Jukola was an incredible experience! The mass start with over 1700 people was probably one of the craziest things that I have ever done and as soon as I saw the forest and streams of lights within it, I knew that this would be a totally unique race.
In order to get into the right headspace, I took a route that almost no one else was taking; along a power time to the far south where I could just run. After a nearly fifteen minute control I caught back up with the pack and looked around to see where I was settling in and realised that I had moved up from position 1509 to around 400.
Going into the second long control I had already decided in my head to take the far trail around because I am a fast runner and I would make up a lot of ground by doing that. But when I ran into the section of forest just before turning right, I fell under the peer pressure and took the straight route. Over that control I was able to stay in contact with my map well enough to use the train and hit the control relatively smoothly but lost a few minutes while going through green.
The finish shoot was the next iconic portion of Jukola. It was incredible to run for nearly 500 meters and have huge crowds cheering you on the whole way down! Originally I had told my team that I would win the finish but as soon as it started I realised just how tired I was and tried to enjoy it instead 🙂
All in all Jukola was an incredible life experience. The mass start was one that I will never forget and the trains throughout the night were completely unique. Looking forward to JWOC I am more confident in myself leading out the the relay, and in how I have been adapting and improving in the Finnish terrain.
I want to thank all of my current supporters in my RallyMe campaign who have been helping me make these trainings more affordable. If you haven’t already, please consider supporting me in my races at the Junior World Orienteering Championships this June by donating to my RallyMe campaign at https://www.rallyme.com/rallies/6817/fundjanerik 🙂
Over the next week I will be training with the American Junior Team in Tampere where JWOC will be held. I will then take a rest week and run on a few sprint maps in Helsinki until I do two JWOC prep races on June 1st and 2nd and then join the Canadians for JWOC.
I will also try to upload my GPS and GoPro video of Jukola onto Youtube in a week.
OUSA Jukola results: Link
Jukola Route Gadget: Link