Some really exciting weeks have passed! WOC was just amazing and I am now back in Switzerland after some turbulent days moving house and driving back home by car!
The World Orienteering Championchips in Strömstad were indeed very good ones for me. Even though many may not believe me, since I didn’t win that Gold or since I couldn’t win that forest medal…. But I am indeed very happy to look back to the championships where I was able to fight for medals in all races! I went to Strömstad for winning one medal and came back with two silver. I had four starts and got the results 2-2-4-4 which in my eyes is rather good. And if I add my EOC results it looks even more fun: 1-2-2-2-3-4-4-4 :)
I was looking forward to that race a lot but was a bit unsure about my physical shape after my fall and some illness one-week before. As always I was pushing quite fast already in the Sprint Qualification, since I need that kind of confirmation for the final. Maybe I was pushing a bit too much, but I knew that I have everything for fighting among the best in the afternoon.
I was very well prepared for the final. There was no surprise and I felt very familiar running in Strömstad (even though I’ve just been there for two hours the day before). I started fast and was only 5 seconds behind the fastest at the arena passage. Unfortunately, I got a bit too tired on the long uphill route and I made two stupid and decisive decisions. I lost to many seconds there and together with my tired legs it was too much to match the superior winner Maja Alm. To run in to the finish as second was almost like winning for me! I was very happy and so grateful to be back on the WOC podium.
Like always the day started with a team jog in the early morning. I felt tired but very sure and clear about my task of the last leg on the Sprint Relay. But I was also very conscious about the path I’ve taken to get there mentally. I have worked a lot since WOC 2015 to become self-confident again and to feel ready on the day of the race. Last but not least the team of Rahel Friederich, Florian Howald and Martin Hubmann gave me the trust which, alongside with the talks with Andrea Binggeli and Vroni König-Salmi helped me a lot to improve.
The race itself was very stable. Rahel, Florian and Martin gave me a good position going out as third. I was ready to hunt Sweden and Denmark who were about 20 seconds ahead. I started fast and after a good long leg to the first control I had almost contact with Sweden and was just 8 seconds behind Denmark. I was fighting hard to keep the second place and to close the gap to Maja Alm. After a smaller mistake just after the arena passage the gap had grown to much and I had not enough speed in my legs. Running into silver place felt great though and we as a team were very happy to win that medal!
For those who are wondering why I was not celebrating the medal already on the run in…. I missed my teammates who really wanted to cheer all the way in. I wonder if they had something else to do out there around the amazing crowd! :)
It was for THAT race I moved to Sweden fo on a dark and cold day back in January this year. I have improved a lot since then and I have worked on my self-confidence in the Swedish terrain. But when I was warming up I felt slow and unmotivated – witch is always a sign for nervousness. I tried to accept it and as soon as I got the map I had my focus back on the upcoming long leg to the second control. I am proud how I took on this challenging leg. But while running 25 minutes (my longest leg ever !!) I was unsure and disappointed that I didn’t dare to take the road. But I did just loose one minute and managed to do a good leg. But as there were only 2 minutes’ start intervals Natalia Gemperle caught me after a bigger mistake to the third control. From there we were running almost the whole race together. It was a good performance from my side. I am proud about running for a medal the whole race and I am sure that it was almost a better performance than two years ago where I’ve won bronze.
Still I hope that the 3-minutes start intervals are going to be used for the upcoming WOC long distances or that forking’s are used to split groups more!
After the long I got very very tired not just physically, but also mentally. I got a bruised left leg at the long distance and was thankful to get such great treatment of our medical staff the rest day between the two races.
Julia Gross ran a great race and changed over to Sabine Hauswirth in the lead. Sabine did some smaller mistake and was running alone the whole race. Until the finish she lost about 2.30 minutes on the leaders and sent me out in 5th position. My strategy to risk it all for a medal did not work out. I missed the second control a lot by doing a parallel mistake after which I did a clean and fast race. With the second best time of my leg I managed to run into the finish in fourth place.
It was not what we had hoped for. We got 5th last year at WOC, 4th at EOC and now also 4th at WOC 2016. We all know, that we can do better. And already some minutes after the finish our coach Vroni and I started to talk what we have to continue working on for the next years to finally take a medal again in relay.
After a great party in Strömstad I headed back «home» to Gothenburg to pack all my belongings. After a really nice medal party together with Lina Strand and our club Göteborg Majorna OK we started our journey back home to Switzerland.
Now I am already back for one week and we are soon set up and moved back. The time in Gothenburg has been amazing! I am thankful I have such a great club who helped me to realize my dream to move to Sweden. Once back home my hometown Zimmerwald organized a beautiful reception where I got that change to meet many friends and fans again!
Whilst many of you probably are following the Olympic Games in Rio, my main focus is on the start of the World Orienteering Championships (WOC) on Saturday.
The time has passed so quickly and WOC is finally about to start. Since my last post a lot has happened. On one hand I completed numerous very good and fast trainings in WOC relevant terrain but on the other hand I also had some health issues and injures. None the less all roads lead to Rome and I am ready and happy to have gone my own path to my main goal in 2016.
Tomorrow the Swiss team is arriving in Gothenburg and we will all head up together to Strömstad for the final preparations. I am happy WOC is about to begin and I am already getting nervous from time to time. First up is the Sprint with Qualification in the morning and the Final in the afternoon.
For those who want to follow WOC from home can watch it on SVT (swedish tv) or visit the official WOC’s homepage.
Now I’m off to pack my bag. :) Cross your fingers for me!
Sat 20 Aug
Quali 09.01 - 10.00
Final 15.41 - 16.45
(Rahel Friederich, Judith Wyder, Martin Hubmann and Florian Howald)
Sun 21 Aug
16.50 – 18.00
Thu 25 Aug
12.00 - 16.00
(selection still pending)
Sat 27 Au
16.00 - 18.00
Many of you probably think, it would be very easy to write a homepage story after my past week at EOC. But for me it isn't! I do actually have big issues writing clear thoughts and facts about this amazing week. Not because It's hard to find those thoughts, this time it's more difficult to channel them. Finally I give it a go and try to tell you some experiences of this beautiful and successful week!
The preparations were going well. I knew that the terrain suits me well and that I was progressing physically and mentally towards EOC. But as WOC is my main goal for the 2016 season I was not totally sure how long the good shape would last. To travel back home with three medals (gold-silver-bronze) is more than I was ever expecting!
Sprint – Relay
I had the worst beginning I can think of. The wrong route choice to the first control would normally have put me out of the medal race. But since almost all girls were doing some mistakes early in the race, the competition restarted at control no 2. From there on I had a very clean and fast race and I could hand over to Andreas on the second place just two seconds after the leading Russian Team. It showed that the first control was the key control for the whole Swiss team. Unfortunately also Andreas, Martin and Rahel did have problems with that long leg and we lost the contact to the very strong Russian team. Thanks to good races expect the first control and lots of “fighting spirit” we ended up with the first medal for the Swiss team at the first championship race. After all we are very pleased to be awarded with the bronze medal behind Russia and Denmark that day.
After a very safe and stable race in the Qualification I was looking forward to the final in the afternoon. The sprint was taking part at the Jesenik Spa Resort which was hilly and is recognizable by it’s parks and it’s beautiful views.
After a long walk to the quarantine (I am used to get dropped of just in front of the quarantine), we were listening to the speaker during the men’s race. It was good to hear Matthias Kyburz becoming European Champion – therefor I knew the Sprint would fit the Swiss girls as well.
I started fast, took two less than optimal route choices in a row and knew I was some seconds behind the current leaders. After the map change I was pushing very hard on the long route choice and felt strong physically! I could run the last section oft the race without any difficulties but also without knowing how far I could go. Running across the finish line I could barely believe that I was the current leader! To become the new European Champion at that very though and difficult sprint was just so incredible!
3 rest days
After these intense two days the rest day was just the perfect gift! Of course I was training every day… but I could at least let my thoughts fly away a bit before I had to refocus for the middle. Even though there was no competition the days were quite busy. Shopping, working, preparing, drinking lots of coffee, visiting the Physio and more takes quite a bit of time.
I did a very solid and fast qualification and therefore had to start as the last runner into the middle final. I was prepared well looking forward to the start of my first forest race at the championships! The course started into a very stony slope with lots of dense vegetation. After a hesitation to he first control I felt again very controlled and focused to the second and half way to the third control. Actually I do still not really know, why I was running so much further and passed the control just on the left. But I was looking for a little river and an open area which I couldn’t see in the terrain. This mistake set me back by 2.30min and on a normal day I would have waved the flag and hoped for better days. Luckily I did not do that this day! After my mistake I managed to do a nearly perfect and fast race. I ran towards the last control and when a spectator screamed that I was running towards a medal it was hard to believe! I am very proud that I could fulfil that race the way I did and even got rewarded with the silver medal!
The atmosphere during the morning run together with Julia Gross and Sabine Hauswirth was good! We were all ready and knew exactly what our tasks were. My goal was to show a courageous race till the end on the last leg. The two girls did good races and I was sent to the forest in 6th position, 2.34 minutes behind leading Russia. I started fast and could see Sweden and Russia very soon. Still I remained calm and was reading the map carefully. In the very steep and stony slope before the arena passage I fell on my hip and had a blackout which ended up in a big mistake. Unfortunately this mistake was too big to fight for the medals in the end. We ended up on 4th which is very good but also annoying and so close to the medals. But I think I can talk for the whole “flying swiss girls” team that we are even more hungry for the upcoming WOC Relay now.
The first Championship of this season ended with the places 1-2-3-4 and was way better than I had expected! I am very proud of my fighting spirit and that I never gave up till the finish. I have some areas to work on, but I know that I am on the right path towards the World Championships in August.
Last but not least I want to thank you all for your SMS, Mails, Facebook-Messages, Twitter and Instagram-Likes! I was so happy about every little message I've got during and after the past EOC! Thank you!
Now, I will start to fully focus to the upcoming World Orienteering Championship in August. Next week we have a training camp with the national team in Strömstad.