6 August 2007

Koprakarikas day 1

Koprakarikas 03.08

Middle distance, 4,47 km.
Map: 1: 10 000, H 2,5m.

The first day of this three-day event was a real adventure. Even the lowest moments of this years O-Ringen weren't terrible enough to compare with this one.

Some information about what happened earlier that morning: Me and Markus woke up at about 5 AM swedish time to catch a plane from Arlanda to Tallinn. We were picked up by a friend to go to the competition. But first we stopped at our friends house and had something to eat. When we discovered that my start was much earlier than their start, we took off fast, not to be late for my start. It was a two and a half-hour drive and I was forced to change my clothes on the way. Arrived about 20 minutes before my start and I had to take care of some business in the toilet first. Fortunately I had enough time to warm up. But the bad thing was that I didn't have the best feeling in my feet since I had almost sat for 8 hours.

S-1: Easy. The start felt good, had great contact with the map too.
1-2: Ran just past the small knolls on the left and followed the clear marshes. Once I was on the side of the correct marsh, I stopped as I saw no control. What the heck!? This must be it! Maybe I'm still in the previous swamp? So I continued and ran on. When I was starting to see the big field, I had clearly gone too far. Had I gone off to the right or to the left, that I didn't know. Ran left and then back again to catch some distinctive feature to position myself. Got to the narrow ride and clarified my location. Ran to the knoll and then to the control. I knew I had been there but how could I not have seen the flag? When punching, I saw Kaspar (definately one of the main favorites in this comp) closing in on the control. He started two minutes after me.
2-3: Took off quickly, not to be caught by Kaspar. But that didn't work out well. When I got to the first road, I corrected my heading and ran over the big spur. Over the first path, then the marsh and stopped on the road. Didn't want to move on until I definately knew which way the control was. These kind of moments reminded me of O-Ringen and how I had ran there - not really bringing together the map and the terrain.
3-4: Kaspar had gotten closer, at least it seemed so. Ran parallel to the path (don't ask me why) and turned right to catch the road. Cut off the corner of the forest before the clearing but I don't know if that paid off as the forest was not so nice. Took the control very unconfidently.
4-5: Wanted to run straight but the vegetation didn't allow that. Saw a small trail on the left so I got on it. Ran a bit too far since I had not linked the map to the terrain AGAIN. Saw the marsh below and moved to the right slowly. The map made no sense to me. Again went too far and came back, but I couldn't see the re-entrant of the control. "Connection lost", totally. Then I saw Kaspar coming and heading in a confident pace and way. I assumed that he knew where he was going. Wanted to follow him and after two steps I already saw the control. Punched right before Kaspar. What an idiot I am! What could possibly go worse?
5-6: Passed the marshes, over the last long spur, onto the flat area and from there I could see the control area. Kaspar had fallen behind a bit.
6-7: Straight on.
7-8: To the narrow track, which was quite clear. Cut off a corner again and saw a clearing ahead and thought it was the one where my control was. Seemed quite OK until I was on the cut area itself. Stopped and realized what I had done and ran towards the right clearing. Again saw Kaspar.
8-9: No choice. But when I punched, the control station wasn't as quick as I was, so I had to step back to the control again. I wasn't the only one with this problem - must have been a slow station.
9-10: -
10-11: Here comes the mistake of the day. Almost all the way I thought I was "under the red line". Ran to the clear marsh, got on the narrow ride right next to the swamp. Through the dark green, right beside the marsh. Everything seemed to be in place. Came out on the white forest and thought I was in the right place. I only followed the edge of the green and didn't notice that in the right place, there should be a swamp, not a hill. Turned in from the corner of the white. A lot of fighting through the bushes and the thick spruces. Finally came out. Everything seemed OK - swamp and a hill on the left. Ran around the hill, into the depression (exactly as in the right place). But where the heck is the control!? A brief wandering and I knew where I was. Took off and started running to the 15th control, instead of the 11th. Got there and met Kaspar, who really was in his 15th. Punched and then got to know why he punched there too. No problem finding my 11th after that.
11-14: No mistakes but the speed was really low since I had no motivation to run.
14-15: Although I had already been to that control, I still missed it a bit and lost about 15 seconds there.
15-16: In the green I had no idea of my exact location. Should have ran around the green. But fortunately ended up on the small "island". Control was a bit hidden.
16-17: Out to the path. Again went about 10 meters too far and had to come back.
17-18: Easy.
18-19: Ran on the marsh for some time and then headed straight for the control. Got out on an open marsh but didn't know on which one. There was an open area on the right so I went to check it out - no good news. So I went to the other side and after some wandering I found it.
19-20: Wanted to follow the marshes but that didn't work out. Again some wandering till found the control.
20-21: Slow
21-F: Really slow.

1. Kristo Heinmann 30:05
2. Priit Randman 32:02 +1:57
3. Andris Kivlenieks 35:03 +4:58
4. Kaspar Kork 39:20 +9:15
5. Lauri Sild 40:03 +9:58

After the race I wanted to compare times with Kaspar but since I didn't see him, I thought he had already gone to shower. But after a minute I heard the speaker say that Kaspar had just finished. What a surprise.
I was really depressed. This must be the lowest point of my orienteering career - a lot of races in a row that have totally failed.

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