15 June 2009

2x Baltic Champion!

This year there were more participants than before - teams from Saint Petersburg and Belarus were present too. This meant that the silver medalist from EYOC 2007, Yury Tambasau (I was 4th), was running my category. Dense forest and limited visibility made this technically demanding terrain very difficult. Additionally, the hot sunny weather didn't make it any easier. Though I heard that a lot of runners disliked the forest, I must say I liked it! Only some places with a lot of rootstocks and fallen trees were annoying. I was certain that no-one would make a flawless race, so anything was possible! The start was good, but before the seventh control I was a bit unsure of my heading and lost a bit of time and confidence there. I hadn't missed much on the first part of the course, but that's where the troubles started. To the 12th I ran on the wrong hill and lost about a minute. To the 13th I was very unconfident and had trouble with my direction. The last part of the course was the most difficult for me - I was feeling the heat getting to me and was clearly getting tired. My speed was notably decreasing and it was hard to focus. In the area of the 16th and 17th I couldn't link the map to the terrain and to the 18 I lost half a minute on running and another half a minute by entering the dark green before the control. To the 19th I should have run on the border of the green area, but instead tilted too much to the right. I pushed hard in the last controls and won with mere 10 seconds ahead of Yury Tambasau. 3rd place to my teammate Kristo.
Map, with my and Kristo's route.
Results, splitsbrowser (M20E)
Relay followed on the next day. Kristo was running the first leg, then I and Henrik Berg the anchor leg. Henrik didn't quite succeed the first day, but our plan was to gain a maximum lead for Henrik and then let him make a solid performance to keep the lead. Kristo had his ups and downs and came out fourth, very close to the leader. I was unconfide
nt on the first part of the course and did some mistakes. The second part of the course was technically very easy and called for fast legs (which I didn't have at that moment). The last loop was my enemy on this course. On the way to the 14th my direction was altered by a lot of fallen trees and rootstocks so I was very unsure where I crossed the watercourse. I thought I was on the southern big spur and continued heading north. After realizing where I was, I was mad that I didn't see the control when I was very close to it. Henrik left with a 3 minute lead ahead of our second team. He kept his head cool and kept the lead. Unfortunately our second team lost to the Latvian team and placed 3rd.
Results (M20E), map
with my and Kristo's route.
The weekend was physically difficult, but I'm very happy receiving two gold medals, especially after last year's fiasco on the long distance.

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