Last month Brodie sat down with Erika Enderby, fresh off her impressive National Orienteering League 2nd place overall (up from 8th in 2021) and 4th in the Easter 3 days! Erika is another up-and-coming junior talent from NSW, and may not be known well to most of the Australian orienteering community. Brodie was keen to find out a little more about Erika and how she got to where she is now!
Hey Erika, what a season! 2nd overall in the National O League, tell us a little bit about it.
Overall I am super happy with how my NOL season went and I believe I did some of my best (and some not so good) orienteering races. Coming into the NOL races I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself to do well and instead treat it as an experience, learn from it and of course, enjoy it. The first NOL’s at Melbourne Sprint Weekend were really fun and I enjoyed the fast, technical sprint maps. I was happy to finish with two 3rd’s. At ACT, my races were definitely not the best and were slightly disappointing for me. The terrain at The Gib was very rocky and I found myself making many minor and major mistakes. Throughout Easter 3 days, I had mostly good runs. I was especially enjoying the middle on Day 1 until I began to make many mistakes near the end of the course causing me to drop many places. I liked the open terrain in most of the races making it nice and runnable. The Gold Coast Sprints to finish it off were pretty successful. The Sprint Qualifier and Sprint Final both went well despite an approx 30 second mistake in each. I ended up finishing 2nd in the final. In the Knockout Qualifier I had a relatively clean run, being able to choose your own route was also fun but stressful being my first knockout competition. In the Semi Final, however, I thought I had a good race but at the end realised I had mispunched a control, punching the men’s pivot instead of the womens. I guess that was a consequence of choosing not to check my numbers on that race.
What a recap! Thanks for giving us an insight to the whole season. If you had to decide, which was your favourite part of the season? And what was your favourite terrain?
The whole season was heaps of fun but Easter 3 Days would probably be the favourite especially with the NOL presentation to finish it off. The Day 1 and 2 of Easter was my favourite type of terrain with the open forest and scattered complex granite. You definitely had to know where you were for almost all of the course as everything can look the same.
That terrain was quite special, and I think the course setters did a great job! Ok, so tell us about your history with orienteering, how long have you been doing it and how did you start?
Like many others, I began orienteering through being born into an orienteering family. My first race I did by myself was when I was 6 at the Australian Sprint Champs in Canberra. Overall, I don’t remember it but I did actually finish the course. I was always a little nervous before races over the next couple of years but I managed to go out and finish all of my races, and I began to enjoy it.
You definitely got started early, great to hear you are still enjoying it to this day! So, what do you get up outside of orienteering?
I enjoy athletics and competing on the track often. Other than that, just basically going outside like bush walking or going to the beach.
Alright, lets move into some quickfire questions:
Best event you have ever been to? Best map?
There are so many great maps and events, it is hard to choose. I enjoyed orienteering in New Zealand and Victoria in general because I enjoy that type of terrain. I also like Belanglo State Forest in NSW.
Any events, races or maps you would love to do?
I would definitely love to compete at JWOC as that would be an amazing experience, but I also have always wanted to run at O-ringen.
Compass in left or right hand?
Always in left.
Favourite post-race food?
I’m definitely always eating some chocolate or fruit after a race.
Best training session?
A fast interval session with 6x400m.
Thanks Erika, anywhere that people can follow your progress?
Strava: Erika Enderby