Successful „summer opening“
The last weekend was the first real summer weekend in Austria, with about 30 degrees J At the Austrian middle distance Championship (for men only) on Saturday and Austriacup on Sunday, most runners were still used to temperatures around the freezing point. Anyway, the surroundings for the competitions couldn’t have been better, with a nice finish area at the Gmünder Blockheide, a technically interesting forest and cosy temperatures.
I really looked forward to this competition, because I always enjoyed competing in this type of terrain (CISM 2002 was there). In between of the hundreds of stones and cliffs, you had to be very accurate when attacking the control (control description reader knew more). In the beginning, I had some minor hesitations and it took me a few controls to get the right feeling for the size of the stones in comparison with the map. Afterwards, I had a real good feeling in my technique, only running felt very demanding due to the temperatures, but that was the same for everybody anyway.
Passing the spectator’s control, I could hear, that I had a clear lead, but I also knew, that Robi Merl was still to come right after me. I tried to speed up a little bit on the last loop, even made a mispunch in between, but luckily realised it, as I am one of the control description readers ;) In the end, I was very happy to have taken the victory, ahead of Robi and Warti, my Kenya-trip-companion.
The next day, a regular Austria Cup was on the schedule (shortened long) in the same terrain. Again, I had a very solid and technically good race. As the terrain was rather flat, there were no real route choices. Usually, I decided to go just straight, only sometimes taking a path close by. Both runability and visibility were mostly very good. The result completed my very successful weekend. I could take the victory again, some seconds ahead of Robi. Klaus Schgaguler took the third place this time.
I am looking forward to challenging competitions in Sweden next weekend (hopefully at higher temperatures than last weekend), Sprint and Tiomila. Latest at EOC, I’ll see how I’m performing internationally at the beginning of this year’s season....