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Athlete Profile: Emma Waddington

Born  1998
Hometown Hamilton, ON
Currently living Hamilton, ON
Club DontGetLost
Occupation Student; Working for DontGetLost running our Adventure Running Kids program in local schools
Training log
Attackpoint
Twitter @_emmawaddington

What race are you looking forward to for 2018?

In 2018, I have a few big races planned. The ones that I’m most looking forward to are the World University Champs in Finland, the Jr. World Champs in Hungary, and NAOCs in the Yukon. I’m hopefully running Jukola again this year, after a very successful go last year!

When
did you start orienteering?

I started really orienteering in 2006 when living in Uppsala, Sweden for 3 months while my dad had a sabbatical. I actually spent some time in Uppsala last summer, re-living my first orienteering days!

What
is your best orienteering memory?

My best orienteering memory would probably be running the first leg of the Venla relay last year. This was my first time running this race and it was a ton of fun and absolutely mind-boggling how many people were there! I started so far back in the pack that it took me a solid minute and a half to get to the actual start line. I pushed really hard and ran a fairly clean race. Along with my other incredibly talented teammates, we managed to go from starting in 1245th place to finishing in 133rd! This was such a good memory because it was such an incredible experience and nothing like any race I’ve ever done before.

What
is your favourite type of orienteering event and why?

Relay races, either forest or sprint, are my favourite type of event. I love how fast-paced the races are because of the mass start, and how the strategy for the race changes so much depending on which other people are with you during the race. It’s really a time to be aggressive with your orienteering, but also a time to have lots of fun keeping up with some really talented racers who you normally wouldn’t race against. The team aspect and atmosphere in the arena is so much fun during relay races, it’s hard not to have a great time!

What’s the best orienteering advice that you’ve received? Who is your orienteering idol or inspiration?

Some of the best orienteering advice I’ve ever received was from coach Raphael before WOC in 2016. He told me to “invest my time” and to use the other runners wisely. This idea of investing time has been very helpful for me, especially in sprint – the key is to take the time beforehand to pick a good route and find the traps, instead of rushing and getting trapped later on. The other advice of using other runners in a relay was also helpful, because it taught me that using them as a guide or as reassurance about my own route could really be beneficial, and it has been!

My orienteering idol is probably my dad (awwwww) because he has had many great results over the years, but more importantly, great stories and funny memories from all of his experiences – something that I want to have for myself too!

What are some of your 2018 goals outside of orienteering?

This year, outside of orienteering, I want to work harder with the track team over the winter to build some speed for the upcoming season.

Another goal that I have is to keep my body injury free by devoting more time to body maintenance, like stretching and physio activities.

By the end of this school year, I want to have a better idea of what I want to focus on in my undergrad, as well as having an idea for what I want to do after my 4 years of undergrad.

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Emma W is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2018 High Performance Program

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