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.