Slovenia’s first 10MILA

In the series”Mitt 10MILA” we read about Slovenia, for the first time starting in 10MILA with their own Slovenian team. So how did it go for Klemen and his friends from Slovenia?

– We came to Stockholm hoping to do our best, but we knew from the beginning that we don’t have the same experiences, quality or quantity to get a good result. Some of our best runners couldn’t join, and was replaced by veterans or other runners.

Slovenia’s team came to Sweden one week before the competition to try the terrain and learn about it. Some of the runners already had experienced Scandinavian terrain, but everybody learned a lot during the time.

– We have no experiences from big relays and mass starts. During the autumn and winter we have had night trainings in Ljubljana, but it’s hard to prepare for the kind of challenge that 10MILA is for us.

Slovenians have joined big orienteering events before, mainly WOCs. Klemen describes how 10MILA surprised them with being bigger, having a better arena and better infrastructure and production.

Slovenia’s women made a decent relay, writes Klemen.

– The first runner in the womens relay made a big mistake, but the rest ran good. Our best runners in the men’s relay didn’t do their best races. I thought that we would be able to run in about 6:00/km, but instead the most of us ran in 7:20/km-tempo and up. We made far too many mistakes.

The first leg runner in the men’s relay, according to Klemen their best runner, made a big mistake on the first leg. The long night runner unfortunately missed his start with 20 minutes. Klemen thinks it’s consequences of the inexperience in the Slovenian team.

– Our last runner forgot if he punched the right control in the phi-loop, so he ran it twice. We all learned a lot during the night and the morning. Some of our runners that started late found that they navigated better or were faster than their competitors. Many of them led groups of runners in the forest. Some of the competitors from other clubs congratulated our runners for the good job, which was unexpected for us.

Not many of our runners were happy with their races, but all of us has fulfilled our part of the team and hopefully learnt something, writes Klemen. He and his friends from Slovenia are looking for possibilities to join 10MILA 2014.

– All our runners that were on 10MILA are in some way involved in developing orienteering in Slovenia. This experience gave us motivation to work more and get better. In the future, we’re dreaming of having top runners. If we can work with developing our talents in Slovenia… anything can happen!