Break in Berlin

Date: 2018-08-16 to 2018-08-20

Stayed in Berlin for few days at my friend Corinna’s place, because I subleased my flat till end of January.

It was a wonderful stay, had some nice chats, went running. Even went to sports event at Olympia Park and practiced athletics.

So it was perfect to reorganize my bag, put some things out and leave them in Berlin and picked up the mighty new credit card 😉

Thanks for organizing the sublease and picking up my mails to my friend Claudia!


Dry Swamp

Date: 2018-08-10

On friday I had the next orienteering competition.

The location was a little bit remote so the organizers provided a shuttle service from the railway station in Sigulda to the campsite.

Most of the checkpoints were placed on spots in the swamp. And like in the rest of Europe it had not rained there recently. So the swamp was pretty dried out. So it was like orienteering in a forest with a lot of undergrowth and few significant terrain structures. So good compass work was your friend – well it is not my friend as I must confess. And the second checkpoint already was some kind of catastrophe to me. And it continued that way. So had a bad race. And was finally happy to finish the race in time.


Sigulda and the Mud

Date: 2018-08

Got up early that day at 5:30 to take the train to Sigulda. 3 kilometres outside of Sigulda was the next Orienteering event.

So when the train arrived after 80 minutes drive I had to walk a bit to the orienteering camp. On the way suddenly I saw a big building. When I got nearer, I recognized well yes that must be the bob sled run. Standing there I was quite impressed about the first curve.

The camp was as well in some kind of winter resort. In summer, it is mainly used by mountain bikers. The course was very interesting, great topography with lot of altitude, dense wood. In the last part there were some bingo controls in very dense forest with a lot of undergrowth.

And well yes I learned don’t try to run in to deep mud: I was just running up a small creek because there was my second but last control, and suddenly I sucked in deep with both feet. I got out but the mud pulled me out of my shoes. So now I had to be quick and managed to recover my shoes from the mud … phew.

After all this action I sat down took a breath and took on my completely muddy shoes again. Then I finished the race, just happy to come out of it with all my clothes on 😉


Indoor Orienteering in National Library of Latvia

Date: 2018-08-05

The National Library of Latvia is an impressive building, just opposite to the old town on the other shore of Daugava river.

The Start of the competition was in the basement.

I was really puzzled when I got that map:

I needed about 15 minutes to get out how I can reach my first control point. Never had such a map before … uff.

So I got upstairs till the 12th floor to hange theee the staircase and went down again. I exercised through a lot of stairs this day.

After I finished the first course I got a second map which was at the same level of difficulty.

So it took me more than 3 hours until I gave up … could not see any stairs anymore … sorry.



WOC Sprint Finals in Old Town Riga

Date: 2018-08-04

After I had participated in my first competition at Kronvalda Park in Riga, I went to the World Orienteering Championship Sprint Finals on the main square in old town in Riga. There was start and finish of the race for each runner. It was really impressive to see how focussed the elite runners are. And a lot of runners do have their own fan club, so there were a lot of spectators from Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, etc. They really rocked the square and made a good atmosphere.

The first highlight was then to see the start and tremendous finish of Maja Alm. She won the women’s race.

Afterwards heavy rain started, which made the course even more challenging for the men’s race, because the cobblestone pavement got really slippery.

Finally, Daniel Hubmann was the best and the swiss spectators celebrated him. It was really great to see all the famous orienteering elite runners there. It was really an awesome event well with a lot of rain, but who bothers.


Besides the kind reader of this blog now might know that I am a train nerd. My second most beloved hobby is orienteering.

Why orienteering?

It is mostly a sport directly in the nature. This is the old challenge how to survive in the wild. It is not a me versus nature thing, because in most cases you are faster when you find out how you can use nature to find your way through an undergrowth part or use a trunk as bridge through a river.

The other challenge is that you have to be in good physical and mental shape. The physical shape for running and the mental part for orienteering: identify features from the map in reality, realize errors early and adapt your course.

If one of these two components is missing, you suck. And these two components are very hard to align with each other: If you run to heavy the mental capability sinks because the oxygen is consumed by the muscles for running.

That why I like orienteering so much: it challenges me and it makes me happy to be in nature.