# Alice in China

Alice in China, October 2019

by Alice Tilley

The Orienteering World Cup Final was hosted by Foshan City in Guangdong, China from the 26th to 29th October. This was the first time China has hosted an IOF event. Guangdong province is located in the southern part of China and is known for their rich culture and history. The World Cup final consisted of a sprint relay, middle distance and an individual sprint. New Zealand was represented by Devon Beckman, Tommy Hayes, Lizzie Ingham, Tim Roberston, Laura Robertson and myself (Alice Tilley).

My favourite map of this event was the middle distance. Held at Xiqiao Mountain, the terrain was very unusual even for the top runners. The terrain composed of multiple dirt tracks crossing over each other, and low shrubs that were represented on the map as multiple shades of green over steep contour detail. There was a range of route choices to minimize the 5km distance and 290m climb, however the best route choices relied on quick decision making within the maze of tracks. The temperature was humid and muggy (30 degrees) making running at full pace challenging for all athletes.

The course seems straight forward on the map but the mixture of vegetation within the terrain and maze of tracks made it tricky to navigate. Tove Alexandersson had a gap of only 30 seconds in front of Natalia Gemperle with Julia Jakob in third. In the men’s race, Gustav Bergman had a steady pace to take the lead with Joey Hadorn in second place (+1:13mins) with Lucas Basset in third (+1:41mins). A link to the full results can be accessed here; Middle Distance Results.

The sprint relay was through Nanhai Movie set, a fast open area that required reading your map faster than you could run. NZ team Tommy, Tim, Laura and Lizzie miss-punched in the final leg while Devon and I ran in a composite team. At a scale of 1:4000, the map was similar to sprint maps we have back in New Zealand yet the scenery was very different. Based in an open-air film studio complex, there were numerous replica townscapes and temples providing a strong cultural atmosphere. The full list of relay results can be found here Sprint Relay Results .

The individual sprint in Songtang village had many tight alley ways that kept you on your toes for the whole race. Quick decision making and planning ahead was key for a clean race. Full list of results can be found here Individual Sprint Relay .

My first experience at an IOF world cup event competing alongside the best Orienteers in the world was inspiring. I would like to thank Foshan, Guangdong Province for providing such a challenging yet rewarding week of Orienteering.

Alice Tilley

Next >