Rest day? Nope.

Wow. We’re all pretty dang exhausted from the long yesterday, but JWOC wasn’t gonna give us a break. With my calf still complaining about yesterday’s cramp (wtf go away leave me alone) and my teammates sporting various inconveniences, we spent the morning preparing for the afternoon’s sprint. The atmosphere this morning was really weird in the accommodations because everyone was in that tired stupor that feels like a rest day. When we gathered for our team meeting to practice sprint armchair and discuss the race, it barely dawned on me that we were gonna be running fast today. I was ready to lie down, drink some nectar, and eat snacks, but alas, it was not to be. We all headed out to lunch in small groups to match everyone’s preferences (i.e. I need several hours to digest while David doesn’t want to feel hungry during a race, so I ate earlier, plus I had an earlier start), and we were off soon after that. No faffing about.

Let’s not skim over that team meeting though. Greg set up a few Running Wild courses for us to get us in the right mood and activate our drudging brain cells, and it was loads of fun. Martin and Aidan seem to like running through lots of buildings and olive green when given the opportunity. Martin’s taking the day off to rest up for the middle races, but that strategy might not pay off in the real world. I really hope we didn’t do anything other than that, because if we did, I definitely don’t remember it.

I started learning Whist yesterday and figured it out; it’s pretty dang similar to Hearts. I was also delighted to find out there’s a version called Minnesota Whist. I’ve never heard of it, and neither has Sam, but the website is adamant that it’s popular in Minneapolis. We might actually get a few rounds in later today, which is great because we need some new card games. It’s getting harder and harder to choose a game to play during off-time because we play all of them too much. At least the good ones.

We’re not sure if Martin has brought enough clothes to last him the week or if he just really likes wearing the blue USA polo. To be fair, it’s a quality shirt, but mate, are you okay? We literally didn’t recognize you when you changed into a different shirt for dinner. Just checking in buddy.

The weather was a lot hotter than yesterday, but I think we all hydrated well and it cooled off a bit as the day went on. We definitely had a mixed bag of races, but the Canadians are going to have to take the cake for the best performance. Emma fricken’ nailed the course, putting in some intense physical effort and snatching herself sixth place and a diploma in the sprint! It was so exciting watching her come in! Everyone was screaming and shouting for her while other spectators stared at us like we were insane, but they can stare all they want while Emma gets that sweet, sweet recognition for the work she’s put in. Bloody brilliant, Emma!

Can’t have the sprint in Kecskemet without getting ice cream, so we headed down the road from the arena to pick up a few scoops. Big thank you to Peter for helping us past that darn ‘Cash Only’ business, we’ll pay you back, we promise! Hungary has some rad ice cream, better than anywhere else I’ve ever seen, and I’m glad I finally got my hands on what will be my only taste of it during our stay here.

A few of us have really been getting into Catching Features in the past few days, mostly thanks to Greg. Lots of competitive racing and mild shit-talking, but I think it’s nice to get that orienteering feeling without feeling exhausted. It’s more fun that just plain, old armchair, and the tension can lead to some…heated discussions.

Heading into the rest day, we could have some really fun things come up, but chances are that we’ll be eating, napping, playing cards, and staying in the accommodation. That’s just the unfortunate truth of these competitions, rest is absolute priority. No one really knows what’s gonna happen on the rest day until it actually happens though, so you better check in tomorrow when we can properly report what the rest day was like. Check in, you hear me? This blog is a beautiful flower that needs to be watered by your views, and it’s the prime place to hear about JWOC from our perspective! We’ll keep y’all updated.

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