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.

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