8 May 2013

One for the Team

Don't know how to tell the story of 10MILA, so I'll just start with my race. I ran the 3rd leg, after great performances from Perttu Sorsa and Pete Forsman. The immortal Wolverine sent me out as 13th, 3:28 behind the lead. I started off rather offensively, but by the first control I realised that I had to take some time to adapt to night orienteering. The current technical abilities did not allow me to fully realise my physical capacity, two night sessions over the span of five weeks is clearly not enough. A good night orienteer has to have a lot of guts and be very confident. At that moment, I had guts, but not very much confidence. So I lied low for a while, not leading the group, but still being in control. Therefore I did not hesitate to take my own routechoices. We all know where following blindly on a forked course can lead... After the 8th control, I started taking more initiative and prepared to break loose from the group. By then, Vetle Ruud Bråten (IFK Göteborg) was steadily dragging the group, doing an excellent job. Right before the 10th control, I saw an opportunity and took it. Speeded up and tried to get out of sight, but that did not last for long - the rather indistinct terrain was very difficult for night orienteering and I got caught up. On the way to the 13th I should have leaned to the hills on the left, which would have allowed to maintain the speed. Soon it was time for try number two. Even if I got a small gap, I could not handle navigating in the dark and lost valuable seconds to the 14th and 15th. By the 16th control, the race had reached the phase where the runners start getting tired. The 17th was an excellent physically tough leg to give it another try. Again, I managed to stretch out the group, but a mistake before the control erased the gap and even left me some seconds behind. Why the mistake? The green on the map was just twigs and had a very distinct boundary, which is why I thought I had reached the vegetation boundary on the map. Speeded up and caught the lead. Then leaving the 19th, I followed a footpath down the hill, which was not on the map? That was no ant trail... From there on, there was not much to think about. In the very end, I pushed as hard as I could, but the whole run in to the maps was so long! Finished first, 8 seconds ahead, but it was less than 8 seconds by the map exchange...
Right after the race
Looking back at the race, I guess it was pointless to try and break away from the group. Of course I did not know if we were the leaders at any point, but as I saw that Järla was with us, it was rather wise to be in the finish close to them. Olle Boström would definitely be leading the cavalry in the dark night, and he did, of which we benefited. If I would have managed to escape, would we have finished at a higher position? I think not. That's how it is at 10MILA, with the non-forking long night leg. As for my individual result, it was far from perfect. But for the team, it was the best I could provide and I'm glad! 

Best Finno-Ugric team?
This was my and also Hiidenkiertäjät's best total result - we finished 5th! Most of us are satisfied with our races, but some not. Not easy for 10 men to have a good day (night) at the same time... At least there's reserve for HiKi's main goal: Jukola!
The only team members that still feel like running
(there is four of them)

Coming up: Estonian middle distance Championships

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