than I expected, but I looked out for the change in vegetation beside the path and it was obvious when I came to it.
4. Some people find relays very pressured because of the distraction of other runners. Do you like them and did the distractions or the gaffling cause you any problems on the day?
I enjoy the fast pace courses of the relays, and the overly enthusiastic support given to envery team member, but I find mass starts very offputting and I don’t particularly like the apprehension of waiting for the runner on the leg before me to come in. This year I was the last leg runner on an adhoc team and didn’t start until most other runners were at least well out on their courses, if not already finished. Therefore, there was no pressure while I was running, other than finishing before one girl who started soon after me.
5. What training do you do?
Not as much as I should. I try to get out most weekends at least once, and I regularly fail to motivate myself/ find time to run and cycle during the week. I have big plans for this year though… (Like that ever helped before)
6. Did you do anything special to prepare for the JHI?
I tried to get out a few times during the week the fortnight leading up to it, and I ran at the JIRCs, which we decided counted as training.
7. Three words to describe orienteering? Rewarding, confusing, exhilarating
8. Your orienteering top tip?
Remember you’re there because you enjoy orienteering- have fun!

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ANDREW ELWOOD
1. You’ve just come home from the JHI in Northumberland. What class did you compete in and have you been to JHI before?
I competed in M16 and I have been to the JHI once before.
2. The planner’s notes for Saturday’s event at Simonside warned you that the terrain would be very tough. How did you find it? Do like to run on physically demanding courses?
I found the terrain not as difficult to run on as I expected from reading the planners notes but I think I had started to create a mental image which was over exaggerated. I like to run physically demanding courses as I know that I am stronger at hill running on terrain than I am at track running.
3. Which control did you think went really well for you on Saturday? How did you plan your route for it? Did everything on the ground match how you visualised it?
I think my first control went really well! I took it slightly east up as I was just getting into the map but I hit my attackpoint perfectly and I knew where I was the whole time.
4. Some people find relays very pressured because of the distraction of other runners. Do you like them and did the distractions or the gaffling cause you any problems on the day?
I enjoy running relays but sometimes when you are running first leg it can be distracting when you are in the mass start with everyone. I didn’t make any errors due to gaffling but I was running a bit slower than normal because I had hurt my ankle and so everyone was ahead of me.
5. What training do you do?
I train 4 days a week. Tuesday’s I go to Dromore AC where we do interval sessions, Friday’s I go out at home and do either hill sprints or a tempo run (depending on how I am feeling); On Saturdays I will go to our local club orienteering event/NIOA event but if there isn’t one on I may go for a fell run or go to park run and do 5km. On Sundays I would go to the gym for about 1hour 30mins or I would go for a run unless there is a race (cross country or orienteering).
6. Did you do anything special to prepare for the JHI?
When preparing for the JHIs I ‘geeked’ the maps. I basically printed them off and looked at them whilst writing down things which will be significant and good features to use.
7. Three words to describe orienteering?
Fun, exciting and friendly
8. Your orienteering top tip?
Always have a plan for every single control; this should include an attackpoint and a catching feature etc.

PETER REED
1.You’ve just come home from the JHI in Northumberland. What class did you compete in and have you been to JHI before?
I competed in the M14 class and I have never been to the JHIs before.
2. The planner’s notes for Saturday’s event at Simonside warned you that the terrain would be very tough. How did you find it? Do like to run on physically demanding courses?
I found the course very technical under foot but overall I found it not that bad. Yes I think I can run quite well on physical terrain but I also like fast conditions too.
3. Which control did you think went really well for you on Saturday? How did you plan your route for it? Did everything on the ground match how you visualised it? My number 7. I thought to go over the hill and go down a small valley because I thought it would be obvious and then run to a crag to use as my attack point. I then ran down the side of it to find my control. The valley was a lot steeper than I had thought but I could use it to find the crag.
4. Some people find relays very pressured because of the distraction of other runners. Do you like them and did the distractions or the gaffling cause you any problems on the day?
I don’t mind relays but if you miss punch then the whole team is disqualified. The gaffling didn’t affect me because there wasn’t that many people on my course when I was running. I did see some people but I knew I had to ignore them.
5. What training do you do?
I run for North Belfast Harriers and I would meet on Thursdays and sometimes Saturdays. I also do 2 miles every Thursday in School.
6. Did you do anything special to prepare for the JHI?
Before I went to the JHIs my dad went over the maps with me and he planned some courses out for me to go over.
7. Three words to describe orienteering?
Fun, Challenging, Competitive
8. Your orienteering top tip?
Use pacing because it would help you A LOT in orienteering and one thing I regret not doing in every course I do.

CIARA SILBY
1. You’ve just come home from the JHI in Northumberland. What class did you compete in and have you been to JHI before?
I competed in the W16’s & it was my first JHI.
2. The planner’s notes for Saturday’s event at Simonside warned you that the terrain would be very tough. How did you find it? Do like to run on physically demanding courses?
Yes, the terrain was quite tough going on Saturday but it wasn’t anything that I hadn’t run in before. I like running on courses like these because while they can be demanding I enjoy the challenge & I try to improve each time.
3. Which control did you think went really well for you on Saturday? How did you plan your route for it? Did everything on the ground match how you visualised it?
My best leg was to my 5th control. I had already planned it in the previous leg so I used the edge of the forest as a handrail until I reached the parting through the forest, where I used the boulder clusters as an attack point & then I took it carefully but quickly to the control, which I spotted from a distance due to my direction into the control site.
4. Some people find relays very pressured because of the distraction of other runners. Do you like them and did the distractions or the gaffling cause you any problems on the day?
Yes, I love relays because they are always so exciting but I was nervous because the 16’s were the first to start. For almost a half of the course we were all running close together so there was a very fast pace but I made sure not to get distracted by the others or the gaffling by concentrating on my own course & thinking for myself.
5. What training do you do?
As a dancer, I train about eight hours a week, as well as running & core strength & conditioning. I take part in orienteering competitions at the weekend as often as I can.
6. Did you do anything special to prepare for the JHI?
I went out hill training at 6am before school with my dad – he was thrilled!
7. Three words to describe orienteering?
Exciting, challenging & adventurous!
8. Your orienteering top tip?
Bananas!!

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CONALL WHELAN
1. You’ve just come home from the JHI in Northumberland. What class did you compete in and have you been to JHI before?
M18, yes.
2. The planner’s notes for Saturday’s event at Simonside warned you that the terrain would be very tough. How did you find it? Do like to run on physically demanding courses?
I found it demanding but within my capabilities.
3. Which control did you think went really well for you on Saturday? How did you plan your route for it? Did everything on the ground match how you visualised it?
12-13, because I saw the control on the way to 11! Yes it matched my visualisation.
4. Some people find relays very pressured because of the distraction of other runners. Do you like them and did the distractions or the gaffling cause you any problems on the day?
I like relay and enjoy the change.
5. What training do you do?
I trained 6 days a week, four running, with intervals, hill work, gym and cycling on other days. Core work every day too.
6. Did you do anything special to prepare for the JHI?
Selection meant I ensured I kept to my training schedule. I also did some map memory exercises at home.
7. Three words to describe orienteering?
Fun, interesting, different.
8. Your orienteering top tip?
Don’t get lost!

EOGHAN WHELAN
1. You’ve just come home from the JHI in Northumberland. What class did you compete in and have you been to JHI before?
M14, no, first time.
2. The planner’s notes for Saturday’s event at Simonside warned you that the terrain would be very tough. How did you find it? Do like to run on physically demanding courses?
I found it demanding but within my capabilities.
3. Which control did you think went really well for you on Saturday? How did you plan your route for it? Did everything on the ground match how you visualised it?
3-5, because there were others in the area so it helped me find the control! No, one feature marked as a black line was a boulder when I found it. Control 11.
4. Some people find relays very pressured because of the distraction of other runners. Do you like them and did the distractions or the gaffling cause you any problems on the day?
I enjoy running in  a team but it is more pressuring especially through spectator controls!
5. What training do you do?
I went running three times a week and attended events and training through the summer.
6. Did you do anything special to prepare for the JHI?
I continued with the core exercises that Toni showed us. As I was selected it spurred me on to keep up my training.
7. Three words to describe orienteering?
Fun, addictive, challenging.
8. Your orienteering top tip?
Read your control descriptions, especially on relays.

DAN MC DONNELL
1. You’ve just come home from the JHI in Northumberland. What class did you compete in and have you been to JHI before?
I was competing in the M16 class in this years JHI. It was the first time for me partaking in the JHI so I was very much excited and looking forward to it.
2. The planner’s notes for Saturday’s event at Simonside warned you that the terrain would be very tough. How did you find it? Do like to run on physically demanding courses?
After seeing the planners notes about the roughness of the terrain and it being described as ‘really heavy going’ I was a little worried that it was going to be very tough and very tiring, even more than usual. Not good news! Surprisingly, on the day, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. On my course, it wasn’t too bad at all, but maybe its just because us Irish are used to it! If you planned your routes well there were plenty of ways to avoid the worst of it. While Physically demanding courses are tiring, they do provide a good challenge, and when I finish a tough course I feel quite proud of myself.
3. Which control did you think went really well for you on Saturday? How did you plan your route for it? Did everything on the ground match how you visualised it?
Thankfully, I didn’t make any big mistake on the first control, which unfortunately I seemed to be in a habit of doing recently. Number 3 went well. As I had time going to 2, I decided to look ahead and plan 3. Now I knew exactly where I was heading, and wouldn’t have to stop to think. On my way I saw all the major features that I hoped I would pass, and thankfully I hit the control bang on. Everything on the ground matched exactly like I visualised it. But just as I thought I was getting into the swing of things I made a mistake on 4, and a major mistake on 5 which I spent 20mins looking for. The rest of the race was reasonably ok, controls 7-11 were nice and easy and I managed to read all the contour lines well. Besides for a mistake on 13, the rest of the race went well and I finished well. Overall I really enjoyed the course.
4. Some people find relays very pressured because of the distraction of other runners. Do you like them and did the distractions or the gaffling cause you any problems on the day?
I enjoy relays as they are pretty fun and enjoyable. I was in the mass start for my team, all M16’s were in the mass start. Unfortunately, I let the pressure of the mass start get to me. I got distracted and made very basic mistakes( which I wont go into, it would be just too embarrassing ha ha). Thankfully my fellow Irish teammates cheered me on as I was coming into the run in to finish, even after my dismal performance, which cheered me up massively. All in all, it was an enjoyable and fun event.
5. What training do you do?
I went down to the local forest and ran there numerous times a week for the weeks leading up to the event. It is a good forest to train in as it has flat areas as well as really hilly areas so it’s possible to do multiple types of training there. I took an orienteering map of the forest around with me as I went, practising my map reading too. I also went for a few runs (about once a week) in a local town next to the sea for a light run.
6. Did you do anything special to prepare for the JHI?
I tried to get to as many orienteering events that were as technically challenging as possible. One of these was a CorkO event down in Sheeps Head, which was very good training. It was challenging, but thats what we want!
7. Three words to describe orienteering?
Fun, challenging, competitive.
8. Your orienteering top tip?
‘Don’t move until you know where you are, where your going, and how your going to get there.’

Thanks to everyone involved over the weekend, the selectors, supporters and of course everyone on the JHI team, it was very enjoyable weekend and a great experience.

We’d to acknowledge the support and assistakce from Mike and Ruth and the financial supoort of the IOA and NIOA to our juniors.

And finally, thanks to Wendy Carlyle for the pictures.