Incredible story - part 2
After the CISM victory in Brasil, I added another fantastic success to my orienteering career. The first time in my life, I finished a World Cup race on the podium. Was a ninth place so far my best World Cup position (twice at WOC), I ended on the third place on the middle distance in Liberec.
I didn’t have the best start into the race one can dream off, as I lost some seconds already on the way to the first control – wrong stone. But afterwards, nearly everything went fine, as I took enough time to read the map while trying to run as fast as possible. In orienteering, it’s always about the question, how fast can I run while still getting enough information from the map?
Of course, during the race I didn’t know how good the performance will be in the end, but I was confident when I got closer and closer to Kratov. The last hill on the open field felt very long, but when I reached the flat part, I could already hear the speaker, saying that I will set a new best time – wow, incredible. I squeezed out the last power of my body, accompanied by my shouting team mates, and reached the finish line in the leading position. After checking the radio control times, I realized that a diploma ranking is in reach. Some minutes later, it turned out that Ikonen and Gueorgiou will be faster, but behind them it will be a close fight between Lundanes, Hubmann and me. In the end, I was the lucky one taking the third place, with some seconds ahead of Daniel and Olav.
Some more minutes passed and I actively attended a World Cup price giving ceremony :)
In general, the time gaps between the runners after the middle distance were very close, thus expecting an interesting Long distance chasing start. I had a good starting position, but already lost many seconds or two minutes to the first control, due to a suboptimal route choice. However, 16,7km are very long, and there was still some room for improvement. As most runners, I never felt alone in the forest :) A decisive moment was in the last butterfly, when our group was slightly faster than the next bigger one behind us. The last hill was of course more demanding as the day before, but in the finish I was happy with the 9th place – another Top 10 result. The last ten minutes, one of my legs was very close to a cramp with every jump over a fallen tree or similar. Anyway, it was my last long distance race for this season and there are some days left for recovery until the World Cup Final in Switzerland. After the Czech World Cup races, I am on 10th place in the overall ranking. My goal is to defend that position. We will see…