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Athlete Profile: Leif Blake

Born 1999
Hometown Whitehorse, YT
Currently living Victoria, BC
Club Yukon Orienteering Association
Occupation Student
Training Log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

Racing at Jukola in Finland. It was dark, rainy and muddy, but the energy was insane, with hundreds of competitors racing simultaneously, streaming out in seemingly endless “trains” through the forest.

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

I am really hoping to race at JWOC 2017 in Finland and improve upon my results from last year. It’s incredible to be racing and pushing yourself against the top junior athletes in the world.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

TioMila, the great Swedish night orienteering relay.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

I speak, at least to some degree of competency, four languages.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

Finish the year with sufficient grades with which to apply to Universities.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

I’ve got to improve my compass bearings, particularly at speed.

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

events…)

Currently I’ve been mapping out the forest behind my school on Vancouver Island. We often take our maps for granted, but there’s an incredible effort that goes into each one. I’m just glad I have contour data available…

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Just get out orienteering as much as possible. Orienteering is more fun when you can do it at high speed, but doing so without error requires a lot of practice.

What sort of mental training do you do to improve your orienteering?

Getting a pre-race mental warmup is very important, and something that I practice a lot outside of races as well. It’s important to be in “the zone” right out of the gate, and nail the first control.

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

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