Here I am on the eve of my first Jukola surrounded by orienteering in another European summer. I’m feeling pretty rough after the travelling this year, possibly not helped by being very busy in the days leading up to my flights. Sleep deprived but not able to sleep. I did some training this morning in Hämeenlinna and another one here in Eno, which was good value, but I’m quite fatigued and a little worried about Jukola, in which I am running first leg for Hämeenlinna Suunnistajat. This will be a pain train like no other!
Jukola has never been at the right time to me to compete in, but with WOC earlier than usual this year I took the opportunity to experience this iconic relay. I’m a first leg fiend, loving the intensity that pack running brings, so to be runnning first leg here is a dream come true.
The real purpose for me being in Europe though, is WOC in Estonia. This week (22-16 days out from race day) was planned to be my biggest in terms of training load in this build, but travelling and jet leg has made that unlikely to be the case. Next week in Estonia will also be very important, as I will try to get many hours in relevant terrain before using the next week to freshen up before racing. My 3 races at WOC are not until the end of the program; long, middle and relay. Long and relay have had my explicit focus for a some time now, and to good affect, but I am still somewhat unable to demonstrate consistent middle distance performances.
After WOC I’ll be shooting back to Finland to spectate JWOC and compete in the accompanying Fin5, which will be a very tough competition in the elite grade and I aim to perform well over the 5 races, also with a lot less stress and pressure than at WOC. That will round of 9 races over my month in European summer.
You can follow Jukola at http://www.jukola.com/2017/en/follow-jukola/ – I’ll try to get a little TV coverage.