18 May 2009

First champs

After being a bit ill from a virus about three weeks ago, I've put a lot of effort in gaining speed. In none of the last 8 running/orienteering competitions have I felt lightness in my feet - they're just stiff. The lack of running in Winter (since of the injury) has definitely altered my running shape. But I have confidence in achieving my top condition for JWOC.

Last weekend offered this years first Estonian Championships - middle and relay. Notably, the battle for the medals took place on Latvian ground, right near Riga.
The medalists for our class were quite obvious already before the start, only the order was unclear. I felt great when warming up and hoped that maybe I could experience the long-awaited "aeroplane feeling". After the first controls, it was certain, that this was not going to happen that day. The terrain was very similar to the Latvian middle distance Champs two years ago. That meant fast running and quite detailed contours. Every second counted and I couldn't allow myself any mistakes. Started rather carefully and kept on going as fast as I could til the finish. Since I felt myself moving slowly, the complex terrain didn't play any tricks on me and I managed to make quite a clean race, unlike my opponents (see Kristo's map below). Later it turned out, that I had the fastest time per km in all the classes, but I'm certain that I didn't have the fastest pace of all.
Map, Kristo's map, splitsbrowser (M20)

Since Timo isn't capable of running, this years team consisted of Jaagup, me and Markus. Although Olle Kärner had finished 3 minutes before the group, the fight for the silver and bronze was tight. Jaagup made a great race and finished 5th, 18 seconds behind the 2nd. I caught our opponents in the first control and managed to quickly gain a gap ahead of them. With two notable mistakes (7th, 14th), the lead ahead of the third in the finish was 1:30. But the gold medal was twice as unreachable as it was after the first leg, with more than 6 minutes ahead. Markus just had to make a clean race to maintain our position. Unfortunately, his technical performance wasn't that great and Kenny Kivikas caught him right after the spectators control. The fight was very tight and lasted until the finish line, where Markus outran Kenny and we got the silver medal! The loss to the winners was 6:59.
Map, Markus' map, results

Photo: Jaagup, Markus and me with medals

Next event: Baltic Champs

1 comment: