It’s nice to be part of time when orienteering develops as an elite sport over here and competition like Latvian championships is not a walk in a park anymore. Starting field has been getting stronger with every year and this time it required some effort and skill to be among 10 best. Partly we have to say thanks to all the foreign guests willing to spend their time (and money, I guess?!) to come over and take part in competitions in Latvia. The other reason of course is the fact that our own athletes has started to take things more seriously. Keep going, direction is correct!
More about races!
06.09. middle distance on the schedule. I had a solid training week behind me and my task was to do race pace 30’ orienteering. Terrain was surprisingly ok to run compared to living hell we had to fight through last year. Not so lucky with my start time – 3rd on the elite class list and only about 10 people finished before me in total. I did fairly clean race and pace was good, but not enough to win. Martins Sirmais did great race winning with 2’21” ahead of me and Lauri Sild took 3rd spot being only 3” down to silver position and me. I missed seconds every now and then searching rootstocks at middle of green marshes, but 2’21” seems a bit too much. MAYBE, just MAYBE organizers should consider using any kind of ranking positions for making start lists????!!!! So everyone with a winning speed capability could, in theory, fight for victory!
07.09. relay! My chance to become one of two athletes having won 5 Latvian champs relay gold medals?! No surprises in leg order – Janis Kums running first, Lauri second and me on last one. I had a decent advantage of 45” when I headed out, but I was aware that Martins and Vilius will come chasing after me, together. This time I had theoretical chances to fight for victory – there were some tracks out there after first 2 legs! My pace wasn’t as aggressive as day before, but it was enough to raise the gap and finish my race with 3’ lead over Azimuts OK. I guess boys did some mistakes out there?!
It was nice to see you around, Master (referring to Jari Ikaheimonen) and we hope to see you again running elite class and not only that!
What else is there? Finnish championships next weekend, World Cup final as main goal for autumn, Smalandskavlen to plant some more motivation in my club mates, Club Match to keep those legends alive and maybe Kenya for once!