Except of the many smaller and bigger paths the forest in Pörtschach ( region Carinthia), was quite similar to Scandinavian forests, especially the dense ground vegetation, stones and cliffs. Last saturday, we had an Austria Cup race, long distance, and on Sunday team competition, also more or less long distance.
I had a pretty good run on Saturday, without any big mistakes. As the smaller paths were - due to the ground vegetation - quite unseeable at some places, I stopped to make sure that I'm heading into the right direction. As there are so many paths and the vegetation slows down the speed dramatically, you were able to run on paths between most controls. Anyway, as there were so many black figures on the map, it was not always easy to read the map. In the end, I managed to win in 1:25, ahead of Markus and Felix.
On Sunday, the Austrian team championships were hold in the same terrain. It's one of my favourite events. I was running with Bindi and Markus. For those who don't know this event: At the start each team gets three maps, each one showing all controls you have to punch. We had 46 this time. The running order of the controls can be freely set by the teams. Just the controls marked with letters (A,B,C,D,E) have to be punched in alphabetical order and these five controls have to be approached together by all three team members. Each team has only one Sport ident card and the team can choose itself, where to handover the SI card from one runner to the other. So, you always should clearly show or mark on the map where to meet and wait. And that makes the whole thing exciting. You never know what the others are doing, of course it's mass start, and you never know if you have chosen a good solution for the net of controls.
I think we did quite a good job concerning the "organisation" of the course. I did some stupid mistakes, I lost some minutes at different controls, but my team mates did an excellent job, so we could defend the title from the previous year.
On the map, you can see some personal drawings from the competition.
some explanations about our decisions:
Bindi started with the controls 50, 68, 71, 82, 70, 67 and we met all three together at 78 (=A). As you can see from the GPS, Markus and me were looking for a while to find A, but luckily Bindi was still on his course, so he didn't have to wait. Most important thing: the SI card should never have a rest.
I continued with 66, 76, 74 (small mistake), 85 (big mistake), and changed over to Markus at 77, who ran 79, 80 and 88. Bindi headed downhill to 92. Then to 90, 91 and changed over to Markus at 89, who ran to 86, 84, 83 and 72 (=B). Bindi was in the poor situation that the way from 89 directly to B was not much shorter than Markus' part in between, so he had to speed up. In between, I enjoyed area B and planned the rest of the course.
After we were togehter at B, I took 73, 64, 44, 45 (middle mistake), 47 (middle mistake), 48, 31 and met them at C. Markus continued with 33, 53 and 51 and changed to Bindi on the way to 55 before the downhill section. Bindi took 55, 36 and changed to me at 40. I continued with 42 and 43 and gave the SI to Markus on the path to 63. He took 63 and 62 and changed to Bindi directly before the uphill section to 41. We met all three at 39 (=D) and took 57, 58 and 99 (=E). Together.
It took us 1 hour 31 minutes. Distance: ??? GPS says I ran 12,2km.