This year my club hostet a event for the World Maze Race for the first time. The concept is easy. One identical maze all other the world to find the world fastest maze runner. Building the maze was quite easy and surprisingly faster than setting controls on an orienteering map. I tried two of the training courses and the race course by myself and it was really tricky cause you need to make fast decisions. Looks like most competitors had fun but also trouble to follow the course. Maze running is a quite easy way to introduce people into orienteering and my club will use it definitely more often now. You can find the world wide results here.
Without Jakob but with one junior we train I´ve be at the Swiss Sprint Champs in Laufen. Laufen was the host city of the 3rd round of orienteering world cup 2019. The map has been used for sprint and knock out sprint at that time. Course was super tricky and wasn´t really able to plan ahead the whole course and didn´t always take the best route. My time was 22:07, 08:54 min behind winner Joey Hadorn who run the course in for me unbelievable 13:13. You can find the course with some tracks on Livelox.
Last weekend we travelled to Willebadessen for the German championships over the middle distance and the World ranking event the day after. Before the races we took the chance an did the model event to get a feeling for the map, the course there was nice to run and you had the chance to avoid the green areas.
Because of the bad weather of the last days the start had to be postponed by 1 hour so everybody had enough time to walk the much longer way to the competition center in time. The weather however was very sunny and warm, maybe a bit too warm. For the race we had just a few good to run controls in the first part and then it was mostly climbing, running through rough terrain and undergrowth forest. So the running speed was quite limited and it was more of a stumbling than real running. In the end I finished in 20th place and Steffen in 46th.
For Sunday we hoped for a good long distance with route choices around the rough areas, but there were a lot of routes through the rough terrain again, which was debilitating. Unfortunately I forgot to take an energy gel with me and so I suffered a lot in the end. After more than 2 hours I ended up in 19th place and Steffen finished in 31th place.
World Maze Race is coming. This year in conjunction with World Orienteering Day. So why not host a World Maze Race at your World Orienteering Day activity. My club will do so this year. You will find a list of registered events on the World Maze Race website.
Saturday I was on a local street race with my companies running team. In the last editions we´ve been quite good in the team ranking that counts the overall finished kilometres. So I chosen the half marathon. Just than figured out that we had small team and did not compete for the team ranking. The course is relative flat so can go faster times. Muscular issues prevent me from training very well the last weeks so I has some trouble to find the right pace. Second half becomes hard for me but also for some fellow runners so that I was able to overtake one on the last kilometre and nearly close the gap to another one. My time of 1:38:06 min was OK. Better were my results as I finished 5th overall and 3rd in M40.
Yesterday we had our season start. OK, we had a local trainings series and I´ve been to a night sprint event before but this was more for training reasons. Our regional season starts with the regional middle distance championships, so it was already one of the serious events. Competition was held in Zizenhausen near Lake Constance. We haven’t been there since 2021 so it was nice to come back. Start of the course were not so difficult (even some runner lost a lot of time) followed with some technical controls and a compass bearing part. For me it started quite well until I made some bad bearings. Jakob finished first taking the gold medal but challenged by still M18 Nico who we train in the regional squad. I finished in 8th place with already a big gap to Jakob. Most probably I would have won a medal in my age class M35 but would have missed the competition.
After 3 years we decided to run the Nikolauslauf again. This was our traditional last race of the season. I was not very good in shape and thought about a time of 1:40 to 1:45 for the half marathon with more than 300 meters to climb, Steffen also wanted to run about 1:45. The temperatures was a bit cold but with 2 degrees not the coldest Nikolauslauf we participated in. About the first 2,5k we were about the same pace and on the first bigger climb I was a bit faster than Steffen and so we lost each other and we both did our own race. The course was slightly different than the last we time participated, which resulted in less trail running. We both were faster than we expected in the beginning, Steffen finished just under 1:40 and was less than a minute slower as in 2019 and I managed to get a time of 1:33 only 2 minutes slower than 3 years ago. So we both were happy with our results.
The Season this year is coming to an end and we took the opportunity to do an orienteering competition that’s a little bit different than we’re used to. At the Rammert Run you have to run as a pair together and do a score-o in 3 hours. You have to run the entire race together an cannot split up the controls. The controls aren’t the white orange ones you know from orienteering, there are just small white papers sticked to trees with codes on them. The map was just a topographical map with a scale of 1:21500. Our start time was around 10:30 and the fog was still there. We decided quickly for a direction we wanted to go and see then how many controls we could get in time. At the beginning it was a lot of road and path running so we made up a rough plan that we wanted to check after around half the time. After the first control wer decided to go more directly and cut the long distances of the paths and trails. The first half of our race was much up and down so we had to climb a lot and we did it cross-country. After the fog started to clear up we had some nice views with still some fog over the trees. Just a little after an hour in the race we checked out timing and decided how the race would continue for us. Later we decided to risk something and try to get an extra control with the option to let one go in the end. But in the end we had some time left so it were quite enjoyable last meters to the finish. After mir than 21k and 750m climb we finished in first place with just one control more than the second team. We had a lot of fun and a good long training.
In US TV shows kids have always to write an essay about there summer. I don’t know if this is true. I never had to do this in my German school. But I´ll write you an essay about my orienteering summer. Total I made it to 3 international multiday orienteering competitions.
My first trip brought me to to Finland. Mid July I travelled to Lahti for the Fin5. I thought it will be a good idea to enter M21 Elite because of it´s 2 world ranking events. Well afterwards I would say it was not. First day was a long distance WRE. I´ll know beforehand that this would be hard to me. I made a lot of mistakes and decided to quit the race. Rest of the week brought 2 middle distance race were I made still to much mistakes but was able to finish and one awesome WRE sprint. Final day should be a long distance pursuit. Because of my bad performance I changed to a open course which I should make more often in Finland in future races.
Second trip was end of July and beginning of August to the inaugural edition of the Bavarian Forest 5 Days. In former times there was a strong tradition of multiday orienteering events in the Bavarian forest but they disappeared at some time. Now Peter from Endspurt Events brought them back. The race consisted of one sprint and 4 steep and stony forest races. This time I run my age class M40 and was able to finish all races. I was able to finish 6th in the overall results.
My 3rd event was the 2022 edition of Hungaria Kupa. Competition center was at the south Hungarian city Soltvadkert. Part of the maps have been used for the 2018 JWOC. Maps were semi open with a lot of small green dots. Counting bushes I tell it. Made one bigger mistake in every race so I only finished 9th in M40 overall rank. Like always HUngaria Kupa has some nice accompanying events like Night Sprint, Microsprint, Thriathlon-O, Mobile-O and a Beer Relay. I tried Night sprint and Microsprint and had big fun at both but unfortunately never seen a result list.
I know I´m a little very late, but this event deserves it´s own post. After 10 years there was again a race through 3 countries. I´ve already run in the first race in 2012 and now it was back. This time the race was part of the City Race Euro Tour. The race started in Switzerland, crossing the border to Germany and ended in France. It was a nice course, even the most special about is was crossing two borders.