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Team Blizzard Race Report From The European Rogaining Champs

Natalia Zimina / 07.09.2020
Team Blizzard with their gold medals
Team Blizzard with their gold medals / © European Rogaining Champs

Natalia Zimina, Igor Manzhay and Oleg raced the European Rogaining champs in Latvia as Team Blizzard (Russia), winning the mixed category and finishing 4th overall. Here is Natalia's report.

On August 22, the European Rogaining Championship was held in Tukums, Latvia.

Latvians are known for their passion for high-quality maps and rogaining, so we decided to take part despite all the technical difficulties of travelling right now.  Once again I was delighted with the organisation of the competition. Issuing the maps was the best we’ve seen.  In the starting corridor, there were pegs with team numbers on them, and cards were put on them like a tube.  No queues, no delays. At 9: 00, everyone went to their peg and picked up a set of cards. Brilliant and simple!

The map of 27m in 1 cm was quite detailed and clear. There were many typical Latvian clearings, swamps, ditches, and shrubs as tall as a man. We decided to plan separately from Oleg because we wanted to create as many options as possible. However, when we compared our versions they were pretty the same and at the start all the leaders ran in the same direction.

Team Blizzard on the finish line at the Rogaining European Champs
Team Blizzard on the finish line

The checkpoints surprised us with their variety. There were a lot of CP’s with a beautiful view, on the high points of the district, and in beautiful spots. One was on the beach, and it was night and a warm wind was blowing. We had to make an effort not to lie down to rest on the sand next to the flag.

I must say that our team was not in the best condition at the time. Nevertheless, we knew that the Latvian teams were well prepared. Therefore we had to work as well as possible. The last hour and a half was the hardest for us. Firstly, CP 86 was difficult, and secondly, we chose the worst path to 49, which is why we lost time. It was a hot morning and we were exhausted, but we had to run quickly to the finish line on the road, and thanks to our team work we managed to do it.

Team Blizzard on the podium at the Rogaining European Champs
Team Blizzard on the podium at the Rogaining European Champs

Even after the finish, the next 5 minutes were stressful, because the organisers insisted that we did not win and so had worked hard for nothing . But at 12:05, the results were updated, and we saw that we were fourth in the overall standings. We won by only one CP against Reeda Fjedorov and Ain Fjedorov. The leaders of the men's competition collected a cosmic 457 points. (This was Estonian team La Sportiva, Timmo Tammemäe and Sander Linnus.)

As for me, the most memorable moment was sunrise and sunset from 50 to 59 CP. These are the moments I run for. It's an unforgettable feeling when you see something incredible and inspiring.

Thank you to my team: Igor and Oleg - let's continue, I enjoyed it!

Thanks to the competition organisers - everything was perfect!

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