Summer 2021

A bit more than 8 weeks ago, I reached the finish of WOC Long Distance in Czech Republic. It had been an intense week with seven competitions in seven days for me.

Sprint: After a quite messed up qualification in the morning (“ran into” several walls in the beginning and read to a wrong control in the middle part), I knew I had to do better in the final. But also there, I took several bad route choices and used the wrong tactic to decide the longer routes in the fortress-part. It ended up with a 4th place for me, 4 seconds behind bronze. Not totally satisfied and a bit disappointed with my performance.241533841_383590623352993_5353939516121301229_njpg
Photo by Sven Alexandersson

Sprint relay: I once again got the honor to start the relay. Trying to keep up with Tove wasn’t that easy after having an a bit longer forking in the beginning. After taking a longer route in the middle of the course I met the group behind me again but could speed up in the end and change over 19seconds behind Tove. Ok, but still not completely happy with my own performance.

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Photo by WOC2021

Middle distance: A really tough day with both qualification and final. A pretty ok qualification got me a good starting position for the final in the evening. I knew that it was going to be challenging orienteering and that mistakes were probably going to happen. But I didn’t have enough control over my own orienteering and was mostly really unsure and stressed after mistakes on the first two controls. Several times I thought that it was over and already wanted to give up but luckily my own fighting spirit didn’t entirely leave me. One more big mistake before the spectator passage almost made me cry because I felt so hopeless. So the info at the passage, that I was only 30 seconds behind the bronze medal made me find all the energy left in my body for the last loop. It was definitely the best orienteering I showed on that course and this time the seconds were on my side in the finish. A bronze medal behind the two strong Tove and Andrine with only two seconds ahead of Kamilla Olaussen was way more than I expected in the forest but it showed me once again, that it’s always worth it not to give up!
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Photo by Christian Aebersold

Relay: change to the sandstone terrain. After the stony and green middle distance, I was really looking forward to running in some faster terrain again. And here I got, for the first time at WOC, the chance and big honor to run the last leg on the team with Elena Roos and Sabine Hauswirth. A great start of Elena made me very nervous. Sabe handed over to me in 2nd position 3min40 behind leading Sweden but only some seconds before Czech Republic. After a cautious start with some hesitations and the Czech girl catching up with me, I knew that I had to do the best orienteering I could and get all the focus on it. Worked out very well and knowing that I was two minutes behind Sweden and Tove but about 4min before 3rd, made me enjoy the last loop to the fullest with a big smile. Finally the race I was wishing for and this at the right moment to do it for the team, perfect. Running in with Ele and Sabe and enjoying our silver medal was a perfect feeling!241430881_1231158580680846_6273981241160553582_njpgPhoto by Rémy Steinegger

Long distance: Also here, I might have chosen the wrong tactic and took too much time to decide the route choices. But the speed was good and so were also my route choices. A bigger mistake towards the spectator passage cost me the silver medal and made me having to push really hard on the last loop. Totally dead but happy to finish the week with another bronze medal on long distance behind incredible Tove who had just won every single race that week and Natalia Gemperle. But what made my day that day was rather watching Kasper winning his first gold in a very impressive manner! Maybe the first time I could watch a GPS-tracking without being nervous all the time as he already had a big lead in the beginning.241460056_4162328717226739_7958316891387570362_njpgPhoto by Rémy Steinegger

4 medals in 5 finals sounds great and is way more than I might have expected. Definitely better than my goals, so I still couldn’t find out where the slight disappointment comes from. Maybe the high expectations to myself doing clean races, like the at relay, to be happy in the finish is one reason. And I know that the terrain in Czech Republic was that kind of terrain where mistakes happen to everyone.RSTXII_387927x_prjpgPhoto by Rémy Steinegger

Very tired but happy with the week, the journey went on. Taking the train from Stare Splavy to Prague and further to Berlin, Kopenhagen and Gothenburg was tough but worth it. Luckily I had some good company to spend those almost 24h.
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Photo by Sebastian Inderst

As already a bit during WOC I had some calf problems the following weeks, which didn’t make it very enjoyable to run. I needed the first week in Gothenburg to get back to normal training, which didn’t really work out. The following weeks in Oslo were still a bit about estimating how much running I should do to be best prepared for World Cup in Idre but not fully destroy the calfs. One week in the mountains right next to Gaustatoppen gave me a lot of energy. Running on marshes, eating waffles, enjoying the hot-tub every evening and much more felt like holidays. We also went to Rauland to run in the JWOC-terrains of 2015, which was great memories. Taking the strava-segment on Zombie-Hill (ca. 7km with 9.3% incline from Rjukan up to Gaustablikk) might have made my calfs a bit worse, what was the reason for some cross training the next days in Oslo. I definitely have to be in a better shape when I get back to Oslo next time to try all those nice trails around Holmenkollen!
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Zombie-Hill attempt: photo by Kasper Fosser241209075_511002830253135_8664584477738706460_njpgTraining in the terrains of JWOC 2015 - photo by Kasper Fosser

World Cup in Idre was one of the most special international races I have ever ran. Pure nature, almost no paths at all, so exactly what I like. Kasper and I already drove there some days before the Swiss team arrived, to run two competitions in Rånddalen, two hours north of Idre fjäll. That the organizers saw a bear in the morning before the second competition probably says everything about the terrain. I still struggled a bit with my calf-issues but could definitely enjoy the terrain!241304722_3030542790558729_4585805022813662728_njpgObygdshelgen: photo by Lars Rönnols

After some training days in Idre with the Swiss team, I also felt more or less ready to run World Cup. The calf issues were still there but ok on the competition days. Still joking some weeks earlier in Oslo that Idre would be the perfect place to win my first World Cup, it actually came true. Some hesitations and small mistakes but otherwise a good race got me my first World Cup victory (at the same time as Kasper!). What a day and what a motivation to continue the good work!241181563_2833148300330888_1772519536805058222_njpgPhoto by World Cup Idre

A well-needed rest day with a short orienteering session near the cottage, showed me that I had to do better orienteering again the next day. The training was a total mess, I guess I did everything wrong I could. Bad legs, the thoughts were somewhere else, I wasn’t focused on technique at all, so the compass direction was usually totally wrong. Luckily, that was all better on Saturday and I managed to run an almost perfect race until control 15. I noticed that I probably had a really good race, as I caught up with several runners that started before me. But also those many runners distracted me enough from my own plans (I should probably work at that), what made me make one big mistake, which cost me another victory. I didn’t manage to get the good flow back after the mistake and lost some more time with mistakes on the last two controls. Disappointed with how the race ended but very happy with the first part and the result (2nd behind strong and impressive Hanna Lundberg!).241349530_337957058078507_4854945960382561234_njpgPhoto by Sven Alexandersson

The relay was a totally different story then. After a good race of Elena, Sabe lost some time on the second leg and I went out quite a lot behind the first runners. I started quite well then, but started to read from the wrong control in the slope, so that I just skipped the 5th control. It also ended up in a big mistake, because it took (of course) way too long to get down to the next control. The lack of self-confidence after this mistake slowed me down and got me a quite bad feeling for the rest of the race. At least I got some sprint self-confidence from the run-in fight against Andrine for the 5th place, that I won. Just to find out, that I had never been at control 5 when we started discussing the map. Really bad ending of this World Cup round and so sorry for my team-mates who fought hard.241282552_1057283758428703_4200267940364898835_njpgPhoto by World Cup Idre

Directly after World Cup the journey went on in direction Rovaniemi by car (what means that I travelled all the way from Switzerland to North-Finland via Czech Republic, Sweden, Norway and Sweden again, by car or train). Kasper and I were lucky to join the Ojanaho-family for the days before Jukola. Some trainings in the Finnish wilderness, pancakes on the fire and sauna – we definitely arrived in Finland. My calf was quite bad after World Cup, so that I skipped some trainings or trained in the water instead. Luckily it was good enough to run Venla-relay. After very good races of Saila Kinni, Lotta Karhola and Venla Harju, I got the honor to run the anchor-leg for Tampereen Pyrintö. It started very well and I could even take the lead several times until a bigger mistake in the middle part where the runners behind caught up with me again. The lack of self-confidence after that, didn’t really help in the green controls. Some more mistake in the end with the whole group, where I would have had to overtake them again, destroyed the chance for a top3-placement this year. Not happy with my own performance, which began so well but I gave everything I had on the whole course what the picture below proofs ;) Thanks for a nice relay Punahilkat, let’s see where the journey takes us.241309497_388659462632332_1144225747751100650_njpgPhoto by Lars Rönnols241312261_556398482262465_7984980308214132274_njpgPhoto by Lammikko

Back in Switzerland I unfortunately had to skip the Swiss team training camp due to my calfs that were still quite bad. The past two weeks here were full of physio treatment, spinning sessions and slowly starting with normal running training again. Fingers crossed, that it will be good enough for the Swiss Champs and latest World Cup Final in Italy afterwards.