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Monday, 21 November 2016

I don't always do mistakes, but when I do I'm brilliant

The season of 2016 is over now for most of the runners and it’s quite a common thing to have some flashbacks. I have not been updating my blog for couple of years, waiting for an urge to do that. After coming up with the story (in Russian) about Rus.orienteering champ last week I feel like my inspiration for writing and sharing something with others about my o-experiences isn’t yet done. Summarising my races from 2016 I came to a conclusion that I have to make up some ground for all the unwritten stories during last couple of years.
There is one thing which bothers and strikes orienteerers the most – time loss, better known as mistake. I sorted out some of my cruelest misses of a year with an attempt to analyse what were the reasons behind them. To provide you a true entertainment I made it in a popular format of mistakes parade, countdown places from 10 to 1 with commentary.

So, here we go:
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10) Suunto-Games, Espoo, Finland(12/06)
Quite typical thing to happen when attacking in a late stage of a long course in a state of fatigue, without any profound preplan (to be honest, this last feature is common for 90% of all the misses in orienteering). Saving the brain effort does not always make you faster in the end.


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9) Russian champ. Middle, Ekaterinburg (10/09)
For sure one of the main races I was aiming for last autumn. The only real miss I made on a nice and challenging course. From 3rd to 4th I lost 1.33 to the eventual winner V.Novikov and on a whole course my gap was 1.41 behind( 4th place) Once you are lost in this kind of slope -it's very difficult to relocate. Should have been more precise with checking a place and direction when passing a hill top. After doing that you can go downhill with full speed and full confidence.


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8) KRV day1, Puolanka, Finland (03/07)
Let's move on to my midsummer vacation trip to Kainuu. Yeah, it has been a rough trip where I was staying in a tent and had insufficient sleep, but some of my misses were still especially unpleasant. Another lazy-brain mistake on the slope, not timely rectified and grown to a great confusion. Compass and curves, as always...



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7) Russian district champ. /Sprint (1:5000), Vologda (02/09)
The thing I've done there is only forgivable for a first visit on this map. Not my case. Overgrown pancake terrain with indistinct forest borders as main features to read. One is simply not recommended to push as hard as he can without catching these slipping away borders. By good deal of luck I have found 13th control to relocate.




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6) Yarkiy Cup, St.Petersburg, Russia (20/08)
If you are not active in your routine and let it go in a sleepy mode, this is where you gonna end up( sadly, it's not the last example of this kind in my today's parade). Amazing how easy it is to confuse two swamps even if they are at the size of a lake. After detour around the northern swamp I had no idea on where I had been travelling for a very long time...





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5) KRV day3, Puolanka, Finland (07/07)
This is an interesting case. I was already 5 minutes into the race with a strong start and therefore thinking I had a flow and one of those days then everything works in a subconscious mode. But not so fast! You have to constantly feed your inspiration up, otherwise it can abandon you. This basically means don't run too fast and too far without the confirmation from terrain and map on where exactly you are going. After this 3 minute miss I couldn't get my flow back in the race, frustration was overwhelming.

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4) Russian WOC-qual/Middle, Vyborg (21/06)
All the previous samples were just big mistakes, but here we come closer to a really wild stuff. Looking at this last four I ask myself how is this even possible for a runner with over 20 years experience, but it's complicated business... Russian WOC qualification races were my biggest priority this summer and my deepest pain. Now I have some idea on what had happened.. There was unresolvable conflict between a physical setback and my  earnest desire to deliver a top race. It may sound strange, but the set of our WOC qual. races had started next day after Jukola, on Monday. Yes, most of the runners were in a similar conditions with that, but my own body was empty. I was trying to throw my legs forward and it only had put my orienteering to a strain. Everything around was irritating. Damn!

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3) Finnish champ/Middle, B-final, Mikkeli (05/06)
After missing a main Final on a first control in morning qualification, I decided to take a run in final-B. Well, maybe I wasn't extra motivated, but for sure I had not been planing to do this. It's just spectacular! Mental challenge of a day was too much for me, ended up picking mushrooms.






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2) Christmas race, Sevastopol, Russia (10/01)
Sometimes you simply refuse to go down! After having a set of nice technical sessions I have travelled to this race in Crimea in mid-January. The drawing style of the map was a bit strange to me, but this can't completely explain my impressive attempt to climb to the top of the mountain. I have to learn something about navigational skills in those slopes, as it may very well be the area of Rus.champ in November 2017.


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1) Russian WOC-qual/Long, Vyborg (22/06)
If someone ask me to imagine how broken hope looks like, I would unveil this picture. It wasn't this particular mistake, which destroyed my race, but it was the culmination of the disastrous state I had been in those days. The end of the story.


ps. I hope those who know me are not utterly terrified by the revelations of this article. The races I have done in a decent manner are still prevailing :)