Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Saturday, June 14, 2003



Jukola is a huge O' relay in Finland; biggest in the world I think (over 1000 men's teams of seven runners each).

You can sit at the computer and follow Jukola live. Check out the english language Jukola page for frequent near-live results (including several split times from the forest) and live audio and video.

Jukola is known for being a very well organized event. The online coverage is outstanding. The video is very high quality and they seem to have quite a few cameras. The quality of the audio is also quite impressive. I've been online for about the last 20 minutes. I've seen and heard a couple of interviews with top runners. Unfortunately, I don't understand Finnish. Too bad, it'd be interesting to know what Vroni Konig-Salmi had to say after sending out her team's last runner -- Simone Luder -- with about a one minute lead.

The U.S. has a team and a half at Jukola this year. By "team and a half" I mean they've got 11 runners and will need to pick up three more to fill out two complete teams. It will be interesting to see how they manage. Predictions on Attackpoint have ranged from 179 to 388. I think the first team's goal is "top 200."

I won't make a prediction without studying a few years' of Jukola results. But, I will say that the most important thing for the team will be to have seven runners get around the course without making big booms. To have seven people have clean runs is tough. Add to it: travel/jet lag; unfamiliar terrain and maps; strange language; different food; etc. It will be tough.

** And while I've been writing this, Simone Luder has boomed! She's lost the lead with about two kilometers to go.

posted by Michael | 9:53 AM


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