October Athlete Interview – Patrick Jaffe

Brodie Nankervis2020 Archive

Last month Brodie Nankervis sat down with Patrick Jaffe, one of Australia’s leading senior elites. Patrick has represented Australia at 4 Junior World Champs (2015-2018), at the world championships in Norway in 2019 and was selected in the 2021 team that unfortunately did not get to travel. Extremely passionate about the sport, Pat is also involved with event organisation, coaching and publicity!


Hey Pat, it’s been an up and down year for us all, bring us up to speed with what you are up to?

This year ended up turning into a bit of an accidental gap year for me, the original plan was that I’d head to Norway for a Master’s in July, but I ended up accepting an economics grad job here in Melbourne instead. That doesn’t start until January so in the meantime I’ve been doing a bit of part-time music teaching, working on composing and releasing some of my own music, running at whatever time of day I feel like and just generally enjoying the last few months of freedom before working life begins.

Training wise, things also haven’t quite gone to plan but it’s also all worked out ok in the end. The combination of a couple of little injuries and a lack of big goals has meant that I haven’t been able to maintain the shape that I’ve had over the last couple of years.

I’ve spent the latest lockdown at my parents’ place near Kyneton (where Aus Champs 2022 is based) and while this has been nice in terms of having some nice places to train (fuelled off mum’s cooking haha), I have had to grind out some pretty rough solo sessions over the last couple of months to get myself back in shape. Good news is that I’m heading back to Melbourne now and very much looking forward to slotting back into my training group again and getting some good work done over the summer.

Yes, I think we are all looking forward to a “normal” summer! So what’s on the radar in 2022?

The orienteering calendar is looking pretty tasty – Oceania in NZ (fingers crossed we get to go), hopefully WOC in Denmark (I spent a semester of exchange there, training with the Danish Elite Training Centre so I’m very keen for this one, plus it’d be a nice chance to catch up with my Danish/Swedish friends), then Aus Champs which is on home terrain for me (and my sources tell me that they’ve found some incredible new areas for the carnival).

I’ll be working in the Climate Change Policy team of the Victorian Government, so hopefully that’ll be rewarding and possibly working a 9-5 job might even make me start to feel like a real adult.

Also, someone has to take the NOL title off Aston, and on the track, sub 15 is beckoning. That last one is a bit of a stretch goal though…

Sounds like an exciting year ahead, looking forward to seeing what you can do on the track! Lets find out a little more about you with some quickfire questions:

What is your favourite session?

Orienteering-wise: forked relay training with a big group

Running-wise: 2x[8’(2’), 2x1km(90”)] – that is 2 sets of 8 minutes hard with 2 minutes recovery + 2 x 1km with 90 seconds recovery.

Top training tip?

Train with a good group as much as possible (I’ve been really missing that this lockdown)

Biggest orienteering weakness?

I always tend to let myself down with the mental side of things (see fig. A: me getting myself in the lead on the last day of Easter and then spectacularly self-destructing: http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20210405a3dd3m21e/) but I’m working on it.

Best recovery food/beverage?

Kanelbullar (scandi cinnamon buns) washed down with choccy milk.

Favourite orienteering map?

The legendary Lunsen in Uppsala, Sweden. Unfortunately my time on exchange there was cut short by COVID and I was a little heartbroken to have to leave this map. The forest is magical and extremely technically demanding, so it should definitely be on every orienteer’s bucket list (also two days of this year’s O-Ringen are being held on it, something to keep in mind if we can travel internationally in July 2022).

Something the Australian orienteering community might not know about you?

When I was 12 I won a year’s supply of chocolate in a drawing competition. Has all been downhill since that year…

Thanks Pat for your time chatting today, to follow along on his training and orienteering he can be found on strava and attackpoint, and to find out more about his amazing music be sure to follow along @pat_jaffe on Instagram! 

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