Friends will be friends
Thursday, 08 March 2012 13:10

The third round of the 2012 Ski-O World Cup round was held in north Kazakhstan, Shchuchinsk region. Most of the participants traveled together directly from Ukraine, by plane to Astana and bus up to the competition area. It was cool, that we all lived in the same building, so we were like a big family :) The most used common room was the hall in front of the event center where the internet connection was useable.

After traveling a whole night and moving east 4 hours we spent most of our first day sleeping, resting. Some teams tested skis, trained a little. I went out jogging, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful surroundings. Because of the lack of snow the organizers had to move the middle distance to an area where some weeks ago Kazakh Championships were held. To make a fair competition we got the whole map and could ski on all the tracks on the model event. It was really nice with good tracks, nice forest and sunshine. The opening ceremony was organized in the town´s cultural palace with folk dance, music, kumis tasting and some food.

First competition day was the sprint. Finally we had some really fun and demanding ski orienteering. Really dense track network, nice course setting so everything was perfect for the race. Almost everything... unfortunately it was very cold, so I had again really bad skis. I made a technically good race (maybe 1-2 route choices were not the best) and finished on the 25 place.

Next day a really long and hard long distance was waiting for us. But the biggest problem was the cold. When we started it was around -22 C, so once again bad skis, but not only for 18 minutes, no, for 128 minutes... It was much map reading, skiing on narrow tracks, trying not to ski too much up. The funniest thing for me was meeting a reindeer herd! They just ran over the track some 15-20 m before me. It was amazing to see them! Luckily I was not in their way :) I missed a little bit on the second and third loop, but I´m still satisfied with the 25th place again.

After two races we got a rest day :) The organizers offered us a sightseeing trip around the Burabay National Park. You need a lot of imagination the understand all the rock formation, hills you can see there :D A sleeping soldier, a camel, a rhinoceros or similar things. Then we saw a small museum about the Kazakh culture.

Saturday was THE big day. I was awaiting this day! Mass start middle distance with 3 loops. And finally some better weather, only some degrees in minus. I started very well! After one lap I was still together with 3 Swedes, but unfortunately they had an other forking so from there on I was all alone. In the end I had to push no keep a Russian and Kazakh guy behind me and I finished 24th. It´s not the place I hoped to achieve, but it was my best ever % result with 111%. In the afternoon I made some ski teaching to the group of translators (my team :) ) and made an easy skiing over the lake, enjoying the sunshine :)

As I had no mixed relay I was only a spectator on the last race day. I could rest more for the banquet and for the trip home. It was a nice party, many drunk people, but I enjoyed it together with my new and old friends. After 28 hours of traveling home via Astana - Kiev - Tallinn - Stockholm I arrived to Mora Monday at midnight.

It´s time to write some words about friends and people commenting about performances of other sportsmen. Before they say anything they should try to go out in -20 C, ski at least 30km and follow the map all that time! Nobody should compare orienteering to ski orienteering, as you never compare running results to cross country skiing results. But anyway, thanks to those Romanian orienteering runners who support me from back home! (I hope everybody is understanding the irony and they know who I´m talking about) During last weeks I lost some friends (people I thought, they are friends), but as it is the whole life, you loose a little bit, to get a lot, you make a small step back, to take energy for a big step forward.

During my week in Kazakhstan I got a group of new friends! As I was alone from Romania, I had no team, they were my team: the group of translators :) Thanks to all of you! It was nice to be with you and I had a lot of fun! See you again next year at the World Championships! (3 of them are missing on the picture)



Last Updated on Thursday, 08 March 2012 19:54


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