And again, some weeks passed. I came back from Finland with a big smile, as it was once again a great time. Thanks to Janne and Family Haanpää for the hospitality! It always kind of feels like coming home. After one training in my (I guess) favourite forest in Tampere region (Siitama), I felt ready for the Finnish Relay Champs.
I could finally once again run my favourite leg (ankkuri – the last leg). This time in the team with Lotta Karhola (first leg) and Venla Harju. After the good performances of the others, I could start in leading position. After a more or less good start with a mistake already to the second control, I got a bit lost on the way to the 3rd control as well and had to relocate myself, which took of course some time. I was quite afraid, that the others would catch me, but fortunately they also had some problems in the beginning of the race. The last part then was quite good and I managed to defend the first place until the finish. So we are Finnish Champions in Relay now!
Picture: TP Suunnistus
The next day was a good preparation for the last World Cup Races this season, as the Finnish Sprint Champs, not like the Swiss ones, also have a qualification race in the morning. So a tough day. After a very bad pre start (I almost missed my start time because I didn’t know that the watch at the start was showing competition time), I managed to concentrate for almost the whole race and easily qualified for the final in the afternoon. Now, I knew how the pre start worked and was there on time. And the race afterwards brought me to victory (2 seconds in front of Sofia Haajanen and 3 seconds in front of Maja Sianoja) and unofficial Finnish champion #2 on that weekend. The course setters did a great job and I got the chance to run a very difficult sprint competition, thanks!
Picture: Marjo Lalli
Also otherwise, it was a great weekend with nice weather (cold but sunny for almost the whole time), nice friends, once again nice fish (I’m always looking forward to that ;P), sauna after a cold relay competition and much more! I’m definitely coming back again!
But back in Switzerland, the last preparations for World Cup went on. Already two days later, I left again for Laufen, where we did two last trainings on Thursday before the first competition on Friday.
Again, really nervous at the start of Middle Distance, but after that I just did what I could and that is orienteering. My preparations for this race were good and I knew what was expecting me there. The small mistake to control 13 and a 1 minute hesitation on the last long route back to the finish area were the only bigger time losses and I am more than happy with the result. After the WOC-depression I was unsure about my shape for World Cup but this race showed me, that I am definitely back on track (or in the forest ;). Another 2nd place in a Middle Distance this year, behind Tove Alexandersson.
Picture: C. Aebersold
The Knock-out Sprint on Saturday was a completely new thing to me. I’ve only run it once in a training but never on international level or in a competition. So I didn’t really know what to expect, but what was coming, was fun. The competition consisted of a qualification and a ¼-Final in Zwingen in the morning and a Semi-Final and Final in Laufen in the afternoon. After a quite bad feeling in the qualification in the morning (too many mistakes and hesitations in the castle), I managed to win my heat with a very good race in the ¼-Final. Unfortunately there were many Top-Runners in my Semi-Final as for example Sabine Hauswirth, Natalia Gemperle and Megan Carter Davis. So I knew that it would be very hard for me to qualify for the final as I had to be one of the 2 best in the finish. And so it was: In the course choice I didn’t chose the shortest forking, missed one control and had to go back and catching up with the others again which was quite hard. After that I felt the limits of my physical capacity and tried to come closer again with some different route choices, which didn’t work. And finally I knocked myself out for good with a bad route choice to the second last control. But it was definitely a good and fun experience and I know, where to work on for next summer!
With a quite good race (some routes were not the best choice), I could finish the World Cup Round with a 3rd place in Sprint on Sunday behind Tove Alexandersson and Elena Roos. I am more than happy with another podium! The gap to them showed me, though, that I still have to work on my speed as well as on my route choices. And that’s exactly what next week is for! Then I am going to France to improve my Sprint technique together with the Swiss team in some days!
2nd , 10th and 3rd at World Cup Round 3, I also went home with a big smile (which is still there) and am looking forward to finish the season in China in some weeks with the World Cup Final where I want to defending my currently second place in the overall World Cup!