kris

Story (and great photo) on Jukola website about two British runners who were first back from leg 1

endleg1 Photo: Screen grab from the international TV broadcast of Kris and Ralph running together to the map exchange.

See the race develop in one of the most technical forests, even by Finnish standards - Leg 1 GPS


In an interesting postscript, and emphasising Kris's summary of his running in his recent interview "no two races are the same", Kris won a 5K track race the following weekend.

UPDATE 26th 4:30pm - race video at http://www.runjumpthrow.com/videos/24296

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rs

(Update 7am Saturday 16th - list updated, apologies to anyone we have missed, you can let us know at @OnTheRedLineO on Twitter.)

We can perhaps usefully summarise British runners in Venla and Jukola.

There are ten British teams in Venla, and eleven in Jukola. You can find their runners in the full Venla/Jukola startlists.

Many of the stronger British or British-based runners taking part are running for Scandinavian clubs, some probably near the sharp end of the races - see below for list.

Tons of thought and hours of practice goes into who runs which leg. Factors such as the light conditions, how many other runners will be in near attendance, athlete style and mental approach all play a part as well as this year's terrain type and leg length and position in the relay.

The result is we see that every single leg in both Venla and Jukola is represented in the list of British runners in Scandinavian club teams. You may not be so surprised to learn which has most...

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mcd Photo by Wendy Carlyle

The weekend of 16th/17th June is the Venla and Jukola Relays in Finland. These are enormous. It's a big festival weekend and one of the big competitive weekends of the international orienteering calendar.

Venla is a 4-leg day relay for women. Jukola is a 7-leg overnight relay.

In Britain, a country of 65 million people, orienteering is not so well-known and remains a minority sport. Night orienteering is a minority sport within the minority sport, and a lot of active orienteers say they don't like relay orienteering because of "the additional responsibility" of teammates. Guess what - the UK's night relay, the "Harvester Trophy", is a connoisseur's event for two hundred people.

In Finland, a country with less than one tenth the population, orienteering has a higher profile and there is more navigation skill, the long days of midsummer are a big contrast to the winter, and the overnight relay weekend is several hundred times bigger, attracting over fifteen thousand runners.

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