The international orientering season ended with the World Cup Final in Aarau, Switzerland, 14th-16th of October. In the sprint relay Friday I ran a good 1st leg for the norwegian 1st team (me, Håkon Jarvis Westergård, Øystein Kvaal Østerbø and Ingjerd Myhre) which ended 5th in the nation ranking and 7th in total. In the long distance Saturday I ran a stable technical race, but my legs were tired and the necessary speed was missing. I ended the race on a 32nd place. The sprint final on Sunday afternoon in the old town of Aarau was the highlight of the weekend, and with all the spectators and loud sharing I managed to pull out the last rest of energy from my legs and I ran a very good sprint. Despite almost jumping over the 19th control, it was a technical good race and I was in the fight for the top 10 positions, but with 23 sec time loss I fell down to the 18th place.
The compititions started Friday with sprint relay close to the Telli shopping center in Aarau. I got the chance to run the 1st leg for Norway team 1, as I also did at the World Championships. My plan was to focus on my own race the whole leg, and avoid doing spontaneous decisions. The start was hectic, but I took my time to decide how to run to the first control, and got it nicely. Did not realize that the field splitted up as much as it did (alot of forkings), and kept the focus on my own course. At the arena passage I was 12 sec behind the leader at a 9th position and after the last loop I could change over to Håkon in the 8th position 25 sec behind. Håkon ran very well loosing only 9 sec to the leaders, and changed over to Øystein in the 9th position. Øystein ran us up to a 7th position but lost some time to the leader (gap up 1:13 min). Anyway he could send Ingjerd out in the fight for the position 3-5 in the nation ranking with Finland, Denmark, Austria and Russland. Ingjerd started very well, and we were in the 3rd spot (5th total since there was 3 swiss teams in front) at the 2nd TV control. In the end Denmarks Maja Alm and Russia's Galina Vinogradova got a little bit too strong, but Ingjerd won the finish sprint against Finlands Merja Rantanen and secured the 5th spot for us (7th in total - which means she kept the position through out her leg). So with 4 stable performances we were satisfied.
In the long distance Saturday I had a tough fight from the start. My legs were heavy, and I understood early in the race that my speed was too low for a good position. I anyway tried to run as well as I could, and did a quite stable technical performance. Only got stucked on the long leg to control 10 and searched a little bit on some of the controls in the butterfly towards the end of the race. In the end I was 32nd.
The very last international race of this season was the sprint final in Aarau on Sunday. I really looked forward to this race - world cup sprints in Switzerland are always a highlight with nice courses and a lot of spectators! I therefore was able to pull out some more energy of my tired legs, and started out very well, and only lost some time on hesitation to control 13 (was not sure how to get to the control). At the arena passage I was leading 1 sec ahead of Sarina Jenzer, but just after the arena passage there was a bus blocking the way (it was actually mapped on the compitition map but how should I have understood that?) and it brought me out of focus. I was afraid that it would start driving when I was running in front of it, and when I came around the bus I had lost orientation on exactly where I was and had to relocate. Somehow in this mess I oversaw the 19th control on the map and ran directly to control 20. Just before I punched the 20th control I suddenly saw control 19 on my map and ran back. The mistake costed me more than 20 seconds. The rest of the race was ok, and I ran in as 2nd best time so fare, but knew that my mistake would cost me a lot of positions. In the end I was 18th, with about 30 sec up to the top 10. Anyway, I was happy with the most of my race and have to be satisfied with being in the top-10-fight even though my physical shape was not the best.
Photo: Mario Ammann.
Photo: Mario Ammann.
Photo: Sven Alexandersson.
With the World Cup Final the international season is finished, and I will use some weeks to rest and recover from a long season before the new training years starts in November. I am looking forward to plan the coming season, and analyse this season.