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Athlete Profile: Will Critchley

Photo credit: World of O

Photo credit: World of O

Born 1984
Hometown Edmonton, AB
Currently living Jyväskylä, Finland
Club Edmonton Overlanders Orienteering Club,  Vaajakosken Terä

Student, Sport Psychology Consultant

Twitter @will_to_the_c

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

The atmosphere of the WOC Sprint Relay was fairly exciting, always nice when the spectators cheer for everyone.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

Right at this moment, it’s the races in Egypt I’m going to in February. Always keen to go to new orienteer nations, and first time in Africa!

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Japanese Championships is pretty high on the list. No particular reason why, I’ve just always wanted to go to Japan and some of their terrain in some areas looks really nice.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

I am undefeated in soccer hardest shot competitions. My personal best is 116 km/h.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

I would like to stay injury-free for an entire summer. This has become a lofty goal in the last few years.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Since moving to Finland, my strategy is typically to always go straight. So, I would like to become more skilled and going more straighter.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

There is no shortage of enthusiastic volunteers in Finland, and they’re not desperate to have one more Canadian helping out who doesn’t have any idea what they’re talking about. Even now, though, I still try to do some sprint mapping (or at least a bunch of the leg work remotely) for maps around Edmonton, and last year I also made the first (and likely only) ever map in the Cayman Islands. I have also started doing talks on sport psychology in orienteering – how to structure your thinking to improve orienteering performance.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

I think many novice orienteers need to stay focused on the “KISS” rule of keeping it simple. As you get better and better you realize you don’t need to know where you are at every moment and identify every rock, hill, and tree along the course. Find the obvious features and focus on those, don’t worry about the fluff in the way.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

I’ve done plenty of “Mona” fartleks now, which is 2 x 90 seconds, 4 x 60 seconds, 4 x 30 seconds, and 4 x 15 seconds, with equal rest at a tempo pace. Given my limited time these days and the limited amount of volume my legs can handle, I enjoy this relatively short and fast paced workout. Good to just get you running fast.


Will is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program



5 comments to Athlete Profile: Will Critchley

  • Kim K.

    Good luck in Sweden Will! Hope you create some great memories.

  • Tom De Vries

    Hi Will! I still remember seeing you out orienteering when you were a “youngen”. Great to read about your determination and your drive to do your best. I hope the competitions are an excellent learning experience, and I hope you DO have fun too!

  • sherry

    hey Will, we’re all proud to have you there. keep moving like the antelope you are!

  • Kim K

    Congratulations on again being selected to the national team! You do like the extremes (sprintg and long events)! Bon chance!

  • James Richardson

    GO WILL GO! Canada is behind you all the way!