World Games – just awesome & first individual medal

31 07 2017

I am sitting on a train from Stockholm back home to Gothenburg with so many emotions and impressions. I don’t even know where to start.

I have finished my first World Games trip and it was completely awesome.

After WOC I got some time to make reflections about the races in Estonia. I realized some stuff I had done wrong and made a new plan which I of course was eager to try out at the World Games. Two days after coming home from WOC I went to Gotland, but got sick in 2 days and then I got some small pain in my knee. My plan of doing some fast orienteering sessions and also some intervals which were supposed to fix the shape, changed into some road biking, extra rest and some really sweaty indoor bike intervals.

“Det är som det är det” (“it is the way it is”), as we always say in the Swedish team. No worries. The knee felt fine again and I must just believe in my completed training and that I can do well even if everything not always goes as planned.

Before going to Poland, the whole Swedish WOC team gathered in Arvika for the O-ringen opening ceremony. Nice to get a small part of the O-ringen atmosphere and be able to sign some autographs for the kids (it still feels weird to be writing signatures on photos of myself). Then the team split up. Some went to their accommodation in Arvika for running O-ringen and Helena, Jerker, Gustav, Martin, Håkan and me got into the car, driving to Oslo and then the next day fly to Wroclaw in Poland where we met up with our amazing naprapath Martin Holth.

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It was a bit strange to be so few in the team, when we normally are around 20 athletes. Though, I loved the feeling of being such a small and tight group as it soon felt as a family trip.

World Games was a special competition in some ways. One thing which made it special, was the fact that a low amount of athletes were allowed to run. All are then staying at the same hotel, eating together and also using the same organized transports. Kind of like a charter trip for seniors. 🙂 This meant much more possibilities to hang out with other teams which I really appreciated.

But, we were not just there to hang out, but to compete.

The first race was the sprint race in the old town in Wroclaw. There was a flat and fast course with some additional artificial fences which made it a little bit trickier. I started the race and got into it well without any hesitations (even if I actually picked the little bit longer route to 2nd control). On one longer leg on the first part I started to feel a bit tired in my legs, but continued to push even though thoughts came that it was too early to feel tired. I passed the arena and heard I was at a 6th position, but that it was a tight race, as I was only 7 seconds behind. My plan was to be able to push harder on the second half, but I continued to feel tired. Though, I stack to my plan to focus on the map. I made a small mistake in the end, but gave it all physically.

I finished the race and felt directly that I was happy about my performance. After that I heard that I was in the lead, which felt like a relief. “My performance was good and it will also lead to a much better result than at the WOC which was a disappointment” (12th place after many mistakes). I got passed by Elena Roos and knew that Maja Alm would take over the lead and get the victory when she finish. It then looked like Galina Vinogradova should take the bronze, but looses time in the end and suddenly Håkan shouts that I got the bronze. Oh. My. God. The race was still the same, still as good as when I finished, but the feelings turns greater realizing it will be a medal. I will get the chance to step up the podium, getting some nice metal around my neck, a material memory for life. Loved it. Just love it. That is for sure addictive.

Less than one hour later Jerker finished and took the victory. We celebrated the medals with the whole “family” by enjoying the food life of Wroclaw, by eating at a nice Indian restaurant and dessert at a really cool Ice roll-place. Visit Wroclaw ffs!

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The next day it was time for middle distance. My race was good in many parts. Some small struggling right at the start, but I worked myself up to a medal position after almost half of the race. Then the 10th control came and I realized it will be tricky. I tried to understand the vegetation, but stopped when I saw a small track which was not on the map and somehow I thought I was too far. I turned, even if I should have continued some meters. I searched for it for 3 minutes. The race was lost, but I continued fighting and was able to perform well in the last part of the course, not losing too much time on the top runners. I ended up as number 11 (4:19 behind).

The race was of course totally destroyed by the big mistake, but the rest of it showed that the potential is high. And once again it was amazing to be able to celebrate another Swedish gold medal, this time through amazing Helena Jansson. This time we celebrated at a polish fish restaurant where we made the worst order ever… Poor waitress, but I guess we were too hungry and too tired to be able to act in a proper way. Or maybe we are just that freaky… 😛 “More or less”. At least, we almost got everything we wanted.

The World Games week turned into Thursday, the last competition day. The morning came early as the start for the sprint relay was at 9 am. I was once again selected to run the 1st leg. It is amazing how I have turned from being totally frightened of first legs to actually love it! My plan was set and the start went off and the whole pack went towards the zoo. Orienteering is a magic sport in so many ways. I mean, in how many sports are you able to visit a zoo while racing? :’D

The leg to the 1st control was tricky. I doubted myself to not measure that beforehand as it was expected to come. But, my plan was to trust myself and as I found it hard to see what the best was I thought that the difference was really small. I stayed with the group as all went on the left route. Half of us had the longer forking and must continue and we were some seconds behind towards the first split and as I wasn’t in the front position in this group I was 9 seconds behind. The forkings continued and often I saw Denmark and Finland in the other group a bit ahead of my group. I tried to gain some positions and try to push a bit harder after half of the course. At one spot my group took a little bit longer route as we missed a short cut. The course turned back towards the arena, out of the zoo. Denmark had a longer forking before the bridge which gave me a position closer to the lead. Some then did a small mistake at the control after the bridge. I saw my chance taking the lead and then I tried to start to push hard as there was not so many minutes left. Went through the arena passing and then out on the last part in the park. Chose route, everybody followed. I had a small gap, but made a 2-3 seconds mistake not seeing the control by the bush. 2 controls left and now it was about giving it all. I love when it is some straight running in the end, being able to get all out and run as fast as I can. I managed to get back those seconds lost and change over to Martin in the lead with 6 seconds down to Russia and 9 seconds down to Switzerland and Finland, 10 seconds down to Austria and 11 down to Denmark.

All favourite teams within 11 seconds. This will be a tight fight, I thought. At the same moment I was very satisfied with being able to once again win the first leg in a sprint relay. During cool down I went through the race again and realized I’ve actually seen some animals. The zebras ran amok while the whole pack entered the zoo on the first leg, so it just felt like a normal training with gmokbabes ;). Then I think I saw a giant tiger somewhere and this was confirmed by other runners afterwards. Not as common. Crazy.

The relay continued. Martin kept the lead and send out Jerker in a good position. We are spoiled with good runs from that guy, but this time he hadn’t the day, picking some longer routes and did one more minor mistake. He lost some positions down to 5th position, 33 seconds from the lead, but just 7 seconds to the bronze. Though, it was a tough challenge for Helena on the last leg as Swtizerland, Denmark and Russia performed well. On the last loop Helena managed to pass Great Britain and we became 4th. Not a fun result, but sprint relay is a tight race and this showed that all races must be close to clear to be up there fighting for the medals. I was impressed by many teams who did that and also reached their full potential. Sweden will give it a new try at the World Cup final in Switzerland in the end of the season.

Now the competitions were over and luckily we had one more day at the World Games before going home. After the race we went to eat some pancakes with ice cream and then an additional ice cream as dessert. A power nap later (which was needed as I slept very bad before the sprint relay), and then off to watch some lacrosse. Canada against Australia. It was a cool game to watch as the girls were quite skilled. We met some other orienteering teams there and joined them afterwards for watching squash. Though, we weren’t let inside as it was sold-out, so it ended up with that lacrosse was the only other sport we had time to watch.

The evening went on with really good pizza and then the orienteers’ banquet at a local pub. Then it was dancing all night long, being high on life together with so many great people who I am lucky to spend time with when we are out on all those international events.

Thank you organizers in Poland for a great event, competitors for being friends and my Swedish team for being as a family. You are all awesome and if I don’t stop writing now I will be too emotional.

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From Poland I took the flight to Stockholm and spent some days at Karro’s place. A wetvest long run with her and Helena at the outdoor pool in Eriksdalsbadet, and then some lunch and fika with some more friends. The day after we surprised Helena with her bachelorette/hen party. It became an incredible good day with bubbleball, bubblebath (playing with those big bubbles in the water), barbeque, singing and dancing and just hang out with a great gang.

Somewhere during this enormous long text (ooops, I did it again – well done if you’re still with me!), I have got back home to the apartment in Gothenburg. Now it’s back to reality. Back to training and back to school work. It is time to write at my bachelor thesis to try to finish my Sport Coaching studies. Yee…eee…ey…

Hm. Not as awesome.

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One response

2 08 2017
hack

Hello, of course this article is actually pleasant and
I have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging.
thanks.

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