3 April 2009

A superb ending to the preparation season

Photo: 2-man-relay start in Foresta Umbra

When I got the chance to go to a training camp in Italy with the Finnish team, I took it without hesitation. For eleven days, I had the pleasure of training with some of the best orienteers in the world. The people I met were great and so was the overall atmosphere! Besides the Finns, there were also Kalevan Rasti, the Czechs and a few Swedes who all cooporated in some of the trainigs.
The first part of the camp was held in the Gargano area by the Adriatic sea. Almost all the o-trainings (besides sprint) were
carried out in Foresta Umbra, which is a very nice and tricky terrain. I was a bit rusty with the map at first, but after a few days I started getting back the good ol' feeling. Already the first training was a difficult task - a course on a modified map. I didn't handle it very well, but maybe it was a bit too difficult for this years' first try with the map. I don't even want to show my route on that one, but just for the record, it wasn't a disaster.
Along with other interesting trainings, one was a
2-man-relay (3 loops each), where the other nations took part as well. I was teamed up with Jani Myllärinen and we both made satisfying races. So we finished 5th, 3:10 behind Thierry Gueorgiou & Hannu Airila, but only 1:10 after the 2nd place. Map, results.
Then s
print trainings came along. First, 2 distances in the historical old-town of Vico del Gargano. I must say that this was by far the most complicated sprint I have ever run. In the main part of the course, the streets were so narrow and tricky, that I was forced to make a lot of stops to clarify the situation. Anyway, this years' JWOC sprint might be as tricky as this one was, so I better start solving maze puzzles! Map of the second course.
The second sprint training was set on a beach terrain, which wasn't very pleasant. The thickets were just so bad that my pace on the warm up course reached about 18 min/km! The most annoying thing about the bushes was a plant that resembled barbed wire - I still have some scratches left from that training!
Map of the sprint.
Too bad we couldn't run the last long training in Foresta Umbra though -
it had snowed so much in one night that the terrain was unreachable by car! Would have been fun though!
Then we travelled to Fiuggi, close to Rome. We ran on a World Cup map (Altipiani di Arcinazzo), which besides height contours consisted mainly of yellow and green. Again, it was important to avoid those nasty bushes! The trainings went well and it seemed as if I had finally reached some kind of map-reading level again. But with no mistakes, came along one big mistake. On a mass start training, I screwed up 6 minutes in the second control. After that, everything went great. Well, OK, except for the time I was stuck in some rosebushes for 2 minutes.
Map of the mass start's last loop.
The last training was something very different from the previous trainings - an ultra long course in a park-like forest at ~1500 meters above sea level. The map was Monte Livata, also a World Cup terrain some years ago. 18,1 km course with 892 meters of climbing with the time of 2:26 in perf
ect weather was pure joy! The slopes were still snowy in the forest and on the northern slopes, but fortunately it had hardened enough to carry a runner. A perfect training for ending a great camp! Map of the second loop.

Photo: Terrain in Monte Livata
Thanks a lot to the finnish team for letting me tag along!

Tomorrow I will take part of my first competition this year - a two-day event in Southern-Latvia.


  1. Sellise valmistuse pealt oleks patt mitte medaleid oodata.

  2. päris lahe jahh küll!! selliseid orienteerumistrenne oleks hea endal ka teha!!
    ootame medaleid siis :))

  3. Esimene medal käes - Põlva MV öises o-s!