World Championships is a clear goal of every season. But because of diversity of orienteerng terrains, it means a different challenge every time. And that is what I like. The preparation brings new experiences, adventures or surprises 🙂
Gold medal of last season gave me a courage to devote more my energy to doing orienteering instead of hard job and Ph.D. study. Together with my girlfriend Alena, we decided to move to Finland and pursue both thesis and orienteering. From April to June WOC we have been discovering Finland and Finnish orienteering. It was a great time. I was amazed by Turku’s orienteering training group, gorgeous nature around Turku, Tampere, Helsinki, Joensuu or Vuokatti. And first and foremost by help and warm welcome of all new Finnish or foreign friends doing orienteering in Finland.
Thank you "Rykmentti" guys!
WOC in Vuokatti surely ranks among best WOCs. It brought cool experiences to us, WOC competitors. Demanding orienteering, bears, storms, spectators, atmosphere etc. It took many hours and days to prepare for Vuokatti’s challenges. I spent them. And although there are only 3 medals and I have got none, it was no waste of time. The 3 month long way to Vuokatti was very interesting part of our lives.
Desire to repeat our relay success was propelling force all last year. Middle distance race, which was held in the same area, was natural next discipline. And my third task of WOC was a sprint race. Vuokatti terrain required a lot of hard and uncommon training for „continental runner“. But I saw a big progress in comparison with my first training in the autumn 2012 and felt ready in the day D.
Nice and tough last metres, which are like a drug to come again next year 😉
But my sprint speed was not good enough after so much running in slow tough terrain all spring. I had to work hard during last month to get it back. And then, last training before WOC, I injured my thigh and I almost lost WOC completely. The sudden pain sent my peace of mind away. It brought nervousness to my sprint qualification race and meant „knock out“. On the other side I could enjoy sprint final like a spectator and see amazing victory and Finnish celebration of sprinter Mårten, his life's way is really interesting.
But following days were really bad for me. Injury got worse and worse. It seemed that WOC is over for me. When I lost a hope, czech physiotherapist (Mila Jordankova) did a "small miracle". In the morning before middle distance qualification the pain alleviated. And I was back in business, ready to enjoy last 3 days of this orienteering festivities.
Middle distance qualification visited breathtaking terrain. Once I dropped my focused, I lost 3 minutes. But 5th place and 2,5 minute loss was quite promising.
Middle final was held on the other side of the mountain. A little bit faster terrain, but still physically very tough. I missed many controls by 10-30 metres, which is certainly too much in world final. I finished 20th.
The relay was a top for me. Number 1 on my chest was a pleasure, but no stress (there was one long year to get mentally ready for it 😉 I found a good flow through the terrain and had it under control. It was quite crucial for quantity of forking. Good job of course-setter 😉 Unfortunately our team lost a contact with the leading group on the 2nd leg and after big mistake we were out of podium. But this is a sport. Still it was a big honour to be part of it.
To succeed in Vuokatti required a lot of hard and coherent work. I did as much as I could. But I suppose that for medal chances, I would need to do a double of specific orienteering trainings, which I did alone or with czech national team. Finland is not Switzerland, but the challenge was attractive 😉
…and one curiosity: 2 weeks before WOC we (and our car) were jailed by fallen trees in the middle of Kauhee forest. Kauhee is a famous forest between Joensuu and Koli, where many WOC runners met a bear. Kauhee means terrible. And one storm threw down many trees on access road during our orienteering training. Terrible situation 😉
…and one honest congratulation. Medals know who deserves them the most 😉
Successful czech trail-orienteers