18 September 2007

Latvian Championship, Relay

Latvian Championship, Relay, 16.09

Course: V21, 8,9 km.

Map: Kalnu sili, 1:10000, H 2,5 m.

Although we were running in the mens elite class, most of the opponents seemed to be of my age and a bit older. My tactic was not to fall too much behind, if at all.
In the start I felt calm and relaxed, not worried about the race at all.

After the start was given, I just had a quick glance at the map and it was all clear already. Saw the favorites accelerating in the front of the group. Kept the distance close to minimum. I rand between the bigger "hills" until I could see the knoll that lay in front of the control. And just like that, I felt that the group's speed was decreasing while I decided to keep going the speed that I had. Saw that one guy had managed to get ahead of the group and I decided to catch him. I was very close to him, when I looked behind and saw that the others had dropped behind even more.
1-2: At first, it seemed that if I could hold the fastness, me and the other guy in the front could break away from the others. Took a bearing to the narrow ride and to my surprise, a lot of runners from our class were coming out to the track also, right in front of me. What the heck!? All that effort and for what? The "forking" of the course was so that I had the longest route. Too bad. Stayed together with the others for a while and the fast runner in the lead. Easy map reading, tough running to the control. There were four of us at that moment, and I was the last one.
2-3: While the other ones went from the left, supposedly through the big depression, I took more of a straight direction in the beginning. Came to the other side and when reaching the tracks, the distances between th four of us were equal, about 10 meters each. I was the third. Followed the side of the hill until the climb. Tough. Forking. The one in the front maintained his lead and even increased it while I became second right behind him. Didn't look behind but I knew the others were close.
3-4: Straight going and no possibility of catching the leader. Saw some other runners speeding down the steep slope on the right. Again a longer forking for me? Kept going fast (for me). Saw the knoll right before the small depressions and ran there. The depressions looked more like pits to me.
4-5: Through the depressions, to the other side of the ridge. Mostly straight.Could see my greatest opponent ahead all the time until the 5th.
5-6: Long spur, around the depressions, onto the road. Up the hill.
6-7: At first, I wanted to go from the right side of the hill before the higher ridge. Then reconsidered and went from the left. Easy. Before the control, I had a good view of my position - I could see about a 150 meters the one ahead of me about and about 200-300 meters the ones behind me.
7-8: By the edge of the slope and avoided the extra climbing at the control area. Now I wanted to catch the one in front of me.
8-9: Just about when I reached the small path, something bad happened. A sudden pain struck in my chest, on the right side. At first, it was tolerable but just before I reached the big road, the pain had turned into intolerable. I had never felt that much pain in my chest before. It was impossible to run. I moved very slowly, but at least in the right direction. Damn that hurt! I was cursing so loud that maybe even the folks in the spectator control heard me coming. Just before the control, two rivals passed me. I was almost walking.
9-10: The pain had gotten worse and showed no sign of going away. I began to walk and even stopped two times to lean against a tree to breathe and try to make the pain go away. Hopeless. From the point where I had to cross the marsh, the pain had fallen back a bit. I could just jog slowly.
The pain didn't stop until I finished. I was together with another guy that had the same speed that I did. I had difficulties running downhill but not uphill. No mistake but I lost about 4 minutes on the last loop of the course because of that awful pain!
Splits (V21)

   1. Madonas BJSS 1                          2:02:26
2. Alūksne OK                              2:02:40  +0:14
3. OK Purva Bridējs 1                      2:05:45  +3:19
4. Auseklis IK absolut (a.k.)              2:10:59  +7:33
5. OK Võru                                 2:11:25  +8:59
Lauri Sild               47:00
Sixten Sild              45:35
Timo Sild                38:50
6. Burkānciems de Lux                      2:11:37  +9:11

When subtracting that 4 minutes off of our time, I guess we could have been able to fight for the bronze. But that's all "what if".
I came in at an awful place but the total position in the end was 5th.

17 September 2007

Latvian Championship, Middle

Latvian Championship, Middle 15.09

Course: V18; 4,1 km.
Map: Kalnu sili, 1:10000, H 2,5 m.

I was not running for the title - I had already ran and won the middle distance championship in Estonia.
The forest was as as sparse as it could get. It was like running in a city park, maybe even faster. Just so that you would know that the speed in the forest was high, and I mean REALLY high. The height differences were not that remarkable either. So I just decided to make an equally fast race instead of a really fast beginning or end. Since there was not much option to run around, the technique was to use the compass a lot and correct the heading on the way by reading the necessary objects. Every second counts.

S-1: Ran directly up by the beaten track, to the other side of the ridge. Followed the height and passed the two knolls on the right.
1-2: The location of the control could already be seen from the first one.
2-3: At first, I wanted to avoid the extra climb and run more around the depression but changed my mind once I saw that the heights weren't that big. Over the ridge and pure compass to the control.
3-4: Didn't know what the marsh would be like. Ran up the knoll and saw that it was a small well-runnable moor. Crossed it and ran up the narrow re-entrant, over the saddle. Again followed the height on the side of the ridge, into the control. So far I hadn't understood anything about the open areas on the map. I guess the density of the forest was so low that there was not much difference between areas with or without trees. No difference in the undergrowth either. So I just ignored them.
4-5: Bearing to the knoll with the rootstock.
5-6: Not avoiding the climb here either. The narrow rides were so sandy, that the forest was faster.
6-7: Didn't make out much of the form lines, so I inclined a bit to the left at first, then I saw the control.
7-8: Again, the location of the control could be seen from far away.
8-9: By the slope and up the steep one in the end. Took me walking for a few steps in the end though.
9-10: Compass. Through the saddle and already saw where I needed to go.
10-11: On the ridge, down right before the last knoll.
11-12: Again the destination could be determined from far away.
12-13: On the side of the slope, to the control on the backside of the knoll. There were many controls very close to each other in that area, which got a lot of people confused.
13-14: Easy. In the middle of the leg, a small insect flew int my eye so I couldn't see much for some seconds and my eyes got all watery and ran with one eye open until I got to the last control.
14-F: OK speed for a sandy track.
Splits (V18)

4:36 min/km

    1. Dišlers Kārlis      18:32
2. Sild Lauri          18:39   +0:07
3. Jubelis Andris      18:42   +0:10
4. Žagata Zemgus       18:48   +0:16
5. Pauliņš Artūrs      19:47   +1:15
6. Laveiķis Andis      20:07   +1:35

I was satisfied, in consideration of my physical abilities. I don't think I would have been able to run much faster than I did.
The next day, I was also going to run the relay with my family team. Too bad that I had to run the first leg - I'm best in the middle leg. But I had no choice since my father was running, he had to take the second shift. But I didn't let that interfere my plans.

10 September 2007

Estonian Championship, Ultra long

EMV Ultra long 08.09

Course: 16,1 km, mass start.
Map: Apuparra, 1:10000, H 2,5 m.

I was actually really waiting for a mass start as I couldn't remember when had been the last time that all the best from all over the country was taking part of a mass start competition. I was certain that I would be able to keep up with the fastest runners as my physical shape had been quite good during the whole late season.

S-1: The starting shot given, took the map and immediately the first control was clear. Everything happened in a break of a second - a good start. Although I didn't want to heat up the speed right away, I was compelled to do it as everyone was closing in fast and I didn't want to stay behind the leaders. Strange that there was a forbidden area right in the way. I got on the big road, being in the lead, right beside to Kristo. The speed was definitely high, but I kept my cool. We were running a bit too far and I turned suddenly into the forest. The control was easy and I already had a 3-second lead ahead of the second.
1-2: Struggled onto the road. Was on it and already I could see everybody closing in from behind again and Kristo right next to me again. Tried to make a plan for myself. At first we had a "teamwork" plan but that wasn't used for long. I decided to follow the road to the crossing point and climb up top the field and use a narrow ride from there on. I knew that my opponents and I couldn't keep running with that kind of speed forever... When reaching the crossing, a thing that I had waited for happened - we split up. Kristo turned left and I ran straight on. To my relief all the others (at least I think so) took the same choice that Kristo took. Mass instinct. My plan was to take another route and run fast, to get ahead of the group. And it worked, although I didn't know that when running. I kept running until I reached the bog. On the first "island" I got together with the junior class. They had the same control. I made a small mistake but nothing big. Here I was already 50 seconds ahead of the second.
2-3: Without knowing if I was in the lead or I had fallen behind, I kept moving quite fast. The routechoice to the third was tricky. I wasn't really tempted to go from the left, so I went from the right, to avoid some of the bog. When I reached the hillside, I realized I hadn't made the right choice. The slope was rather green than white and it was covered with fallen logs. Fought my way through and reached the more plain grounds. Over the ridge, into the control. Saw the junior class men again - must have had the same leg.
3-4: Just going straight. When I was just about to reach the road again, I saw my opponents coming in the opposite direction. I was in the lead! I wanted it to remain that way and I added some speed. The control was easy, and again it was a same leg for the juniors.
4-5: Easy. Speeding on paths and a simple control.
5-6: Everything was really clear - one depression after another. The last big one and then a narrow ride. Suddenly, a knoll in front of me!? How can it be? There was supposed to be a depression instead of the knoll that I saw. Started running left by the track, to make some sense. Saw a depression ahead and automatically thought that it was the one before the control. Followed the side of it and saw another deep depression. Then it hit me where I was. To the control. The compass directions seemed weird. Punch.
6-7: Now, to the "butterfly". When running out of the control, I saw One of my main opponents coming from the fifth. I had lost time but the distance was good enough for me. Easy control
7-8: Took a bearing to the road and narrow ride. Ran straight on fast til I came to the point where I had run before. I had memorized the area well, so there was no difficulty to read myself back into the map.
8-9: Out to the road.
9-10: Back to the center. Up from the spur and following the long re-entrant on the side as well as the depressions.
10-11: Through the saddle and into a risky approach. Fortunately even the smaller re-entrants were clear and finding the flag didn't present any difficulties.
11-12: Down to the marshes and up the gully to the refreshment control. Stopped to have a drink. The relatively cold water caused a slight shock. It was almost impossible to swallow so I just flushed my mouth and poured some water on my head. Easy control.
12-13: Followed the hight and reached a wide, bigger re-entrant that helped my navigate. Onto the steep slope and the flag could be seen from far away.
13-14: Onto the road. Ripped my sleeve when fighting out from the bushes. Just running til the junction and down the slope from there on. Didn't know what kind of a threat the "uncrossable marsh" was, so I went around it.
14-15: To the center again. Straight up to the path, cut off the corner and through the depression.
15-16: Just running.
16-17: First, I had planned to run as much land from the right as possible but when I got to the higher area, I could see the whole picture. It seemed to be a long way around, so I just decided to head for the big island and to the next one from there on. I could feel the strength in my feet when running across the huge moor. Passed the islands and got onto the mapped small track. Followed it and ran through the small valley, over the road, across the drenched ditch, into the control.
17-18: The indistinct marsh got me frightened about the next leg. So I decided to go back to the road, the way I had come. Some meters and back in again.
18-19: Not much choice. Almost straight going back to the small track in the marsh. Easy.
19-20: Not tempted by the green so I ran along the ridge, until I came to the marshy area. Crossed it and got onto the smaller clearings and open areas.
20-21: Again not much choice. Path, narrow ride, control.
21-22: Took a bearing up to the fields. I didn't plan to drink anything, as it wasn't on my route and also, I knew there wasn't much more to go. But to my surprise, the refreshments were not exactly where they were supposed to. So, what the heck, I took a cup of water. Ran the road as close to the control as I could and with a small miss, I got it.
22-23: Nothing to it, just run! I was surprised how much strength I had left in my feet to run up the hill.
23-24: First I wanted to catch the end of the track but didn't bother and ran back down again. Crossed the creek and ran straight up. When closing into the control, a bit of misunderstanding struck. But not for long.
24-25: Bearing, roads, clearings, contours, control.
25-26: Straight to the road across the swamp. A solid run to the last control.
26-F: Despite the tiredness, I made a strong spurt into the finish.

  1. Lauri Sild          01:44.46 
2. Kristo Heinmann     01:51.03   +6:17
3. Kaspar Kork         01:51.26   +6:40
4. Erki Pellja         02:01.09   +16:13
5. Priit Randman       02:13.13   +28:27

2 September 2007

Estonian Championship, Long

EMV Long, 01.09

Course: 7,8 km
Map: Juudakund, 1:15000, H 2,5 m.

I had had a great feeling the whole previous week. I also felt really good at the last orienteering training that I had. There was no doubt I was going for the gold. By chance, me and my brother had the same start minute. But we don't run the same class of course. I'm in M18 and my brother in M20.

Saw my brother speeding away right in front of me. Didn't mind that. There were logs on the path so I wasn't really running on the path. More like by it. Got back on it and turned left from the path junction. Ran down the slope and saw the marsh on the left. Climbed up a bit and crossed the narrow ride. Followed the height and noticed the pits a bit lower, on the right side. To the wide spur and the control behind it. To my amazement, my brother led the exact route, all the way through my control. But he didn't have that one.
1-2: Since the paths were just terrible on this terrain (they were grown into grass and bushes), I didn't follow or seek for them. Ran past the depression, up the slope and past the stone. Bearing to the swamp. Also noticed all the paths on the way. Some fighting through the bushes and I noticed, that my brother was right behind me. This time we had the same control.
2-3: Right past the first clear marsh, across the small stream to the gentle hillside. And stop! What!? A swam right in front of me?
Turns out, that the elongated, narrow depression was wet. Didn't let that discourage me and went along the slope to the control.
The first real loss. No special plan. Straight to the big road with a bearing. With a slight tilt to the right, to avoid the greener areas and to know which way to head when I'm on the road. Had quite a high speed, frequently checking the direction with the compass. Everything seemed all right. I was guided by the marshes, but I couldn't determine my position. But I knew that I just had to get on the road. When finally getting on it, I was chocked how much to the right I had inclined. Ran to the higher area and turned right in the forest again. Followed the side of the big wide spur across the road, to the clear marsh. Used the big deep depressions for easier navigation. No problems. The way I had came to the road, I figured out only later that evening.
4-5: As some kind of a path was already visible from a greater height, I went to it. Followed it to the swamp, crossed it and punched without difficulties.
Again, took a bearing to the road. As you can see on the map, that didn't turn out quite as I had planned. And again, my location was a mystery. But as long as the direction according to the compass was correct, it should be OK. That it was, but the map just wasn't a match to the terrain. When I reached the big clear marsh, I knew where I was and I tried reach the path as fast as possible. Even that didn't work out well. When I got on it, I was trying to cut off the corner constantly, straight to the road, but I was always set back by the small trees and bushes. So I ran all the way out. High speed to the bigger road junction, to make up the time loss. When seeing the roads split, I went in. By this time, it had hit me that my usage of the compass was not very reliable. But still I checked it once in a while. Everything was very understandable and clear on this route. Later I realized that I had ran the same way I had ran to the fourth control.
6-7: It was very difficult to go straight as a lot of trees had fallen down in that area. About ten meters after the control, I was crossing a tree on the ground and I hit a tip of a dried-up, stiff branch in my groin area. A loud sudden cry sounded. It was not pleasant. The control was easy.
Another stupid act. When having a quick look at the map, it seemed that the yellow area was just a narrow clearing. I didn't see that road on it at first. When having run for some time I saw another runner in my class running on the open area and a lot faster than me, I checked the map again. Dammit! Quickly got on it and ran faster. Wanted to go straight to the left hand path again but couldn't, because of the bushes again. The other guy in my class ran straight into the forest. I ran fast by the road all the way to the control area and saw that guy about 100 meters behind me. But the control that I was about to face, are just the kind that I'm afraid of. Not much to read before the object, in fact almost nothing to read. Just checked my heading and wanted to catch the knoll. I did get to a knoll, and started looking for the re-entrant but when I saw the marsh below, I knew where I was and quickly went back. That other guy just punched.
8-9: Before the control, I had noticed two routechoices. From the right or from the left? I chose the left option since I had come from that direction and the way was known. The moor was very runnable. Finally got to the hill and slowly gained height on the slope. First I thought the control object was a re-entrant and I was heading towards it but I saw that there was no flag there and I saw it on the spur. Great!

9-10: Straight to the road. Forest was well runnable. When I was on the road itself, I started running north as I misread the map for a second. But fixed that right away and went back to the narrow ride across the moor. No difficulties.
10-11: Onto the path. Followed it and then went straight past the big depression. Looked for the bigger marsh on the right. Up the spur to the depression.

11-12: Bearing to the narrow ride. Followed the track to the crossing and ran across the two swamps' "neck". Up the hill, past the two boulders. Was not sure in my direction. Got to a big gully and didn't know which one it was. Ran over it, as well as the spur on the other side as I had thought that it was the next spur already and I was expecting for the control. I saw a flag but I knew it wasn't mine. Though I ran to it to check just in case. Stopped right there and delved into the map. It hit me right away where I was and quickly ran to my flag.
12-13: Just straight. Followed the paths as long as I could and then fought through the dark green. Down the hill through the depression. A few meters on the road and then through the grove next to the pond. Up the hill by the path and over the clearing. A lot of nettles. Down to the creek and the stone. Although there were two stations in that control, I had to wait in line just to punch.
13-14: Around the marsh, onto the open area. Again too many people in the way.

14-F: Max speed. Perfect punch in the last control, as well as the finish.


  1. Lauri Sild          00:53.00,0
2. Kristo Heinmann     00:57.16,0  +4:16
3. Erki Pellja         01:07.37,0  +14:37
4. Kaspar Kork         01:16.30,0  +23:30
5. Sven Oras           01:17.10,0  +24:10
6. Priit Randman       01:19.42,0  +26:42

When I finished, I knew I had made a bad race. By then, I really hoped I would get at least the bronze. But when hearing the
results, again, I was chocked by the weak performance of my opponents. 4 minutes in front of the second!!?? Tremendous. But at least, for me, I have the two most important victories in Estonia - middle and long champion!