20 October 2008

End of the season

Just because I haven't been writing, doesn't mean that I haven't been training or competing. For those who have been expecting something to read from this blog, I am truly sorry that I haven't cared much for updating! But here are the rest of the maps from this seasons most important races:
Rest of the JWOC:
Long distance. Emphasis on the 7/12 control, where I completley didn't understand the map, and also the 14 which was probably the result of the heat and tiredness. The rest went OK. 12th place.
Relay. Again I managed to make one mistake. But all in all, a great race! Had the speed, had the durability. Leg: 3rd; total 4th.

Long distance. Managed to avoid any catastrophes. Some minor mistakes + one headless situation. Although feet were a little stiff, a 3rd place! I'm satisfied, but still had a desire for the gold!
Relay. Speed was fine, but my digestion problems didn't really allow me to achieve full potential. Still moved fast enough! A tactical move to put me to the 2nd leg proved to work! And the prize - European Youth Champion along with Raido Mitt (first leg) and Kenny Kivikas (third leg). Both of whom made a great race!

Sprint. Though not my highest aim, I this time hoped more
. Despite the fact that I almost literally shit myself during the race, I did what I could and achieved 4th place. Not bad. But I did expect a bit of a trickier course.

Other competitions worth mentioning might be O-Ringen, where I got the 2nd place in M18E.
A week before the EYOC, took place the annual Baltic Junior Cup. I won the long distance with a lead of 3 minutes! What amazes me even more is that I won the realy's first leg where I flew off the planet for at least 3 minutes!
Meanwhile I'll continue resting until the preparations for the next season begin!

9 July 2008

JWOC 2008: sprint and middle distance

Between 30th of June and 6th of July were held the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Gothenburg, which was one of the main goals for me this year. I had been preparing for this week for quite a long time. The first time I made acquaintance to the terrains of Gothenburg was in 2004, when O-Ringen was held. So when earlier this year our national team had two training camps there, I must say I was already a bit familiar to the nature. And furthermore, I stayed in Gothenburg the last 11 days before JWOC. These days gave a great finishing touch to my trainings. Here I would also like to thank Henrik Eliasson & Tiina Laas and Mats Haldin for accommodating me for those days!

This was a distance I was considering to skip. I wasn't sure if this would have a good influence on my durability and speed. My main goal was the long distance, so I really wanted to prepare for that. But my coaches and fellow orienteers provoked me to run, so I did.
I did as I expected, I guess. I'm not especially proud of my 29. place, but neither am I complaining. Losing 1.07 to the best time is not so bad, considering my relatively slow speed in sprint and the loss of 35 seconds to the best split on the seventh control. I must say it was hard for me physically, but the technical side was quite good, except for that seventh... So, losing a bit over half a minute simply by running is a good sign for me. I have yet to evolve my speed and durability. And remember that I have two years of JWOC left!

Middle Distance
Oh the disastrous middle distance!
It all began with the qualification. Had a good start up to the 5th control, from where on all hell broke loose. First, I proved that an uncrossable marsh was crossable, then I read myself wrong on a road and ran 90 degrees in the wrong direction! I thought that was it, just one mishap can't do no harm, can it? Right after that came a short one on a slope of a hill, where I seeked for the control 1.50 minutes longer than the best on that leg. How much worse can it get? But I still hoped that I stood a chance for the finals. But right after that mistake, running got really heavy and I felt the lack of oxygen. Fighting really hard, I then managed to make another big one with the 13th, where I lost 1.33 to the best. And right there I thought I was done. No final here. But I didn't give up fighting of course! And while I was already making another mistake with the last control (!) I overheard the speaker saying that I just might make it to the A-finals! A fast finish, and I was 17th (20 got tho the finals).

The A-final.
I hoped that I wouldn't get that tired as I did on the qual, but after a mediocre beginning, I began "dying" already after the 3rd control. After the 5th I started walking but tried to run when on level ground or when going downhill. I don't know if it was the heat (it probably was), but concentrating and focusing on the race became really hard. I started making mistakes out of tiredness and dizzyness while struggeling with the walking/running. But I kept repeating to myself: "Don't stop fighting!" and that helped a lot dispite the fact that I felt like fainting. Right before the 8th control, I got hit by some twig and was half blind from my right eye. Now that didn't help to focuse more! With the 11th I made the biggest mistake. I ran to a re-entrant-like thing, where I found no control and thought that I had gone too high, but in fact I was too low. Lost about 45 seconds there. And right after that I misread the map and started running to the 12th. After crossing the first hill, I realised what I was doing and changed direction. Saw some cliffs (not on the map) and approached those. No control again!? Continued on the same heading and eventually saw the flag. I don't understand why those cliffs weren't on the map? The rest of the course went even slower and included mistakes out of tiredness with the 12th, 14th and 16th.
I came 17th, which was worse than I expected, but it's a good place to get when walking the course! Legs that I'm pleased with: 5, 7, 13, 15. Not many of them, isn't it?

End of part 1.

24 May 2008

From fiasco to comeback

Week 1, Training
After Tiomila I had a tough training week
- started with a training camp and ended with a 3-day competition. All of this worked well for my so far great shape. We even had the same testrun that we had in winter, but that came too soon after Tiomila and is not worth looking into. One of the purposes of the camp was to getting more used to the 1:15 000 map scale, which I definitely needed. Everything went even better than I expected. As the weekends competition had a 1:10 000 scaled map on the first day, I was confused a lot - everything came so fast and I made a lot of small- and one bigger mistake. Still, I had the best time. What's up with that? But the second and the third day had 1:15 000 maps and I was like an expert with those. But due to the tough trainings in the beginning of the week, all of these competition days could physically be described as "heavy".

Week 2, Baltic Championships - the fiasco
I knew my running shape was good, but these races proved my shape to be even better. Unusually, the relay was held before the long distance. In the relay, the 18 and 20 classes were united and I was running in the first team. I wanted to run the 2nd leg, which I luckily got. The race was technically easy, but physically very hard, due to a lot of climbing, which is unusual in the Baltics. I didn't do any big mistakes and I even had the best time! My performance was good enough to raise our team from fourth to first, but unfortunately our anchor made a terrible run and we finished second afterall, just a tenth of a second ahead of Estonia's 2nd team.
Relay map and results.

The long distance proved to be promising, but this is where my fiasco begins. I started well, but already to the second control I had some navigation problems, but managed. As for the third control, a real adventure begins. Misread the map and wound up wandering in the wrong place. Though most of the map matched with the place I was really at. Finally found myself on the small path and then found the control. I knew that the mistake was big (about 5 minutes), but I also knew that everybody would make mistakes on this kind of terrain and I continued my race as I would before. When looking at the graph (see below), it can clearly be seen that I was "in the zone" and making a great run. But when reaching the end part, I again had some map problems and things didn't go very smoothly. When punching the 17th control, I knew the end was near, but I tried to be focused til the end and not to make any mistakes. I was carefully reading the map, when suddenly I found myself up on the plateau. I was confused. I located myself on the map, and went for the control. No flag found. For six minutes I tried to get to the control from any possible angle, and I still couldn't reach it. Finally when I found myself on a nearby spur, I realized my mistake and went to my control. Now I can say that this was probably the worst race for me this year, not Tiomila.
Long distance map, graph and results.

Week 3, Estonian Championships in middle distance and men's relay - the comeback
I had completely disremembered my mistakes from the previous week and did not let myself to be disturbed by any of the negative memories. This year 18 class had the same course as the 20, so I could compare myself with the juniors as well. The terrain was fast and not that technical, but called for caution in some parts. I took the first control ste
adily, to get the hang of it and then added speed. Only minor mistakes. I won the 18 class overwhelmingly, and beat the 20 class winner time by 1 minute and 11 seconds!
Middle distance map and results.
This year we had the same team as last year, but in a different order due to Markus Puusepp's injury. I was put in the first leg, Markus to the second and Timo (my brother) to the last. My first thought was that it was going to be hard to compete against our elite men, but I did not fear them that much. When the start sounded, I took off like a bullet because there was a ditch in the start corridor and I didn't want to stay fighting w
ith anybody. To my surprise, nobody passed me when running to the first control and that added confidence. I maintained the speed and went on. A minor misunderstanding in the second control, but nothing much. When reaching the open area, I looked behind and saw only one rival behind me. It was Jürgen Einpaul, one of the strongest runners in our men's national team, but he has not been in very good shape this year. He kept getting closer and closer all the way to the 8th control, but he never passed me. There we had forking and I added speed. After that I was ahead of him with a half a minute. By the time I got to the finish, that gap had expanded into 1 minute and 39 seconds! A great run for me! Markus increased the lead to about 3 minutes and Timo just had to make a flawless race. But he made about a 17-minute mistake with the second control and that was that. We finished 6th, 10 minutes behind the winner.
Relay map and results.

Last weekend really boost my confidence. Next week I hope to make a good run at a 4km cross-country running competiton. We'll see what happens!

28 April 2008


After a few successful competitions in Estonia, I had the joy of taking part of Tiomila for the fourth time. Although the joyful part was not my result. Probably the worst race this year. I ran for OK Triangeln with the start number 347 due to some registration problems.
I was bound to run the second leg, right after the skilled first leg runner Sander Vaher. It didn't come to me as a surprise that he came out on such a high place as 12th. So I had to fight with some strong orienteers. I knew my physical side was ready, but was I ready to make a top-notch race? That I didn't know when I took off in the start, but as it turned out, I wasn't.

Course: 12,3 km
Map: Rosenbergs Slott, 1:15000, H 2,5 m

S-1: I saw many choices, but took a straight heading, slightly from the right by the tracks. The pace was set high by my opponents and I had no problem keeping up. But that's where I hit the first wall - already in the first control I had been to a forked control, which was not mine of course. I couldn't believe how careless I had been with the map reading. Off to a bad start.

1-2: Contrary to the first control, which had a lot of routechoices, this one didn't and to my mind, the only fast way to go was straight. Again, the pace was good and between the bigger roads no additional map reading was needed, though I peeped on the map once in a while so that I would wind up in the right place. The plan was to go straight all the way, but when I reached the last road before the control, I saw the non-inviting forest and decided to go around. Closing in on the control, instead of running on the hill, I tilted to the left and began seeing the road and followed its side to the control.
2-3: One of the only etape when I felt I was orienteering.
3-5: Run.

5-6: Thought I had checked which way to run out, but I was mistaken and had to correct my heading. Ran into the swap and in assurance I to the right to see the path or the hill. And even then I managed to miss the flag. What an amateur!
6-7: This was something I hadn't decided where to run. And I didn't see much
choice either. To run around was too long and to run straight might be punishing. As tricked as I was, I ran straight. Instead of running on a path, I at that time thought that it would be great to run through a flooded marsh. Followed a small path to the big road, where I was still puzzled where to go. I didn't even know exactly where on the road I was. Neither did I understand anything of the shooting ranges. Started running in quite a random direction towards the forest behind the ranges and suddenly, I met a big group running in a just right direction for me. Ran with them through the ranges to the big opening. We passed the first big hill saw that they were going to run straight to the control. But no, I was "smarter" and ran around by the paths. But fortunately, I wasn't much slower than they were. No problems finding the flag.
7-8: What-a mistake-a to make-a! An easy one as it seemed. Started unfolding the map and hoped the hit the control by running by the beaten track and following all the others. And I did! What a shame that the number didn't match. As the object seemed to be a stone, I assumed I was too far to west and about 15 meters higher. Took off and very quickly I saw
a reflector. Thank god! The object was a match, but again, no match on the number. Then noticed that there was a knoll right beside the hole and then I realized where I was. Through the control where I had been to (don't ask me why) and down to mine, finally.
8-9: All stonkered, I started making up for the mistake. Onto the path and full speed from there on. The speed dropped before the control.
9-10: Even with this one I was able to hesitate in the circle area.
12-13: It seemed as I was leading a pack of athletes. I undertook the climb and they followed. On the paths, where I managed to get confused again, some of them passed. They were fast, but right when w
e entered the forest, they seemed puzzled and confused. This time I had great contact with the map and took the lead. Punched first.
13-14: There was detail to be read, but I didn't see any in the thick spruce thicket until I reached the marsh. Crossed it and thought I was running up on the right spur. Reached some knolls and when I looked left, the group was already in the control. Damn, lost a good opportunity here!14-15: It was like a highway.
15-16: Tried to catch up with the head of the pack. But still quite didn't.
16-17: Onto the track and into the forest at th
e right moment. Turns out, I still haven't adjusted to the 1:15000 scale and went in too early. Saw a stone and a control - that must be it! No! Immediately understood my mistake and corrected it. To my relief, almost everyone in the massive group ran into the wrong forking control and had to run back or forward to their own.
17-19: Now there was me and this other guy leading until the finish.
19-F: Long, but I withstood it!


As I started on the 12th place (even reached 9th in the first radio), I finished 25th. The 1:47 loss had increased into 4:24. And our team's overall result was 116th with 2:20:05 behind. I guess we would have had a much higher place if our two top runners hadn't been injured and would have been able to compete.
Without a doubt I can say that this was my worst race this year, maybe even the worst if including the end of the previous season. I have yet a lot to learn. We'll see what happens at Jukola.

5 April 2008

The season begins

So, what have I been doing after the last post?
Besides increasing the amount of training hours, I have taken part in several indoor orienteering competitions, one rogain/extreme type of competition and a training camp in Sweden with the national junior team. Additionally, I took part in quite a few skiing races, of which one was a marathon, two were school competitions and one was a military competition.
More closely:
The indoor competition series, which I already mentioned in my previous post, ended successfully for me. After the first stage I was satisfied with the third place and couldn't want for more for the moment. But then, I won the three next stages in a row! But then at the next stage failure struck and I was second in a mild contest. Didn't let that get me down as I remembered that if I was satisfied with my third place, then why shouldn't I be with the second? But then I redeemed myself by winning the last two stages. In total, I got maximum points as five best results of the 7 counted.
A map from the last stage's final's second loop:
Then, a three and a half hour extreme/rogain competition of which took part almost two hundred 3-membered teams. I was in the team "Lauto on samu" with Kristo Heinmann and Mattias Rennel. We came 6th, and we were pleased with it. Here are the results and here is the map: At spring break from school, I went to Göteborg with the junior national team to train for this year's JWOC. We ran on many terrains which were similar to the one's that the championships will be on. I'm glad that I could cope with the terrains and had only little problems. But the bad thing about the camp was the timing - it was snowing! The only time that there was snow in Göteborg and it just happened to be at the time that we were there! That did disturb a little when running on a map and trying to adjust to the terrain. But good running practice though! We also took part of a night orienteering competition in Sweden. I think it was a smaller, local competition. I ran the M20E class (I'm originally in 18 class) and surprisingly, won. The terrain was flat, without any serious details. Results and routes (20.03.2008, Häxjakten).
Skiing. The school competitions and the military one weren't very important to me and so I prepared myself for the marathon. As I went skiing quite a lot in the middle of the winter, the quantity decreased as there wasn't much snow and I didn't have much opportunity to ski. As I result, when I was in the start of the marathon, I stood on skis for the first time in two and a half weeks. That reduced the chance of making a good race. I was also disappointed when I heard that the track was shorter this year, due to the lack of snow. But I almost reached my goal, to be in the first hundred finishers. I guess I would have reached that if the track would have been in its original length, 40 km. Out of the 460, I was 106. And lost 30 minutes to the winner, Algo Kärp.
So this is what I have been doing. The trainings at the moment show that I will presumably be in good shape in the season.

7 January 2008

Preparation for the next season

The first trainings for the next season started with a small training camp in the end of October.
Right after that took place the annual "club match" between Finland's "Turun Metsänkävijät", Latvia's "Meridians" and our "OK Võru". As a surprise, I won the individual distance (the actual winner, Edgars Bertuks, ran unofficially). And expectedly, we came first in the relay with Jaagup, me and Timo.
After that have mainly been low-paced long running trainings. And also other additional running- and orienteering exercises. Just the regular stuff, with some alternative trainings included. And due to the lack of snow, I haven't been able to ski as much as I had planned. In fact, I have only been out to ski four times. I hope the weather won't stay that way.

I've also been competing in indoor orienteering. On the first stage I came 3rd in M21 class, automatically becoming the winner of M18. The final distance was intense til the end. Although I was in the lead in the middle of the course, I managed to mix up some controls on the map and immediately fell 4th. But Lauri Tammemäe, the first one to finish, was disqualified for mispunching the last control and I came 3rd. The results and maps can be seen here. There are six stages more to go.

Besides that, I was to Sweden during Christmas and in Latvia on New Year. I used the opportunity to train night orienteering on the terrain of the Latvian championship in middle distance, where I ran the M50 course and after that practiced using the compass.
Last week I took part of our national youth and junior team's training camp in Otepää. On the second day we ran our every year's test run. The 7,6 km long course race is mostly on forest path, but includes a part of asphalt. 4 laps, each about 1,9 km in length and 42 m in climbing. My time was 29:42, that makes 3:55 per kilometer. I'm satisfied.
All in all, I've been training harder than ever before.