Austrian Champs Middle Distance
A nice weekend in Corinthia is passé. On Saturday, we saw the Bundesländer-relay. With Gerald Mayrhofer, Andrea Hafner, Julia Bauer and Martin Richter, I could achieve fourth place with Burgenland 1. Altogehter (the best three teams of each region count for the overall ranking) Burgenland took 5th place or something similar. It's not very a very important competition, but it makes fun to run together with youth and masters runners. It was the "warm-up" race for Sunday's Austrian Championship in Middle distance in St. Jakob im Rosental (close to Slovenian border).
In men elite, we had 5,7km with 250 meters climbing and 25 controls, so more shorter than longer legs were expected. Starting last in men elite, I managed to find a good rhythm from the beginning, and had no problems in the control areas. The first half of the course was caracterized by very short legs. I had mostly clear attack points, except to control number 10, I was "swimming" into the control area and indeed, I was hesitating, the area was light green and the visibility reduced. I lost half a minute but I tried to find back to my "middle distance rhythm". From that point on, I did not lose many seconds any more. On the longer route to control 16 I decided to go straight and throught the yellow, green-striped area. Most other runners ran around this area and lost time. To control 17 I finally chose the right option, because the climb on the left side after the path seemed to be to steep for running. At all the other routes I did not find any alternatives during the race. To control 20, there would have been a narrow path nearly directly to the control, but it was hidden by the line between the controls.
Approaching the finsih, I knew I had a good run and hoped to take the victory, but I was surprised by the big gap to the second place, Klaus Schgaguler, nearly 4 minutes. Christian Wartbichler, first year senior team and also training in military team, took his first medal in individual elite national Championships. Unfortunately, Martin Binder had some big mistakes in the end and also Markus Lang was for a long time o a podium place, otherwise our club, HSV Pinkafeld could have taken places 1-3.
I hope that I can show a similar performance also in the international competitions coming up soon.