Silva Medal – 2005 – Ian makes it to double figures
Ian Hassall (IK.N) has won the Silva Medal for 2005. Ian has won or shared the title 10 times since 1987. Ian’s excellent year included first place in the Australian, the Easter 3-Days, and 5 State Championships. A perfect record for the year.
The Silva Orienteer of the Year competition is based on points for participating and placing in the Australian Championships, the Easter 3-Days, and all State Championships (Elite and A classes in M/W16 and above). Below is an interview with Ian. The OA statistician delves into the secret of Ian’s success:
Statistician: 10 times in 29 years is remarkably consistent. How do you do it, Ian?
Ian: To be consistent at orienteering, I try to eliminate errors as much as possible. I use a basic routine which might be archaic but works for me. I use a base plate compass and always set it for the next leg and always pace count whilst reading the map. This method usually gets me close to the control. I also have the time to travel to the various State Championships to enjoy the variety of terrains and events and to socialize with interstate friends. I have always enjoyed orienteering enormously ever since the first event I attended in 1971. I love the mental and sometimes physical challenge it can provide.
S: Are you a good navigator or just fast?
I: Good navigation and speed are both important no matter what age group you are in. I work on running speed by training for 40-45 minutes 5-6days per week with a variety of sessions and regular speed work.
S: In recent times, veterans have held the trophy more often than non-vets (Rob Walter and Carolyn Jackson in 2001 were recent exceptions). How can younger ones take the trophy from you?
I: In Rob Walter’s case, his win was more meritorious than mine as he competes against a larger number of excellent runners than I do. Recently, I have competed against small fields. However, when fields drop below 4 starters (as was the case for the Queensland championships this year in my age class), I get only 1 point instead of the normal 4 for a win. The bulge of runners in the 50 – 60 age classes at present makes it difficult to win there, although Lotty and Erbacher have done it recently.
S: At your age how do you manage injuries so well?
I: I have been fortunate with injuries as any that have occurred I have been able to overcome quickly. To reduce the chance of injury I always train on soft surfaces such as grass and sand. Flexibility is very important so it is necessary to adequately stretch before and after running.
S: Is height an advantage in orienteering?
I: I have never thought of height as being an advantage or disadvantage. Two of our greats, Warren Key and Rob Walter have a great height differential. In my case, in pine forests with low branches, being small is an advantage but in 1.5 meter high undergrowth it is a disadvantage.
S: Well done, Ian. Congratulations.
I: Thank you.
Leading point scorers were:
1 Ian Hassall (IK.N) 33
2 Kevin Paine (BS.A) 26
= Dave Lotty (UR.N) 26
4 Simon Uppill (OH.S) 24
= Sue Neve (MF.V) 24
6 Judith Hay (BN.N) 23
7 Jenny Hawkins (BS.A) 22
= Christa Schafer (GO.N) 22
9 Neil Schafer (GO.N) 21
10 Darryl Smith (WR.T) 20
= John Lyon (TT.S) 20
= Bridgett Anderson (UG.Q) 20