Israeli Championships 2021   Leave a comment

Last weekend was the highlight of the season – The Israeli Championship. Already a bit late in the year, with the undergrowth growing a bit tall, but we had very good weather and two great new maps of well-known areas, making up for a very compressed schedule for the organizers. Both areas were also quite close to home, so we could manage the kids easily and Alon was able to finish the children’s course alone on both days.

The first day was in Alon Hagalil – steep but fast pine forest, so a very physical race with very few tricky controls. Our course (H40, D21A and others) had 7.3 km with 370m climb, and I finished it in 64:39 but 5th place, as it favoured the faster (and younger) runners. Roni ran 72:54 on the same course – not bad for a 40-year mother of three who doesn’t have time for any running or orienteering training at all – and finished second in D21A.

The second day was at Megido – much thicker vegetation and rocky details, so expected to be slower and more technical. I was only 3 minutes behind second place, which was the goal, so I felt confident I could close the gap. The course was 7.0 km with 255m climb, but much slower, and I ran 72:54 – second on the day but third overall, 19 seconds behind silver. All of the damage was done at control 5, where I lost contact and had to search around for 2-3 minutes. The second half of this race was peak orienteering for me – I was “in the zone” physically, flying through the forest, knowing what I was doing at every point and enjoying every minute. Great fun!

Roni finished second again, in 79:11, but third overall. Most interestingly, the Israeli Championship for men was won by Matan Ivri, age 18. Matan is the only Israeli orienteer ever to have achieved a podium place in an international championship – 6th in EYOC 2019 M18 sprint – and is already at a running level on the verge of the national athletic team: his PBs are 8:20 for 3,000m and 14:35 for 5,000m! Unfortunately he’s already missed out on his last year at EYOC due to COVID-19, and on a JWOC year as well, but if we ever had a chance of a medal in sprint orienteering, this is it.

We have about a month to go before forest orienteering slows down and gives way to sprints due to the heat, then we can start thinking about making up lost ground next year, and hoping it will be a “normal” season.

Alon Hagalil

Posted 27/03/2021 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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