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 6t 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.
With one year delay the legendary 24 h Thuringian orienteering relay host it’s 23rd edition. I run my 8th time with my team “sechs Schwaben” (six Swabians). Even with the event held end of May the competition night was really cold with freezing temperatures. Team perfomance was not so good. With 2 MP and one DNF we run total 31 courses and end up in 41th place our 2nd worst result ever. After the race I didn´t had the mood for another endition but my team said that running the 24th edition in 2024 is a must. So we will see. You can found the results on the organizers webpage: https://24h-ol.de/en/
*long day for me This year I was able to run at my first TioMila. TioMila was always on my bucket list but I was never able to fill a team. This year I was able to join the second team of my friends from OK Älvsjö Örby. We already had planed this for 2020, but you know. I was chosen for the långa natten (mainly because I was the only that could survive the distance), a 14.8 k unforked straight line through ugly green forest . I had heard a lot of stories about what could happen through the legendary long night. But it has come different. As the long night was moved from 4th to 5th leg it was clear I wouldn´t get much night. Unfortunately our 2nd leg runner has trouble with his headlamp and lost a lot of time. This brings us behind our schedule and I started my leg at 05:42 in full daylight and into a empty forest. Running a long distance in an empty forest was also an interesting experience but not what I had been prepared for. So I made some unnecessary mistakes and was out for other 3 hours. You can find my route here: http://doma.leberkaesbriegel.de/show_map.php?user=Steffen&map=1480
After 2 successful city races in 2017 and 2018 Luxembourg OC brought an combined forest and city race weekend in 2021. Middle distance race in Bambësch forest and Saturday and long distance city race in Luxembourg at Sunday. The city race was part of the City Race European Tour. Normally this will attract a lot of runners from UK. This year the international guest were mainly from continental Europe. Saturday was in nice open runnable forest we some steep valleys and technical areas. The nice forest leads to a lot of direct running. Sundays main race area covers the old town, Rham and Kirchberg plateau and the Alzette valley. This means old town, fortifications, some modern parts, a little forest and a lots of climbing. Route choice were tricky and often it wasn´t easy even to find a route. Elite course has 38 controls, ~15.2 km to run and 310 m to climb. So it was hard to keep up concentration other the whole race. It´s definitely worth to run in Luxembourg city so keep an eye on upcoming events. You can find all information’s about the weekend on Luxembourg OC homepage.
After one year break the ArgeAlp was back. This year Bavaria was the host of the orienteering competition. As co-team leader it was clear that I will be there. With over 50 runners our team from Baden-Württemberg was one of the bigger teams entered. The event consist of a relay and a individual competition, spanning a age range from 12 to 60. Relay is the first competition of the event. After 1 and a half year with nearly no competitions it was quite difficult to set the relay teams. Our Team made 4 podiums so it looks like we did a good job. Same number of podiums at the individual competition leads to a 3rd place for the team in the overall ranking. My own performance wasn´t that well. I was 2nd leg runner of our M35 relay. I started as 5th and came back as 6th. In the individual race I finished 11th in M40 being the worst runner of our team. Jakob’s performance was better. Running men elite he finished the relay tam in 7th place. In the individual race he finished 17th place. Here you can find the official page of the competition: https://olg-regensburg.de/arge-alp-2021/
After 1 year and 2 months waiting the Arctic circle Jukola took place in Rovaniemi. Late August instead the usual midsummer date means that we had the darkest Jukola ever, instead of the no night Jukola that was planed. The August date made it a little tricky to complete but with two Swedes we made it up to 7. We travelled a few days earlier to visit the Santa Claus village (always when Santa was already resting), the Lordi-square and to made two of the Jukola trainings. The Jukola had far less visitors than previous versions. The long travel from major airports and international travel restrictions payed their tribute. Coming from a small o-country is as still a big event with a lot of people around and many big shops. We made a quick visit at Friday to pick up our team bag and do some shopping before the big crowd arrives. Saturday we transferred complete to Jukola. Temperatures were quite low and there was some rain but we managed to watch the complete Venla relay. As expected from the old map and one of the training maps the forest consist of a lot of marsh. This makes running sometimes very hard but still a lot of. We all had good races but our 3rd leg runner made a mispunch so we didn´t take the chance for a good result. You can find our results here. Next year Jukola will be in south Finland and hopefully back to normal date.
After one year without international championships the World Masters Orienteering Championships takes place in the hot Hungarian summer in the area around Velence. For me a first year M40 it was the first WMOC. Original the world master should have been together with the World Masters games in Japan. When the World Masters Games were moved to 2022 Hungary stepped in to host the world masters this year. Format was the usual sprint qualification, sprint final, forest qualification, middle final, long final. Sprint races were host in Székesfehérvár. Forrest races take place in some semi open areas between Csákvár and Székesfehérvár. I was at the Hungária-Kupa 2000 in Csákvár, so I had a good idea what I have to expect Sprint qualifying was around a big park with some residential area. Fast running speed was necessary and as expected I didn´t make into the A-final. Sprint final was in downtown Székesfehérvár and more technical than the qualifying. I had a stable race but my ranking wasn´t really an improvement. As I made a late entry I had the last starting spot in the forest qualification and was running in the midday heat. I made a big 15 min. parallel error at the end of the course. Without the mistake the last qualification spot would have been possible. The final races went OK but again didn´t lead to big improvement. You can find the results at IOF eventor and my maps in my map archive. So would there be more WMOC for me? Maybe as you get a high quality IOF controlled event were the master classes are not only a add one. But I´m not so hooked that I´ll go there just because I need to go to WMOC.