PreWTOC TrailO Adventure

PreWTOC TrailO Adventure

On 16/7 and 17/7, I did my third and fourth TrailO World Ranking Events this year, PreWTOC TrailO Adventure.

The races were a TempO race and a PreO race, held on the weekend in Cieplice, Jelenia Góra before the World Trail Orienteering Championships (WTOC) in nearby terrains, with the same organiser responsible for the punching system and result processing. ,Therefore they were warm up races for the world championship. The field was the largest ever for a TrailO WRE race – 164 participants, with the TempO start list spanning 8 hours, and PreO spanning 6 and a half.

These races were included in the itinerary of the WTOC Hong Kong Team, with the team arriving Wrocław on 15/7 by air. However, as an overseas athlete currently residing in London, I flew there a day earlier (14/7) as there were no cheap flights around the time the team arrived.


The morning flight messed up my sleep pattern. I normally wake up late and sleep late, with most of my sport training done in evenings. On the day (13/7) before my flight I did a 4-hour training swim in the evening. That training swim was originally planned on 11/7 but I felt bad on that day so got out after only 2 hours as my speed dropped like hell. I recovered and did the training well on 13/7. After I got home and had my dinner it was already 01:00 14/7 and I would have to leave home before 04:00 for my flight departing 06:55 Luton Airport so I didn’t sleep for the whole night.

I took the fight to Wrocław, then a city bus to the city centre. I had lunch first, then waited until the time to check in the hostel, and went to bed.

The restaurant I went to showed acceptance marks which promote the DCC scam. When I paid the bill by card, it showed a PLN amount and an HKD amount and asked me to choose which one.

The “Pay in your currency” scam

I returned to the airport on 15/7 to join the team, bringing all the team members a phone card. Unfortunately we didn’t have a team manager this year, so our most experienced team member Chi Hang had to take on the role as well. After some heated discussion about what kind of accommodation and transport to book, with half of us wanting to book apartments and me suggesting to hire a car in Jelenia Góra only for the WTOC days when it wasn’t feasible to use public transport, Chi Hang ended up booking 3 rooms in Hotel “Mercure” for 9 nights, and told us to book 2 cars at the airport for the same days as well.

Chi Hang and I are the only 2 people having a driving licence so we have to suck it up and hire a car. He hired an auto at Enterprise Rent-A-Car at the airport terminal. I hired a manual, which was cheaper, at Odkryj-Auto about 400 m from the terminal. We then went to Kąty Wrocławskie for lunch, then did the identity registration for the phone cards.

Afterwards, we went to our hotel. There are swimming pools at the bottom of the hotel, however, no hotel pools can beat 50 x 25 m outdoor city swimming pools right next to it so I paid the entry fee (16 zł) to use it immediately after the hotel check in, and did a good 3 km of interval training before the pool closed. On that day the pool was completely empty with only me swimming.

Afterwards, we went to a pasta restaurant for dinner, then went back to the hotel to sleep.


The first race day was Saturday, 16/7, when the TempO race was held in Dąbrówka. The start list started at 10:00 and ended at 18:18 due to the huge amount of entrants, with the Hong Kong team members starting between 11:09 and 14:30. I was the first starter among my team so I would drive those with earlier start times, and Chi Hang would drive later for the remaining team members.

However, in the morning my body went bad!!! I got diarrhoea and vomiting the whole night, probably because the dinner was bad, therefore I was very sick. I couldn’t race or drive at all in the morning, and my roommate Louis made me some plain noodles and took me bananas such that I could replenish some energy after the whole dinner was vomitted away.

The organiser told us that we didn’t need to stick to the start list and I could start anytime before 17:30, and I slept the whole day until the afternoon.

Eventually I did the race late afternoon, after Chi Liang returned from his race and drove me there. There were 6 stations, each with 5 controls. My result was 593 seconds, ranked 102nd out of 160 competitors, and the 3rd place among the 6 Hong Kong team members. I got 10.14 WRE points in this race.

However, due to the sickness, I couldn’t go to the pool for further swim training on that day.

4 of our team members in the city for lunch (from the left: Chi Hang, Hayden, Louis, Sophie) – I was not there because I was sick


The PreO race was held on the day afterwards, 17/7, in the park just opposite our hotel. Therefore we didn’t have to use our cars that day.

I went swimming again in the morning but I still didn’t feel good after my sickness, and only did a short distance.

The race is held mainly in rocky terrain, with a one-way section to demoralise participants after control 4. The final part is in a garden with more man-made features.

In the race I got 19 points out of 27, 112th place / 167 participants, and the 3rd among the Hong Kong team. The WRE score was 14.04.

2 thoughts on “PreWTOC TrailO Adventure

  1. You really need to get yourself some card supporting international payments. There are several companies offering those in Europe and free plans are usually easily enough when you need it for weekend travelling. I have one from Revolut and it works very well, the app shows me clearly what money are currently in each account, moving from one currency to another is easy, exchange rates are very good and outside of weekends there is no exchange fee (and during the weekend it is not so big). I think John Kewley has some other (which might be better suited for UK residents) and he was also happy with it.

    One big difference I see between this entry and the ones about swimming races: you always write a lot about how you feel in the water, how you progress on the course, what went good and what went wrong. And I really like it, although I feel you are overly harsh to yourself, at least you clearly take time to go over your race. While in TrailO you usually only mention the final result. What kind of post-race analysis are you doing in TrailO? From my experience, understanding your competitions (and especially your mistakes) is one of the most important ways to improve in this sport, especially if you talk about them to other people, often you get to understand different viewpoints which help you in avoiding repeating same problems again and again.

    1. I obtained the cash 3 years ago in anticipation of the trip as the bank I used didn’t support spending money in foreign currency accounts directly by debit card. There were no providers supporting spending SEK directly from the balance, but a minority of banks offered SEK accounts and cash withdrawal so I used one of them.

      I will write my race report of the WTOC soon and I will mention the problems in that.

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