3 December 2013

Season 2013 Over

This post has been sitting in draft mode for a while now. What I mainly wanted to write about, was the end of the 2013 competition season. For me it ended with Finnish middle distance and relay championships all the way back in September. Well, it ended at least in the achievement sense. For the middle, I prepared well and wanted to end the season on a good note, with a medal in mind.
The qualification was quite easy and made the tight competition even tighter. The legs were a bit stiff and it felt like running at maximum capacity. Fortunately I managed to make a clean solid race as needed at a qualification and was 3rd behind Thierry and Pasi.
Final by Tuomo Puskala
4 hours later, I started off to the final. It did not begin very well, I was eager to push very hard and was therefore technically a bit too sloppy. A small extra hook to the 1st was nothing, but it was too close to missing big. I was more careful further on. It was going smoothly to the 2nd, up to a point a couple of hundred meters before the control. I stopped, looked at the map, looked at the terrain ahead, but could not put them together. Did it again, with the same result. I just had to continue and cross the flat hill south of the control. It was not that hill... After some cruising around, I went back to relocate at a boulder. Went for it again, but missed. I was moving quite randomly towards the control then and got it after Anders Nordberg, who started 2 minutes after me. With a 2:25 mistake, I knew my desired result was out of reach, but something was still kicking inside and made me continue the race as I had planned. I was perhaps too careless at first and missed again with the 4th, but after that I decided to restart the race from the very 4th control. After that I felt in total control, exactly like I wanted. Soon I caught Anders and passed him before the 9th control. Continued smoothly until a small confusing moment at the 13th and a bit bad direction after it. But didn't lose very much fortunately. The end was easy, but crowded.
Eventually I finished 13th, 3:10 behind Thierry. Missed 3:11 on the 2nd and 4th control together and was 1 second faster from 4th to finish...

The relay was very interesting and fun. I think it was the first time I saw Thierry live in action. Unfortunately, I was not strong and bright enough to put up a worthy fight against him or Tue Lassen, whom I basically started with. Vaajakosken Terä took a double victory in front of Kalevan Rasti and Hiidenkiertäjät was 5th. Very strong field - 13 best teams (4 members in each) finished within 5 minutes!

After that I pretty much dropped my guard, stopped competing for this season and concentrated on the next. Good time for scouting next year's Word Champs' terrains in Trento, Italy. The camp gave me a good insight of what's coming next year and I like it. Some of the cool trainings I had the pleasure of doing:
Turcio map, Folgaria map, Barricata S map, Forte Cherle map, Platabek map, Lavarone map, Barricata N map and Monte Maggio map. Can't hardly wait!
Monte Maggio by Kristo
Form the camp, I went straight to 25manna, which was a very nice experience orienteering-wise! My input to our team was surprisingly good after the camp. We did quite well altogether and were 4th. Too bad about the organising crash though, otherwise a nice day!
Map, results

Right after, Park World Tour China was waiting. Once again, it proved to be an exciting trip! I had some unexpectedly good and some bad results, but that was not the point. I just wanted to enjoy the orienteering and trip and that I did. All maps and results are available at pwt.org.
The Old Summer Palace by Tuomas Kari

The Group by Tuomas Kari
Yet before completely hanging my shoes by their laces, me and Jaagup took part in one of my favourite events - KoKu. Old maps are always interesting...
Map, results
Then it was finally time for the transition period by giving the body and mind a few weeks' rest. Thanks to all my fans, supporters, sponsors and friends who stood by this season!

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