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Athlete Profile: Darya Sepandj

Born 1997
Hometown Calgary, AB
Currently living Canmore, AB
Club Foothills Wanders Orienteering Club
Occupation Athlete
Personal Sponsors Salomon

I started orienteering around the age of six with the Foothills Wanderers Orienteering Club in Calgary. My first year consisted of holding my mother’s hand and eating cookies at the finish. The second year, I became more brave and started holding the compass. By my third year, I had mastered map holding. By the fourth year, I was willing to try Course 1 by myself. Following that I travelled around Canada and eventually found myself at the Swiss 5 days in 2012. I have been focused on biathlon for the past three years, but following the Icefields Parkway Orienteering Festival I have navigated back to orienteering (pun intended). I am now super stoked to be on the HPP team!    

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

My highlight of the season was running the last leg of the relay at the COCs and having my teammates running with me down the finish chute.

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

I am super excited for JWOC!!!

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

I’d love to run a sprint race in Venice.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

When I’m really excited I do cartwheels.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

Outside orienteering my goals are the represent Canada at Youth/Junior World Championships for biathlon. As well as continue to pursue my education.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Route choice and map simplification.

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

I have done some coaching, mapping and have organized a couple of events. I even organized a biathlon orienteering event in the fall. I have also designed binder covers, a buff and a hat for FWOC and SOGO.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

My favourite training exercises are relocation exercises. Someone brings you to point on the map and you have to figure out where you are. It is very challenging and gives me the confidence to bail out when I need to.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, gps watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites.

I have been using 3DRerun by World of O. I can access maps from all around the world and compare route choices. It is a lot of fun and easy to use. I can run a WOC race at the comfort of my own couch!

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

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