Orienteering has been an integral part of my life for the last four years. Before this I’d always enjoyed running taking part in low level district events whilst enjoying taking a part in a number of other sports. At an early age I picked up competitive mentality and wanted to exceed in everything I could. Both my older sisters were already part of the British Orienteering Junior Squad and I went to a lot of orienteering events as a child but when I was 14 I started to take the sport more seriously. I started training with my coach at the time Colin Dickson to improve my technical skills and running with my local athletics club Aldershot Farnborough and District.
At the age of 16 I made by debut for Great Britain at the European Youth Orienteering Championships in France, this was my first taste of international competition and I loved it. I’d seen the lifestyle orienteering could offer me and I started to invest more and more time into the sport. The fruits of my hard work were trips to many different countries in Europe such as Portugal, Macedonia, Norway and Sweden. I won my first international race at the World Schools Orienteering Championships in 2013. The next step was to make the team for the Junior World Championships which eluded me for a few years due to injuries. I made the team for the first time in 2015 and ran in the championships in Norway coming 23rd in the sprint discipline. JWOC 2016 in Switzerland was my last chance at getting the top 10 position I’d dreamed of by the time my junior career was up but I let the pressure get to me mid race and ended up with a below par performance.
The goal for the next few years is to successfully transition between the junior and senior level. This means running more, spending longer improving my technical skills, eating a better diet and overall living the lifestyle of an elite athlete as well as balancing this with my studies at Sheffield Hallam University. I’m currently sponsored by the trial shoe manufacturer Icebug and race for a Norwegian club Lillomarka OL. It’s great to have Fuelit on board as well, especially as nutrition is one of the main areas I need to improve on. You can follow my story on Twitter and Instagram @DaneBlomquist let’s see where a lot of hard work and a bit of luck takes me!
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