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.
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.
One of my clubmates made a quite big sprint map covering downtown Stuttgart, downtown Bad Cannstatt, the surrounding parks a some more. Earlier this I was a little bored a designed a course that covers the whole map. I ended with a 26.7 k straight line, 62 controls ultralong sprint course. It can be printed on six A3 or 11 A4 sheets. On rainy Sunday in August we made to run the course. We needed 3 h 38 min and run 32.6 k but made to use the whole map and visit some new parts of the city. You can see the map with the course here. Contact us for the map if you came to Stuttgart and like to run the course too.
After one year break the Rats Runners obstacle races are back. In 2019 I run two races (Bühlertann and Kupferzell) of the series. This year only Bühlertann will take place. The race in Bühlertann is hosted by the local motocross club that has a lot of experience with mud. Originally we planed to run with a team and challenge for the victory in the team category as we did in Kupferzell 2019. Unfortunately several date changes made me a solo starter. The running course is 10.5 k mainly trail/cross with several river crossings an steep and slippery parts. Hard people can go for two rounds. Perfect running terrain for orienteers. Highlight is the motocross track in the end of the course. Design of all obstacles made it possible to get other it alone. Obstacles are mainly place on two parts of the course. After one third around the BMX course (muddy challenge) and at the very end of the course (field of tears, 10 obstacles on the last 600 m). If anybody asks why to do this the slogan of the series “Stronger people are harder to kill” is a good answer. I not completely satisfied with my run as had some problems with strength (gym was closed too long) and running speed (too less orienteering competitions). I managed to run 3 mins faster than 2019 and finished 4th in the Silver Boys (M40+) class 2 min behind 3rd place. For next year I´ll try to manage the podium and hopefully we will have a team again. My GPS track: https://www.attackpoint.org/sessiondata.jsp?sessionid=7563731 Pictures: https://www.rats-runners.de/buehlertann-2021.html Results: https://www.rats-runners.de/ergebnisse.html?eventCode=RR-2021-03&classCode=RP
Did you ever had the chance to train on a nearly 40 years old map? It’s something that could be really fun. My club organized a training on a map from 1984. The area between Heubach and Bartholomä is great for orienteering and was features in the series “Germanies best orienteering areas”. The map is still great and on many parts you even can recognize the vegetation. We run the superlong course that has 13.4 k straight line and some nice route choices. We end up 18.1 k running and 640 m climb. As usual you can find the map in our map archive. Note that the contour interval is 10 m.