Friday, November 28, 2008

Last meeting this year...

Yeah, I know it's pretty late now - 5 days after the weekend... but I did really have NO time to write this short note. Probably it's because I had to get accustomed to the old-new, LOVELY daily routine - physical training. It is just wonderful! It makes me feel so strong mentally and better than the other lazybones. However, I think the appropriate time to say somethin' about my training will come some day, not now anyway.

On Saturday I picked Slavko up from the Kaliska railway station and we joined the other runners from the whole Poland to attend 2 technical courses, sum up the previous season, begin the preparations for the coming one and simply have some fun together as the surroundings of Polish orienteers is the best possible one (as Hewi mentioned in his last note).

I think there's no point in describing the O-races since everything is written on the maps. I can only say I had some problems with my right knee since the PWT qualification race in Italy - that's why my results (Sat./Sun.) weren't satisfying at all. Even our club coach was a bit taken aback and asked me about a possible injury. It was really kind of him! :-) Fortunately, it's getting better and better right now.

Let's go on to something more interesting and important. I recommend taking part in a special poll organized by World of O and Ultimate Orienteering named Orienteering Achievement of 2008. On the right site of this website you'll find links to the presentations (special interviews) of all world's best O-runners. The aim of this poll is NOT to find the best or the most popular orienteer in the world, but to define which orienteer made the biggest progress last year or simply achieved the most unbelievable/unpredictable thing. I encourage you to vote as there are even some Trimtex prizes to win!

...and the last thing mentioned tonight: Have you already heard about I Łódzki Dwubój Biegowy? It's gonna be a really funny competition to compete in! I am already looking forward to it :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008


This description was supposed to appear already before the weekend... Unfortunately, I had some unexpected problems with my scanner. However, better late than never!

16 XI - Sunday (Meeting Orientamento Venezia 2008 & sightseeing)
I had been looking forward to this fabulous day for a long time! Everything was just perfect, maybe except for my right knee injury.
I forgot to mention it in my previous note but I met Dana Brozkova from Czech Republic at the end of the qualification course. She wasn't actually running at full speed and I had the unique opportunity to be the one followed by her since the last controls of our courses were exactly the same. I might have got a bit TOO excited and fell down onto the hard asphalt. But don't think I was lying on the ground and began to cry - I just got up immediately and took wrong route choice to the last control... and she followed me. Then I returned these several meters and reached the finish line. It was an unforgettable experience;-)
The city, the course, the weather, the atmosphere was incredibly wonderful! I just lack words to describe all my feelings. What's more, I got another chance to run with a very strong runner from France - Francois Gonon. I had enough power to follow him between 3 controls. I think I had nothing to add, just click on the map below and delight in it...

Probably you're also interested why I was the first with the advantage of 16 minutes (!) in men's elite (the photo from my last note) for some time. Actually, I had 2 starting times and the difference between them was 31 mins. Obviously, I preferred to run earlier but my running time was activated 31' later! Hope you understand right now :)
Afterwards we visited Saint Mark's square and the brilliant Rialto bridge. The weather was really hot, it was such a pleasure to sit in a cosy restaurant sipping a cup of Espresso coffee and eating delicious Italian pizza. Then we came back to Lonigo by train and had to try hitch-hiking to reach our gym... and we managed! Thanks to Monika, I think.

17 XI - Monday (come back & Rubik's cube success)
As far as our journey is concerned, read the description of 12th November.
Nevertheless, during our flight I managed to solve Rubik's cube blindfolded at last! The only things I needed were:
- 2 3 6 10 12
- 1101 0210
- 282 141 676
- Ada holuje Edziaupiego i cepa Karola. Ja lubię.
- parity fix
and the time of 7:01.

In my opinion, there's no point in summing the whole stay up. I can just promise I will do everything to be there in one year's time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'I jest dobra zabavka!'

Since it was a really amazing journey and offered us lots of magnificent impressions, I decided to describe it day by day. Let's go...

11 XI - Tuesday (Monika's visit to my house)
About quarter to 8 p.m. she arrived at the Kaliski railway station and we picked her up. Then we had a nice talk, played pool (Monika was the winner!) and then went to sleep - but that's none of your business ;-)

12 XI - Wednesday (arrival in Lonigo)
We had to wake up very early, about 5 a.m., as our taxi driver to Katowice arranged the departure at 5.30! We reached our destination really fast, did some shopping, left the car on the nearby car park and went to the check-in desks at the Pyrzowice airport. Our flight to Bergamo lasted about one and a half hour. Afterwards we took a shuttle bus to the Italian railway station. Then it came time to use two trains to arrive finally in San Bonifacio, which is fairly close to Lonigo. Fortunately, two nice guys - Gabryś and Nico Manfredi - agreed to drive us to the gym we were supposed to sleep in. And this way we managed to reach our final destination in about 11 hours :)

13 XI - Thursday (long sleep & doing 'nothing' in Lonigo)
I think it is the right place to say something about the Italian mentality. One of the main organizers of PWT promised to come at about 4 p.m. and bring us some information on the competition, startlists etc. We had been waiting incredibly long and at last he came well past... 9 p.m. saying that's normal in Italy and bringing us several delicious croissants. The other thing that differs Italy from Poland are definitely the squatting toilets. In the evening we also experienced that the Italians make pizzas incredibly fast and they are really tasty.
Below I present the map we were offered to attend a training on, but we didn't actually want it. Aren't you surprised, are you?

14 XI - Friday (qualification race in Alonte, wine testing & trip to Vicenza)
Now the long-awaited day came - my first orienteering course in Italy. Although I didn't make it to the final in the elite class, I gained a lot of valuable experience, which is undoubtedly going to help me in the future sprint distance races. Nevertheless, Monika took the 13th place and qualified for the A final! Congratulations!

Just after our races we made our way to a lovely vineyard to taste some Italian white and red wines. We had the possibility to eat fabulous Parmesan cheese as well. What's more, we tried an red-orange fruit of Kaki. Then we had a very little break and headed for Vicenza. There we visited Teatro Olimpico, which was designed by a famous Italian architect Andrea Palladio.

15 XI - Saturday (Park World Tour 2008 final & O-party)
In my opinion, the course was much better and more interesting than yesterday. It was a bit tricky at some places and demanded really strong legs to run uphill, which was really essential for this particular race. However, I hadn't expected such a mistake during such an important competition. Actually it's no good crying over spilt milk. Just see the maps below and judge if you won't be 'a little bit' upset...

In the evening it was time to relax and we enjoyed a short party with our newly-made friends from Serbia (greetings!), Romania, Italy (Rome) and Slovakia. It was unbelievably kind of a 12th orienteer in the world (last year in Ukraine in long distance) to offer us a beer of Fanta. We just could not turn him down, you know...

To be continued...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

20 photos to make you feel Italian

I had already known what I was heading for!

We made ourselves at home in the gym.

After eating Kaki and just before wine testing.


Our elegant guide of Vicenza.

A coach popular even in Italy!

Lost or sleepy?

'Dwa ryśki'


Explaining the organizers' mistake to our friend from Rome

The official singer of PWT - NICOLA MANFREDI!

Guess who made this photo ;-)

The PWT 2008 elite final was tough and... bloody!

Our funny brigade :)

The O-party with Zinca from Romania.

The course in Venice was incredibly tiring and... a great FUN!

That's not a photomontage... really!

Sightseeing in the temperature of about 20*C

Fabulous journey back to cold Katowice.

I think I don't have to write whether it was a fascinating or miserable stay. Now you can imagine how wonderful the journey to Lonigo was. I'll give you only one prompt - the pictures are in the chronological order. The maps and descriptions are coming...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I am damned childish!

Yesterday the Golden Needle 2008 event took place in our favourite Łagiewnicki Forest. I decided to compete in the strongest class - Men's Open. It was a kind of scorelauf in which we had to gather 600 points. In fact, there were 3 types of controls: no. 31-38 for 30 pts., 40-47 for 40 and 50-56 for 50.
At the beginning of the course the first choice came - right or left. The first one was followed by Piotrek Ch., Kamil and Zielu, whereas the latter was chosen by Chrupek, Łukasz and me.
Although I realised I would have to take a roundabout way because I lacked some points, I had a fairly good race till the 38th control which I did NOT actually find! I came across control no. 61 which was set for some younger competitors and went mad... I met Łukasz there and he said to follow him... so I did. While looking for 37 we were completely lost and ran like idiots all around. Suddenly, he spotted it and we were able to continue our way to the finish. It turned out that I had to carry out a real fight for the 5th place against Łukasz and some other individual starter (his running was pretty good!). Fortunately, I managed... but it was not satisfying at all.
I think I should have spend a little bit more time on course planning. Just compare the winner's route with mine...

Nonetheless, I am very far from crying. You cannot always win! This time there were 4 competitors better than me and I congratulate them on showing their technical and running abilities.

The only thing that consoles me is my pace during this race, which was even a bit better than the winner's one. However, rules of this particular competition are much different ;-)

[Please, tick 'hopeless!' below.]

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I canNOT believe it!

Firstly, watch an amazing film about London City Race.
Secondly, familiarize yourselves with the map of this incredible event, which took place on October 11th. You have to have your Java applet installed. In order to see the course, choose the appropriate one (I recommend Men's Open - about 7,5km long) from the list on the right.

Now imagine an orienteering course of over 10km in the centre of Venice... Sounds great, doesn't it? In my opinion it's unbelievably fascinating! And I am going to be a part of it! On next Saturday Monika, Pasza and I are flying to Italy to compete in Park World Tour in Lonigo (two sprint distance courses - one qualification race and the final) and MOV (Meeting Orientamento Venezia) 2008 - the one aforementioned. I have already decided to run in the elite class to have the opportunity to run the longest possible and most interesting courses. Undoubtedly, it's gonna be a great fun! We're coming back on 17th November.

What makes it even more attractive is the coming looong school break of 10 days! :-)

A sample map of Venice ;)