23 April 2006
Østfold O-weekend Part 2
After been thrown in at the deep end in terms of technical orienteering yesterday, today was a nice change and offered me a chance to stretch my legs. I decided before the race to push quite hard and treat the race as good race practise for TIOmila (fairly relevant terrain), and I went off quite fast. The second control was a fairly easy long leg across some gorgeous forest, and it would have been nice to have some more controls in that part. As I came into the control I spotted not only my 2 minute man (Christian Vogelsang), but also my 6 minute man, Ulf Brenna. I caught them across to 3, made a small mistake (15 secs) but still punched before them. I ran slightly in front of them through the next few controls, then there was another long leg across to 7. I took the 'safer' track route round the top, which turned out to be an exercise in marsh running. Vogelsang came with me but Brenna took a straighter route. Despite a good pace, as I approached the control I could see Brenna punching in front of me, and looking at the splits it looks like my route was maybe a minute slower. After that we formed a sort of pattern where I would run faster but hesitate in the circle, and the others would be slower but smoother through the controls. For me it was again a good exercise in trying to maintain a decent level of contact while running at a good pace. Sometimes I lost contact but only briefly, and my mistakes were due to route choice in general.
I lost about 45 seconds on 13 as I zig-zagged slightly trying to avoid felled area and patches of snow, and about 15 seconds on 14 with a poor line through the green and a moments hesitation coming out on a track and thinking it was a different track. The last 6 legs were like an urban sprint race and I put my speed to good use to claim 4 fastest splits (and a 3rd).
Overall I was very happy with my race, and although it was useful catching 3 people and forming a sort of fluctuating pack (people took different routes on some legs), I felt that I did most of the work on my own, and that I was orienteering really well. When I finished I was leading, and I managed to hold on to that lead over the next hour and a half to record my first victory in a race in Norway.
Here is a picture of the snazzy radio that I won.