Last weekend in February my season started with 2-day competition in Hungary, Juniper open. It was really nice way to open the season on fast and flat sand dunes with nice courses. Performance on both days wasn't the best, as I had some bigger mistakes on few controls, but there were also some good signs and I'm happy with that.
Week later, we had first two races for Croatian cup, as part of Kvarner Bay Challenge. It's always nice to go orienteering on island of Cres, especially with some memories from last year's training camp there with Linne.
First day it was middle distance on new part of the map and I was really satisfied with my race. Just few small mistakes on the course and nice 5th place overall and victory for Croatian cup with big margin. On Sunday's long distance I didn't do so well as day before, but I was still enjoying orienteering during whole course.
At the moment, I'm not putting pressure on any result or competition. Just going with feeling and that makes me happy, because I'm enjoying the process that way. I also feel it brings better performances as I'm not feeling pressure during the race. I still have some goals for this season, but will approach them with a bit different angle than before and see what that can bring.
Day later, we had 2 sprints for sprint cup in forest/park areas. I was 2nd on both races, even though I had terrible 2nd race.
Last Saturday we had national championship in nightI didn't have best race ever that night, but it was good enough to take victory. I think good speed helped to get some time lost on mistakes and win with 41'' margin.
After that, I was home for 3 weeks before 10Mila and in that period we had national championship on long distance where I got 2nd place. At the same time I got more work to do on faculty and do things they were doing while I was away and my training volume started to drop (same goes for sleeping).
Lots of things happened this season, but there was no time or motivation to write about it, so now it's time to go back through all that stuff.Season started good, I had training camp that was in Croatia and Slovenia. We had wonderful time on Cres island and in Lipica area. In April I was in Uppsala for another 2 weeks, training and running relays with club to prepare for 10Mila.
10Mila was fun, I ran the long night, what was second longest orienteering race for me ever. More about it in my map archive.
Month after that was really bad with training and sleeping, while I had to work and study for faculty.
It was supposed to be my last year on bachelor's degree, but in September I didn't pass my last exam, so now I have "free" year in which I have to give just that one exam. This now means that I have more time for training since last month and also started working as a working student in warehouse where I have flexible working time what's great opportunity to prepare well for next season.
Between 2 exams period (summer) I had some competitions with national team. Most important was of course WOC.
At the end of August and just before second exam period I was also competing on SEEOC in Bulgaria.
In the middle of September, after I didn't pass my last exam everything have changed. Started working and training more, sleeping time is normal again, I feel that I have more energy and that all lead to good competitions and also lot of confidence in myself.
First competition was national championship in relay on home ground where I run 3rd leg and together with Edi and Lino we took our 7th title in a row.
Week later, national champs on middle distance, another 2nd place and day later Croatian cup race where for the first time this autumn I came closer to Matjaž.
First weekend in October, time for another relay, but this time Slovenian championship where I went to run together with 2 juniors from national team that I coaching now. They both did amazing job and sent me out on last leg on 5th spot. I had pretty good race and was able to settle us on 4th position in that relay. Unfortunately no medal, but good feeling about that race, both for me and for guys.
Week later we were in Dalmatia (see side), in Split and Šibenik where we run some great sprint races on amazing maps.
Finally we came to last week in which we mixed sprint relay. For the long time, there was no such a competitive race in Croatia as that one. We knew in club that we are big favorites, but everything can happen, so you always have to be 100% focused. I was running in team with Lino and Mirja. If you asked me for team 2 weeks before, everything would be different, but Pia got injured and since it was close between Edi and Lino, we decided to go with Lino on first leg.
Lino and Mirja sent me out on 3rd place chasing lead for 20 seconds what was not so easy on "not-so-technical-course". Good thing was that it was my day. I had really good race, especially in my head and was able to catch Bjelovar and Vihor (disq in the end) and take this championship to our club.
We have few competitions left now until end of season and I'll try to drop some letters about them here on my blog.
So, it was nice month for me, winning 3/3 national championships. I'll miss sprint champ. in October as I'm traveling next Monday in Sweden, where I'll stay 2 weeks and participate on 25Manna with OK Linne.
2 weeks later, middle distance championship was held at Saturday, 20th September close to Zagreb in Markuševec Turopoljski. It was new map, pretty simple with river in the middle and slopes on sides. Course was pretty much control picking with one longer route. I started pretty good and did good first part of the race, but in 2nd part I had 2 big mistakes, which fortunately didn't cost me much as I still won with 3min margin.
After nice summer, organizing Bubo and OOcup in Slovenia, participating on SEEOC and for the end taking exams on university, it was time for September and 3 national championships (long, middle, relay).Long distance was held together with Slovenian cup race on map Rovtarica (OOcup 2013). I knew that it will be hard competition for me as I didn't have much long trainings during summer and exams period, so main focus was on having clear race. Even with few mistakes, I was still faster than others and won my first title on long.
10mila was of course main reason to use that free time on university and travel in Sweden. This year I was running for 3rd team, nothing special, but good enough for unknown runner to OK Linne coaches who set me on last leg. I was really excited about that, even I knew that I'll probably start in mass-start. Also, it was hard to sleep during night (managed for about 2x2h) as 1st team was doing really good so we spent a lot of time in Top-tent watching liveTV.
This spring was one of the best so far. Main reason is of course 3 weeks I've spent in Uppsala living and training with OK Linne, definitely best club in Sweden with amazing people and orienteers. During this period I've stayed with David Lingfors, who offered me free room in his apartment and helped me a lot, as this was my first visit to Sweden.
Story about my run, with map, is possible to find here, so I don't have to repeat my words. Splits of all 10th leg runners are here.Those 3 weeks were amazing. Orienteering, people, city, 7wonders, pancakes and everything else are unforgettable, so I would like to go there one more time this year. Maybe September. Before that it's time for another good summer in this part of Europe :)
During the weekend Slovenian Youth team was on training camp on the island. At Saturday afternoon we joined them on sprint intervals training in city of Cres. Unfortunately, city is small, so we probably can't expect some competition there, but for training map is perfect as you can see on the picture.
Map - stage 2
Map - stage 1
This year starter of the season was Kvarner Bay Challenge on island Cres in Croatia. This was first edition of KBC and in my opinion it was amazing, so I expect more competitors in next years. Maps, terrains and great organization of local club, with help of experienced OO Cup organizers, prepared us perfect weekend.Personally, I didn't open season well. My performance in first part of Saturday race was bad and even I made some improvements in second part, at the end result was bad. With small improvements at Sunday I took overall 5th spot in M21E.
Maps: Relay, Middle, Long
At the end of competition, Croatian team took 2nd place, just after Slovenia.
On WRE middle at Saturday, again 2 bigger mistakes (cca. 3min total), but as field was pretty close with times, I was just 18th, with 6:57min/km. My best race this weekend was Long (WRE) at Sunday. I've managed to keep same pace whole race and did just one mistake, around 1min, when was going to #10. Even on last 3 controls I've had best split-times, what you can't see often in my results. That performance put me on place no.12.
Last week I took part on Alpe-Adria cup in Hungary, on terrain near Pecs (Orfu). After some years, Croatia finally have had big squad and we were able to compete for some medals.First day (Friday) was relay. I was running first leg in team with Lino Legac and Matjaž Štanfel. My race was decent, because of 2 bigger mistakes. First one was on #8 (1min) and 2nd on #13 (3min). Everything else went pretty well and I came 4th in the finish with 8min after Slovenian Andraž Hribar. Lino had pretty good race and with best time in 2nd leg, he changed 3rd, 6min after Slovenia. Matjaž was perfect in last leg. He managed to overtook Slovenian runner and secure us gold medal. He won also both individual WRE events at weekend.
Results (should be here in some time)
Next competition is Alpe Adria Cup in Hungary, where we will take part in 3 races (Relay, Middle - WRE, Long - WRE) for National team.
That was not all for OK Japetic that day. Girls in W21 also took victory and our Youth (M16) and Masters (M35) teams were 2nd, so we took medals in all categories we entered.
2nd leg runner, Lino took 1st place and made around 10min difference in front of second team, so Edi in last leg had easy job, what he actually did, making difference even bigger.
Last Sunday National Championship in relay was held on map Praporcan, near Cakovec. Lino Legac and Edi Ocvirk are my relay teammates from 2009, when I was 16y.o. and since then we won all NC in relay, what makes 5 in a row with winning it this year.I was running 1st leg as always, but didn't do well as on easy parts often stuck in green areas where I lost much time. One of examples was route to 6th control, where I avoided straight path because of high undergrowth, but then I couldn't find small paths north from it and had to risk through green where I lost approx. 2min. At the end I've exchanged 3rd with 1min after first two teams (one of them our/Japetic 2nd team).
Last day was relay. Race without pressure, because I knew that in my team are 2 younger runners with first international experience so we didn't have much chances. I was running first leg and did very good race, winning leg with 3min in front of Romania and Bulgaria. I've started very good and already was first at first 2 controls. Only mistake in first part I've made on CP #4 (30sec) when I was 2 contours higher than control and everything looked really similar. To the CP #7 I was still leading with few seconds in front of Romanian who overtook me to #8 and in corridor he made 10sec gap in front of me. Then I had tactic to let him go forward and wait for his mistake in last part, what he actually did on CP #11, where I take the lead and finished first with 3min gap at the end.
Last individual race was middle distance at Saturday. I've put so much pressure on myself that I have to get the medal that this cost me at the end. I've started ok, everything went well until CP #5. After that I've planed to take safe route-choice to #6, but then at the middle of route-choice changed my plan and did stupid thing going through the green area (lost 2min). Just after that made parallel mistake to #7 when I changed hill with man-made feature on the top with the hill on west side. When I came on the road everything was clear, but again lost 2min. After that everything went well until #13 where I made another 1min mistake passing 3 meters near control and something that I can't explain when I went to control #14. This was the biggest "Brain lag" of the week and point where I actually lost medal on middle.
Day later was long distance. In this race my expectations were high. I was expecting to fight for gold medal, but again, much disastrous decisions and mistakes put me on 6th place, 6:30 behind winner Paul Pricop (ROU). Only good route choice in this race was control #11 where I had best split-time with more than 40sec in front of 2nd on this CP.
Last week I took part on SEEOC (South-East European Orienteering Championship) in Romania. I was running 4 races from Thursday to Sunday and didn't perform well as I wanted. Tired muscles, a lot of mistakes and some really stupid decisions put me out from battle for medals.
After that, NC in relay is on schedule, where we will aim to get 5th gold medal in a row. In October are two interesting competitions, but sadly both on same dates. JEC in France and Alpe-Adria in Hungary. I would like to go on JEC, but that's only possible, if I find cheaper transport to there. Otherwise, I'll run on Alpe-Adria.
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