....number 3, of summer 2014.
After WOC in Italy and O-Ringen in Skåne am I looking forward to the Military World Championships in Güssing, Austria, one "homeplay :) " after another, so to say. As the MWOC is quite close to my hometown, it's good to observe that the general and the media interest in orienteering rose over the past weeks.
Picture: Austrian Armed Forces Photograph/CARINA KARLOVITS
With the interest also the expectations in our team are rising. Even if the terrain suits us very well (it's the type of terrain most of us were growing up with), we have to stay realistic, focus on ourselves (not on results) and try to do our best. That's it. Not more, not less. After arrival in the barracks in Güssing later this afternoon and the model event on Monday, we follow the competitions schedule: Tuesday: Middle distance, Wednesday: Long distance, Friday: Relay.
Live results and info can be found at: https://www.cism-austria.at/20140824/index.html
From Newspaper: "Pannonische"
As written in the introduction, two season highlights are already history. Both, the WOC and Oringen have been my most successful ones.
The O-Ringen week was just perfect for me: 5th place in the overall ranking, stable orienteering performance the whole week, summer feeling the whole week, the beach around the corner, incredible sea temperature, lovely people around.
After a few impressions from O-Ringen, you find a more detailed analysis about WOC in Italy.
WOC: Grazie mile Italy
In my eyes, the mixed sprint relay saw a successful implementation in the WOC schedule. The feedbacks from spectators were quite positive, mainly due to much more action in the arena compared to ordinary competitions in shorter time. My feedback from a runners’ perspective is also positive, because it was some fun to hurry through the city between cheering spectators and tourists, always trying to keep the back from Kyburz and Co. Our strategy was simply trying to stay in touch with the leading teams as long as possible, which we managed to fulfill pretty good, putting us on the 11th place in the end.
After this “Warum-up” competition and a rest day, the long distance in Lavarone forest was waiting. The course didn’t offer big surprises or mega-difficult route choices, but still asked for 100% focus throughout the whole course. After a shaky start to the first control, I found a good rhythm in my technique and running. Looking on the (micro) route choices afterwards, I also find some room for improvement, but during the race I didn’t have any problems to find the controls. Catching some runners from time to time confirmed my good feeling about my performance. Passing the arena with the current best time gave me the necessary fighting spirit for the last loop. Coming to the finish, the atmosphere was as good as in the Sprint Relay, thanks to all the supporters along the run in. Checking the current result list and radio split times, I thought that a Top 10 position was in reach, my first one on the long distance. Some exciting minutes later, the 8th place was reality, bringing my best WOC result ever. (twice 9th so far) J I don’t blame anyone about following other runners, because it has become part of our sport. I just think that 2min start interval on the long and 1:30min on the middle distance are not enough, as long as we don’t apply more/different forking methods.
One rest day later, I found myself on the startline of the middle distance. In the stony, rocky and mostly steep area I had my problems to find the right flow, the rhythm you need to get straight to most of the controls. Already from the first control on, I hardly found the right concept for the course, losing some seconds here and there. Additionally, a one minute mistake to the 6th control buried my high ambitions (or I was just giving up mentally too early?). Maybe I wasn’t aware enough that many runners will struggle on that course. In the end, I got the 20th place on the result list, instead of a possible 10th place with an ambitious final loop. It was not the first time on a middle distance that the result list had the following look: Compared to the top positions, the gaps between place 10 and 20 or even 30 were very small. I missed the 10th place by 68 seconds. The lesson to be learned (not for the first time): make the best out from the rest of the course (best example: Daniel Hubmann: even after losing several minutes, he still climbed up the result list by fighting till the end)
Of course I was disappointed about my middle distance performance, one more top 10 position was the goal. However, there was not much time to be disappointed because all focus was needed to be put on the relay. Again, I got the exciting first leg. I was heading out with the goal to send out our second runner Helmut on a position as good as possible. Different to the middle distance race, I found a good rhythm from the beginning, saw all the map details on good time and had no problems to get around the course (if we forget the route to the last control – I still wonder why I had to climb that much to reach it). With about 1:30 down to the leading teams, I handed over to Heli on the fourth place, just a few seconds ahead of the next chasing teams. Both, Heli and Robi did a good job and we follow our long-term path to the relay price giving. This year, we finished on the 8th place, Austria’s best performance ever in the men’s relay.
Nearly forgot to mention the real highlight, the road trip from my home in Sweden to my home in Austria.