WMOC Long Final (13/08/2021)
Category: Competition
Map/area: Csakvar
Country: Hungary
Discipline: Long
Text written for the next edition of the British orienteering magazine Compass Sport:

My goal before the season was to run the European and World Championships in Sprint. But I failed to qualify in the Norwegian selection races in May. WMOC was therefore a good opportunity to run an international event with high quality this summer. When I participated in WMOC for the first time in Riga two years ago I liked the event, and it's also nice to be able to run all distances in a Championship, with both sprint and forest races.

In June and July I got a long and good training period, so my shape felt better than during the spring. I came to Hungary two days before the first race, so I got the opportunity to do two training sessions on relevant forest maps. The training went well, and I liked the terrain and found the maps accurate. I experienced that it was important to avoid the dark green areas, because you could lose a lot of time getting stuck.

The area for the Long final had a nice mix of different types of terrain, from open areas with small bushes, to forest with mixed vegetation and slopes with more stony ground. It was a short distance to the starting point, so I needed to make a quick decision for the long leg to the 1st control. I considered first going slightly right, but decided to follow the path to the left, and then climb the hill to the open areas and then go straight, since it was the shortest route and also had mostly good runnability. When I passed the dense areas I tried to run as much as possible on the yellow, and was accurate so I didn't get stuck in the green. I was fastest with 35 sec margin, so it looks like a good route choice.

The following legs were in an area with several steep ravines. To the 4th control I was unsere where to run. Considered both running to the right along the fences, and going far left on paths and open areas. But I decided to go quite straight, even if I needed to cross several steep ravines, since it was much shorter. I lost 34 sec to Marian Davidik on this leg. Also he ran straight in the beginning, but left more in the end of the leg, and avoided some of the steep climbs.

On the way to the 5th control I caught Michael Sørensen with 4 min, and before the 8th control I also caught Davidik with 2 min. It gave me self confidence, and I continued running with a good flow and picking routes quite straight to the line, but still tried to avoid too much climb and the areas with the most dense vegetation.

Also on the last long leg to the 15th control I decided to run quite straight, since it was the shortest and you could run mostly on open areas, and you anyway needed to climb the steep hill at the end of the leg. In the long climb on the middle of the leg I noticed that Davidik was not any more behind me, and wondered if he had taken another route choice. When I entered the control circle at 15 I got a bit unsure, and hesitated 10 seconds before I suddenly saw the control very close to me. With more than 30 degrees and strong sun in the open areas it was a physically very demanding race, but I felt strong the whole way, and won the last long leg with more than a minute. Overall it was a very good technical performance, and I'm happy with being so stable during all five races. WMOC in Hungary was in my opinion well organized, with good maps and courses, and I'm glad I took the chance to participate.
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WMOC Long Final (13/08/2021) WMOC Long Final (13/08/2021)