No shorts anymore?
Last weekend, I started with the Austrian Long distance and the Austrian team championships into my autumn season. Both competitions were hold in the Schauerwald (shower forest) in upper Austria. Probably, the forest is getting its name from rain showers? Or the inner meaning is just that it’s wet independent of the amount of rain showers ;) Thus, the runability was much tougher than I expected before.
On the long distance we had approx. the same distance and climbing as at CISM the week before, but I was running 15 minutes longer in the Schauerwald, or one min/km slower. What do we learn? Not all Austrian forests are equal ;)
Well, my goal was to show a proper long distance performance after it didn’t work out good enough at the long distance at CISM. However, the beginning was not satisfying, but in comparison to CISM the week before, I managed faster to find back to my normal routines and on the remaining part of the course I performed fluently. During the race, I don’t care about course setting or anything similar because once you get the map at the start, you have to finish that course as good and fast as possible. Looking on it afterwards, some more longer legs with possible route choices might have brought more “long distance feeling” into the course. The disadvantage would have been longer running passages just on paths. Independent of national and international competitions, the trend is obviously going towards “prolonged middle distances” on the long distance. The reasons might be different: more detailed maps → the runners should visit all of our nice forest areas; avoiding boring path running; land owner restrictions; forking methods; electronic punching, which allows a lot of zig-zag.
However, I was able to win ahead of Robert and my team mate Markus Lang, who is finally back on track J Another team mate, Heli G., got the unthankful fourth place, but together with him and Markus we wanted to bring home the team championship title to our club HSV Pinkafeld and the region Burgenland the following day.
The team championship looks like the following: three people are in one team running with one SI card, handing it over wherever they want. Just at the controls A, B, C and D, they have to be together. So, some tactics come into the game, where you have to decide within the team where, how often and from whom to whom you are forwarding the SI card.
The first part consisted of a net of controls, where you had to decide the punching order of controls within the team. I think most of the teams decided for the same strategy, because it was quite obvious which was the fastest alternative. After control A, we decided to change more often (so far everybody of us was running once) and we were able to get some advantage to the other teams several times, but lost some seconds here and there due to some small mistakes. At the last common control, D, we were only a few seconds ahead of our pursuers. I think we did the best alternative in the second net of controls, so we could keep our lead till the end :)
After the demanding weekend, the national team headed to Lokve, Slovenia, for a challenging technique training course in the dolinuous karst terrain, which is always worth a visit. Sunny and wet, Slovenia offered the same as the Schauerwald. I hope I'm wrong, but hanging around with shorts again could be in Australia the next time....