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Athlete Profile: Eric Kemp

Born 1989
Hometown Ottawa, ON
Club Orienteering Ottawa
Training log Attackpoint

What race are you looking forward to for 2018?

I have always cherished the races I’ve done in the Yukon. I expect this year’s North American and Canadian Championships will only add to my fervour for the extreme terrain up there.

What is your favourite type of orienteering event and why?

I am especially good at the technical races but am trying to grow my competitive edge beyond the backwoods venues. The stronger physically I’ve become the more I’ve enjoyed letting loose in faster terrains.

What is your best orienteering memory?

Day One of the 2010 Golden Leaf Orienteering Festival in Hamilton remains the single greatest day of Orienteering in my life. It was only my second year on the competitive scene and I was a fresh junior with some ability but not much discipline or consistency. We arrived at the arena early Saturday after driving most of the commute that morning, just in time for the Sprint race. The field was pretty competitive with a lot of National Team members present. I blitzed the course with a wild but clean run and ended up taking the win by 17 seconds against Jon Torrance. We had our typical bagels and chocolate milk, then geared up for the Middle scheduled for that afternoon. All races were taking place on new maps of the Dundas Valley and I think I was the last starter of the day. The first half of the course was very technical, winding across typical Hamiltonian spur valley and I nailed every control. Between the novelty of racing well at a competitive local event, the top calibre course setting, demanding terrain and buzzing arena production, I’ve never felt so charged through an arena passage as I did that day. The only competitor to hit sub 7min/km, it was my second gold of the day and remains one of my best races of all time.

What’s the best orienteering advice that you’ve received?

If you catch yourself without a plan, stop! Then make a plan. Learn to do this consistently. You might be surprised to discover just how much time you’ve been spending running blind though the forest.

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Eric is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2018 High Performance Program.

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