Last weekend I participated in the world biggest orienteering relay Jukola in Finland. My club IFK Lidingö have had a great spring season, with a 2nd place in 10mila and many runners performing well individual. But the last years we have had problems performing as expected in Jukola, and often lost too much time on the longer night legs in the beginning.
This year we knew we had a competitive team, but had still respect for the tough terrain in Kuopio, and expected it to be much individual orienteering and several teams that would do better then in 10mila. It was not easy to pick the team, because all 10 in the first team in 10mila did great races, and also several guys in the second team. The selected runners for the 6 last legs was the same as in 10mila, and we decided to have one of our best runners Filip Dahlgren on the 3rd leg, to be sure to have a good position before the day legs where it is difficult to catch up time.
Jo Forseth Indgaard who ran the 1st leg was the only who were not in the 1st team in 10mila due to injury problems in the winter and early spring, but he was now back on his normal level. Jo gave us a great start of the relay finishing 2nd after running alone most of the leg. He was 1 min behind Carl Kaas and 1 min before the following teams.
Anders Carlsson followed up in an impressing way. He was alone in the lead already on the first control, and was keeping the distance to several strong runners hunting him. But he unfortunately did a 3 min mistake on the second last control, and changed over 2 min behind the leading group.
Filip Dahlgren lost a bit in the beginning, partly due to long forking, but then he showed how good runner he is and caught up the leading runners. But also he did some smaller mistakes in the end, and changed over 1 min behind the lead.
Erik Ivarsson Sandbeg did as has he did in 10mila; brought us up in the lead and also had the fastest leg time. Impressive! Cool that it was 3 teams from the Stockholm area (Lidingö, Södertälje and Järla) that was in the lead during the night.
I started on the 5th leg a few seconds in front of Järla, but never saw their runner. I though it was more teams close behind, and when I was running I didn’t know that it was more then 2 min down to the next teams. I did a stable and secure leg, without any big mistakes, and could stay alone in the lead the whole leg. I did not run the perfect route on all legs, and also hesitated a few places, but each time I relocated and adjusted my direction very quickly, and avoided loosing much time. It was the fist time I was running absolutely in the lead in Jukola, and it was a nice feeling to run alone and know that as long as I don’t do mistake I will stay in the lead.
Mårten Boströn did also a stable race, and stayed in the lead the whole leg, even if Södertälje was just a few seconds behind to the changeover.
Fredrik Johansson was starting on the last leg together with Jonas Leandersson, and 3 minutes in front of Kalevan Rasti. Fredrik did a good race, but Thierry Gueorgiou did a fantastic leg, and caught up Fredrik and Jonas after half the leg. Fredrik was the only one who was able to follow Thierry, but he never managed to pass him, and finished in 2nd position, 11 seconds behind.
If we should have beaten Kalevan I guess Fredrik would have needed a few more minutes gap. Fredrik was 2nd on the leg, and the 3rd runner was 6 min slower than Thierry. This time Kalevan was in my opinion not winning because they was the most stable team, but because they had the combination of a good enough team and the best last leg runner.
Just after the finish it felt as in 10mila a bit irritating finishing 2nd, when we were so close to the victory, and had been alone in the lead half of the relay. But all runners in our team did really well, and it’s the best result ever for Lidingö in Jukola! To be so close to the victory also makes us very motivated to train even better for the big relays coming up:-)
Also the men’s 2nd team did very well, and was top 20 after 6 legs. And the girls team finished 9th and 15th in Venla. That shows that Lidingö has many runners on a high level in both genders, and that is one of the main reasons we have such a great club atmosphere.
Results and GPS tracking
TV broadcast of the whole Venla and Jukola (part 1, part 2, part 3)
KopterCam video of the start