One week before the orienteering highlight of the year (the World Orienteering Champs inFinland), let’s do a short statement of the beginning of the season: It seems that my performances have been doing up and down like a rollercoaster during this especially dense period.
|Middle selection race in Tibro|
As usually, the real season started in Sweden in April: The Silva-leagues competitions in Tibro in the very end of April were selection races for the French team. There, my performances haven’t been very satisfying as I made several big mistakes while having trouble to keep the right direction and searching the controls in the wrong area. Fortunately, I could still show few good result on sprint test races to get selected for the main goals of the year.
|2-men relay to train for Tiomila|
One week later, the famous Tiomila-relay was hold close to Stockholm where I run the last leg for my Swedih club OK Hällen. However, the team performance hasn’t been as good as expected and my race was quite catastrophic…
After Tiomila, I’ve got the excellent idea to take the ferry boat back to Turku for a good training week in Finland with few interesting competitions. That how I’ve got the opportunity to run the 2 last stages of the ‘Huippuliiga’ (Finnish Elite league of 4 races with the last stage as a chasing start with time-differences decided with the points from the 3 first stages). The second last stage was a middle distance where I did a huge strange crash spoiling all chances to make an ok performance to get any points.
That why, with no-point in Huippuliiga, I was the 52nd and very last starter of the chase and starting some 3 minutes and twenty second behind the current leader of the league. This race was quite special with some 50 guys running in the forest within 3 minutes and the first part was a lot about running. Then, from the butterfly, I’ve got the opportunity to orienteer a bit on this legendary tricky map of WOC 2001 in Tampere.
|Huippuliiga chasing start|
The orienteering technique was not perfectly clean for me but it was always someone to correct the trajectory until we caught the leading group who missed a control (I was not sure that it was the leaders but it was a good sign to see little digit in there number-bibs). On the last part, I decided to take my chance and I pushed hard from the spectator control to the end and I’ve finally got the victory of this year overall ‘Huippuliiga’ by winning this race.
This extremely tight and crowded race and my unexpected victory have produced some discussion in Finland and abroad as you can see on T. Djablaja blog. It was a fun experience for me and it seems that “I’ve got my money’s worth” going to Finland after Tiomila but I agree that it's not haw we see orienteering…
In May, we went one week in Vuokatti for a training camp with the French team in the WOC terrain for really interesting trainings under a great warm and sunny weather.
Maybe not the most relevant trainings but interesting ones
The beginning of June, with the NORT and its 5 world cup events through Scandinavia, meant the 1st very important goal of the season (Especially as the French team didn’t compete the World cup races in New-Zealand in January). For these events, I was of course extremely motivated. Unfortunately I didn’t come there on my best shape ever as I was a bit sick, but it wasn’t all about physic: (Here are all the results, maps with GPS tracking and TV-live...)
· Sprint in Oslo: 9th (+36’’)
OK performance on this interesting course but some wrong route-choices cost me some tense of seconds (20’’ to the 7th and some others on the last part)
· Middle in Oslo: 16th (+2min)
I missed a lot already the 3rd control in a slope losing more than 1’30. Then, it was some fast part mostly together with A. Kyburz. It seems that I still need some experience in this terrain whereas our teammate L. Basset took the 5th place for his 1st time in Norway.
· KO Sprint in Sigtuna [Sweden]: 11th (n°4 in Semi-final)
As it could be the last Knock-Out sprint ever, it could have been fun to make a good performance over there!
With some stupid mistakes due to bad concentration and passage missed, the qualification to the semi-final was tight for me (21st/24) but possible thanks to fine parts.
During the semi-final, after an okay part in forest I didn’t manage to make the fastest route-choice in the city part and I missed some power to be among the top 2 of my hit and get a ticket for the final.
· Sprint in Turku [Finland]: disq!
As I have been living in Turku for more than 3 months last autumn, I was particularly eager to compete there and motivated to make good performances.
The sprint qualification, with its different terrain characteristics (from student residence to forested park), went rather well for me. (4th +16’’)
The final didn’t come that well at all: I took some longer route-choices and I had sometime difficulties to read the map to see the passages getting lock with no solution… But the worse thing was to get disqualified because of passing just on the wrong side of a plot showing the passage of a forbidden street (that I haven’t even seen when running)! (Read the article of Tue Lassen for more explication.) It was especially disappointing for me as it’s far from the 1st time I get disqualified or miss punched on important competitions and it seems that I can’t find the solution…
· NORT Chasing start in Turku: 19th (overall NORT)
Starting 10th, not that far from the 3rd position, I still had a good chasing start position on this interesting course. However, with 3 minutes lost looking for the 1st control, my chance to get a good result decreased a lot. Then, I run quite often with groups with no extra power to speed up. It was really not a good day for the French team as my teammate also had some troubles in Forest…
One week later, I went back to Finland for the 4th time in 1,5 month to run the amazing Jukola with OK Hällen. This event was an important goal for the club. We were focus on it from last year and very motivated to make a good result (as we had never really performed over there). All the team has done a great job and launched me on the last leg on a excellent starting position. Then, despite a poor start, I run with a growing group a big part of the course before fighting hard the last part with K. Nikolov (KR2) and passing some other teams. Finally, we happily finished 10th witch was a great team performance and the best result of the club ever. (GPS tracking of the last leg)
Now, taking the experiences of the best and learning from mistakes, it’s time to make a precise last preparation to get in “top notch form” and do as good as possible in Finland.