After being alone at the Rats Runners events in 2021 and 2022 we were back with a team. Nico joint Jakob and me so we had a competitive team again. Last year the event in Kupferzell was mid June and really hot. This year it was still warm but much more likeable conditions. His year they were able to update the course and the course had a nice amount of trail and forest track running. Obstacles at the rats runners series are not too extreme or strange and often fit orienteers demands very well. So I could recommend orienteers to try such event. Not only for training effect but also to annoy established OCR runners a little. We had quite good results. Nico finished 2nd in Young and Wild (youth), Jakob 3rd in Rats (men’s main) and I was 6th in silver boy (men’s 40+). Together we finished 2nd in the team competition (Rat Pack), so everybody has a trophy to tacke home. You can find the results here and pictures here.
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.
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.
Jakob on the way to the finish after the long distanceSteffen on the way to the finish after the middle distance
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.
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.
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/