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2014 European orienteering champs Portugal

2014 European orienteering champs Portugal

My aim for the spring and motivation for the winter training have been the sprint and long distance at the European Orienteering Championships in Portugal in April 2014. I got a good indication at the selection trials that the fitness was where it should be, but that I without any surprise had some distance to cover navigation wise. Therefore my ambitions have been highest for the sprint distance. The Danish National coach though didn’t allow me to run the sprint even though we didn’t use all our start spot. The last 1½ before the sprint I therefore could change the focus to the long distance.

Final preparation:

Bergemoen map

As there still was snow in the terrain around Oslo it was a challenge to get proper orienteering training except for sprint orienteering. After consulting with Kenneth Buck and with help from Raumar I got myself an orienteering training at Bergemoen close to Gardemoen airport, which invite to fast running and orienteering. I got a good training session though a few centimetres of snow, didn’t make the terrain as fast as anticipated, but it was a good training for the navigation skills.

At arrival on site in Portugal (Palmela village) the aim was to get familiar with the terrain and try to find the ‘lighthouses’ to get a safe navigation in the unknown. Rasmus Djurhuus was in the same situation as I and should only run the Long distance. It was a perfect to be able to discuss, tactic, experiences and be able to push each other mentally in the last couple of days before the races. The only good thing about the long qualification model-event was the view from the parking areas, where there was a scenic view over the costline and the qualification terrain. The menu at the model event was tough green bushes with torn, stony ground and hidden controls :-) The tactic for the long qualification therefore was to take the safe route choices and avoid the green at all costs. My aim was a top 5-7 in the qualification so I had a good starting position in the final, where there likely would be areas with high grass.

Long Qualification:

The plan was to do a solid performance with focus on safe navigation, avoid the green, and push the pace at the running legs, which for sure would be a part of the race. Was a bit wobbly in the beginning and had to make sure I had the right path to the first control and was a little defensive. On the long legs I took some very wide route choices which compared to the other runners after the race was 2 mns slower (to 4th). Got stuck to 7th as I couldn’t find the path in the green and decided to go all the way around about one minute on this manoeuvre. A small mistake to 8th a defensive route choice to 9th meant that I lost another 2 mns to the pack. With a safe race I ended as 13th a little longer down the list than my aim, but still a decent start position for the final.

Result winsplits

Map

1978724_10152394822304078_9207014890455081964_nAs Rasmus Djurhuus and I was the only runners there only ran the long distance we were the only runners participating in the opening ceremony in the lead up to the sprint. Were we got a helping hand from the important Danish team support crew of Tut and Ane Sofie, it might have been the first time ever that a Norwegian carried Dannebro high in the air at the opening marsh, but the gentlemen decided that of course the lady should carry the flag.

Long Final:
I felt confident that the speed was sufficient to reach my goal of a top 15 ranking and knew the decider would me my navigation and flow in the terrain. the plan was to push from the start and run aggressive and as straight as possible, if there wasn’t a thick green obstacle in the way. I made a small mistake at 2nd and 3rd with bad exit directions out of the controls. Then I made a bigger mistake as 4th as I got caught in some undergrowth and was pushed too far to the right. This was a wake-up call and I got a better grip at the navigation and tried to think of the tricks from the days running in vague areas Downunder. The flow got better event though I didn’t hold the compass firm enough at 10th and 11th. But then the shit hit the fan as I fell over down the hill just before 17th and landed with the right calf on a branch or tree stump. I continued at first but as I reached 19th I got in doubt if I actually punched at 17th. The stop instantly meant that the calf got a rest and then it couldn’t comply as I started to run again, and I had to pull the plug and walk the long walk of shame back to the arena, being very disappointed with my own effort. This was also the end of a run in the relay team, instead I had to watch the excitement from the side line.

Results-winsplits

Map 

Now I just have to cross my fingers, put my fitness in the hands of the physiotherapists, alternative training, strange herbs, black magic and Hot Choco to get ready for the upcoming Danish Champs in sprint and ultra-long distance in a few days’ time. It’s all about full performance!

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Best champs ever?
As the president of the President of the Portuguese Orienteering federation stated “this is probably the worst organised Championship ever”. I’m though sure we found the right winners and the Danish team showed a remarkable team spirit and determination and didn’t let the extra obstacle remove the focus for what it’s all about – running some good orienteering races.

The Champs was rounded up with a relay and an informal gathering at the Danish residence in Palmela Village. As the rest of the Danish team had early morning flights out of Lisbon and I had an afternoon flight back to Oslo, which fortunately was the same flight as  all the Norwegians I joined them at their residence in the beach town of Setubal.

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This included a three course dinner and a beautiful view from the Hotel. Even though the Danish team didn’t enjoy a five star hotel and dining, we had something even better. We are fortunate that we as athletes can enjoy the hospitality and known cuisine from Tut and we always seems to know what we craving for, and to lift the mood and create a cosy environment. The support team this time also included Ane-Sophie Næss Bjørgul (Tut’s young and smiling right hand) Gitte Karshøj the physiotherapist who takes care of all our tired bodies and injuries and Jeppe Ruud who got a little bit more important job at the Champs than expected, as he together with a few other superstars from Norway and Switzerland made sure the controls were in the right spot. This means that we runners just have to do what we are best – running and navigating in the unknown and we could relax and get prepared to perform.

The Danish national team – probably the best in the World!

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5 Comments

  1. Hi Mr LawaetzFlot side!Aldrig har vore store rhododendron ve6ret se5 fltote og billige, ring og bliv vist rundt her: Skandrups Alle 60 Tlf 44989561Mvh Klaus Hansen

  2. Is het braadstuk eenvoudig te bereiden? Heb hier nog geen ervaring mee. Ik kook binnenkort voor 12 pers. en kwam op je blog terecht, leuk menu!Van Anne-Marije Dijkman op 26.11.12 11:55 am

  3. Grace, a nor’easter is a certain kind of big storm we get here, that head…well, towards the nor’east.4) They are SOUL-KILLING when they come a week after the biggest hurricane NY has seen in 75 years. Especially if one is without power. I crashed at my bro’s in the Village on Wednesday night just so I could make it into work the next day…and then last Thursday night was close to freezing in my house. If we didn’t get power back on Friday I may have stormed the LIPA headquarters with a pitchfork and a torch.

  4. Wow you inspire me!!!!!!!!! I use to weigh 190 pounds and have now plateaued at 162. My goal is to get to 140 pounds so hopefully someday it will happen. I started my jouney in June 2010, I am not on a diet as this is a lifestyle change for me.

  5. Wat een gezelligheid, en een lekkere chilhoek…geweldig.Ik vind dat tut-hoekje ook zo leuk…..En wat zijn jullie samen een handig stel!!En succes met het scrappen!!Groetjes Evelien

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