Where there is a man there is a quest

I must tell You about this! My father will start his 200km long walk to Riga from his home village Strautini at 7:00 AM on Thursday 27th of September. You can follow online at www.mansgps.lv under selection “where there is a man there is a quest” and read about this event’s news on my twitter account @beercis or my Facebook page.

WHY?

Well, I got to know about this journey soon after I won WOC middle distance. My father called me on phone to congratulate and told something like this: „It was early spring when I was running on that 2km straight gravel road You used to hate back in days when sometimes we both trained together. And I made myself a promise — if You ever get medal in World champs I will cycle to Riga by bike”. OK, I was thinking. Not so big deal. Tough, but possible. He continued: „but, if You ever win gold, I promised to walk that distance”. Now that’s more like it!

Schedule for now:

7 AM 27th: starting from Strautini
Night @ Gaujiena
7 AM 28th: starting from Vireši
Night @ Jaunrauna
7AM 29th: starting from Rauna
Night @ Sigulda
7 AM 30th: starting from Sigulda
Afternoon: last steps towards goal.
Everyone is welcome to join, cheer and support in all possible and impossible ways.
Map and few important locations can be found here.

I will meet our hero during his stay at Jaunrauna (half way) on my way to Latvian champs in ultra-long and try to catch up with him later.

EVEN greater EVENts

Winning World Championships is a big deal for sure, but, as some of you might have already heard, we recently made a greater one.
Beautiful day, sincere emotions, awesome guests and afterparty to remember!

Kristīne and Edgars

Few more pictures can be found — White Wedding — with more to come soon.

I knew it when I met you
I’m not gonna let you
Runaway

I knew it when I had you
I wasn’t letting go

P.S.1 my recent orienteering related activities include recovering from back injury I got during WC in Switzeland (and made it worse during WOC), taking place among spectators during WC final in Finland, training for WOC2013 at Vuokatti, meeting my coaches, being happy and more (I will keep You updated about “more”).
P.S.2 surname seems to have slight benefits, cause last weekend two gold medals in Latvian shampionships (middle & relay) went to Kristine Bertuka. For Latvian reading followers: kristinebertuka.blogspot.com

Peak Performance

I could try to express it with my own words, but I am convinced that I wouldn’t succeed better than my greatest supporter Kristine did here. I will try to translate it as good as possible. So here it goes.

„He is just an ordinary guy from Aluksne who is filling his dreams this summer. Hard trainings arrange in countless hours, kilometers often become endless, but so is joy about finally doing things he is made for and is good at. Things he has dreamed about so lot. This dream wasn’t over yet and he proved it. And will prove it again.
You already know the rest and hopefully will never forget feelings of the moment, cause those either have to be put on shelf, hanged at the wall or gathered deep in our hearts.”

But when did this dream start to become reality? I would vote for early autumn of 2011 when I went to Turku for training camp and visited my mentor Mikko. We were discussing my future plans and question about ultimate goal raised. My replay to it was that I want to win World champs in Finland in 2013, but Mikko had something to add. „Why not in Switzerland?” he asked and we both laughed about this idea. Apparently we were laughing for different reasons. Same question bothered my mind during morning jog just before middle final. „Why not today?” I asked myself while looking at summit of Mont Blanc. That day was great!

Race itself went very smooth and steady. My only mistake was route choice to first control since I couldn’t choose between starting right or left and went straight instead, but on the other hand this small coincidence calmed me down and forced to focus more. So even that was for good.

Long final approached and I was out again for my morning jog. Mountain was still there and therefore my task was clear. From very first meters I realized that it’s not going to be my best running day and it will require lot of will to run a good race. I was very tired approaching spectators control and big was my surprise when my team and speaker told that this could be another medal race. I still don’t know where I got that extra power to run best time over last part and finish, but looking at pictures I can’t see any signs of life in my face.

Relay. There will be time for that too. Just hang with me.

„What now?” many have asked me. Well I already have an answer — ultimate goal is still ON — World Champion in long distance in 2013.

I am really grateful to my family for supporting me during my path towards this dream.
Black Horse size thanks to both of my mentors and coaches — Jari Ikaheimonen & Mikko Black Rider Knuuti.
Biggest thanks to my supporters who believed in my potential when I had nothing to „put on a table” except my confidence (one gets far with that).
I appreciate countless greetings I have received via sms, emails, on facebook and other „places” around. It was superb feeling during both — Saturday night arrival and press conference two days later. I wasn’t really right when I said that victories are born in our minds. One has to dig deeper.

And I can still hear that little animal in my head whispering… peak performance, peak performance.

Photo: Natalia Vinogradova and Jan Kocbach (Worldofo.com)

The WILDEst dream

Although there are bigger events waiting to be won, for a moment it really felt like conquering the very top. I can’t call back nor there has been a day with such diversity of emotions I experienced during night of big relay. Anxiety, self confidence, confusion, despair, hope, relief, thrill, greatness — for a moment it was all mine.

But where did it all started? My guess — at moment when team was decided and I was chosen to run first leg. At first it came as bit of disappointment since I was preparing to run last leg, but on the other hand it made things lot easier for me because first leg doesn’t take that much preparation and I was able to keep my focus on training for upcoming WOC races. Another significant moment was watching first leg finish of Venla relay and Merja Rantanen leading with more than one minute gap. My team mate Janis Krumins must have seen that sparkle in my eye so he tried to convince me (I think I don’t have to tell you how wrong he was) that I „shouldn’t even dream about this, in Jukola it’s impossible”, but it was too late — I had already seen myself running over that bridge with my hand up.

Just as always, I had thousands of plans how to behave during my run, but it was all sorted out soon since I missed first control by 2 minutes and lost half minute more on 3rd one. „It’s all gone now” I thought for a moment, but there was still some faith that kept me going. I did quite brutal running out there for a while and therefore I apologies for everyone who had to experience any kind of violence. I cached leading group at half of my course, but wasn’t sure if there were any runners ahead of us. Decisive part was forked long leg and following two controls — also forked. So all it took was one decision (lot of guts, a little vision). I choosed my own way and run pretty much straight at last part of long leg and saw Kiril Nikolov again near my control. After that I was alone till end of my run and tried my best to keep calm and in control. I can’t really describe you what I felt when I crossed that bridge, but I hope everyone has got their own dreams to try on and succeed same feeling.
Simple as that!

For those who have no idea what I am talking about, please, watch this: http://areena.yle.fi/tv/1548183

I would also like to say my deepest apologies to all the ladies, girls, moms and probably some boys as well about fact that I am (well, we are) getting married.

ALL IN all, I’m just

And here I go, carving my footsteps into green damp blanket. Catching echoes from infinite number of strides I have done and trying to imagine how next ones will feel like and where will take us. It all should sum up into greatness soon. At least I set my hopes high.
Sunset, sunrise and there it goes. First real event of my journey. EOC 2012, Dalarna, SWE. Middle, long, relay.
I am still raw, but edges of diamond have started to gain a shape and glitter.
More then ever — TRAnscendence is TANgible.

As Shepherd said — I have everything to win and nothing to lose.