This weekend I started the orienteering national season in Switzerland, with the 1. Nationaler in Winterthur on Sunday. I ran a technical stable middle distance race, with only two minor mistakes, which resulted in a 6th position. The day before I ran the 5km at Kerzerslauf. The 5km had quite much elevation, and varied between paved streets, forest streets and small paths. I started out controlled, and managed to keep a constant pace through out the race, finishing 9th overall and 6th in my category on a time of 19:36.
Let's start with the first race first. I decided to start at Kerzerslauf in the week before the race, and wanted to get a good session of full speed. The starting field was good, with some of the best suisse runners at the startline. I therefore knew that I could not follow the very best runners from the start, but found my position some meters behind. The first 1k was quite steep (~50m climb), so I tried not to push too hard up the first hill, and I passed 1k at approximately 4 min. The following 1k had both up and down hills, and I passed 2k at about 7:50-55 min. The third 1k was mostly on unpaved forest street or on a small path, and the ground was quite soft/wet. Here I did not manage to keep the pace, and ran this 1k in about 4:10 min, and I therefore passt 3k at about 12:05 min. The fourth 1k was tough with another steep uphill (~25m climb), and I tried to push hard here knowing the last 1k is only downhill. I ran this 1k in about 4 min, and passt 4k at about 16:05 min. Here I got passed by the best men elite runners, which had started 3 min behind me. The last 1k I was really tired, and did not feel like I was able to push, but tried to keep the same pace as before. Due to the downhill, I ran this 1k in 3:30 min, and could pass the finish line with the time 19:36 min. The fastes girl, Delia Sclabas, ran the 5km in impressive 17:30.
The start at Kerzerslauf - Photos: from the organizers
On the 1. Nationaler on Sunday, I started out carefully, but struggled to run fast on the uneven ground with twigs and thorns, probably due to few training hours in terrain lately. To the 2nd control I did not understand the vegitation, and came too low in the slope. I saw the fields below me and knew I had to go upwards, and managed to keep the mistake small. After that I ran well, but make a small mistake in the control circle of control 6. I loose quite much time in the steep downhills from control 10 to the finish without doing mistakes. So I guess I just have to train on being tougher in running downhill. Anyway, a technical stable start into the season, and with the 6th position I am satisfied. The gap up to Simone Niggli who won dominantly is however large, even though the gap to the rest was smaller.