O' flag Jukola '97 - direct from Finland
BAOC does the Jukola

maintained by Steve Jankowski

JUKOLA!

(June 17 - Arg, some damn thing keeps going wrong, this the third time I'm writing this. First it was ftp upload that didn't work and then Netscape crashed.)

Terve from Finland! We found free Internet access two blocks from Hotel Dipoli. The lab of PCs is hosted by Freenet. Except for the Finnish keyboard and window system, it's just like being at home.

The Jukola was splendibulous. I can't imagine a more exciting Jukola experience. We achieved our goal of finishing better than our original seeding. Our final placing was 870 of 1197 teams, up from our seed of 937. About 100 teams DQd or otherwise did not finish. The final results are quite extensive (760k), so here's just our entry.

870(place)   937(team#) Bay Area Orienteering Club 1  USA            14.12.57 (total)

 1.   Syd Reader                                        2.01.10    946

 2.   Jorg Hofer                      1.37.35   527     3.38.45    728

 3.   Tapio Karras                    2.12.44   777     5.51.30    737

 4.   Steve Jankowski                 1.18.21   692     7.09.51    720

 5.   Trevor Pering                   2.32.45   998     9.42.37    805

 6.   Greg Lennon                     1.29.50   964    11.12.27    822

 7.   Van Boughner                    3.00.30  1000    14.12.57    870

From left to right, the columns are leg #, runner, leg time, leg place, accumulated time, and place after the leg. The leg place indicates how the runner compared against runners of the same leg (Jorg's run of leg 2 was 527th of all the leg 2 runners.)

We got a fair amount of attention, being the first US team to compete. A journalist from Helsingin Sanomat interviewed us on Saturday which resulted in an article in the Sunday edition.Tapio supplied the translation.There was a nice big photo of the team opposite a similarly sized photo of Michael Jordan. Nice to know Finns have their priorities straight. :-)

We took some photos which will be posted after we return on June 28th. Tapio should also have some tapes from news broadcasts. A one hour special on the Jukola will be aired Wednesday evening. Greg Lennon is returning to the States today (Tuesday), so check the BAOC web page for any updates he might post.

I'll be updating the News section as we do orienteering related things. The rest of this page is pretty much verbatim from our team web page.


NEWS

June 23, 3:35 pm - Germany - Guten tag! This is my fourth day in Germany, we flew in on Friday. I had email access on Sunday, but could not do a web update. I'm currently in a computer lab at the University of Paderborn where my friend Knut is a student.
- Orienteering - Van and I ran in the Short-course champs in Kassel on Saturday. We only ran in the first race which was about 5 km. The map was excellent and the race well run. The terrain was easy compared to the Finnish standard we've come to fancy. It was more like the Helsinki park we ran in last Monday. But, alas, Van and I still managed to blow it. We both made large mistakes which kept us above 10 min/km. I was on my way to my first sub 10 min/km run when I choked on control 8. I didn't check my location when I hit a trail and went up a parallel trail till I hit a meadow I recognized from earlier in the course. Arg! Still took me awhile from there to navigate to the control. There were other difficult legs which I did well on, so there is still hope. I don't know how many runners were in the race, but up to 200 elite level. There were many courses laid in the terrain, with few shared controls.
I don't think we will do more orienteering in Germany (this is the more "vacation" part of the trip), but I can talk about some other practice runs we did in Finland.
- Pirtimaki, Finland - This is the park Van and I were given maps for. The controls from the previous week's practice session had been taken down, but we were still able to locate control features from the O-trails. This terrain was extremely difficult. As Tapio said, "It doesn't get better than this." Zillions of mapped rock, boulder, knolls, swamps, cliffs, etc. Van and I did most of the 7 km practice course together. We talked about route choice and tried to keep in close contact with the map. We did pretty well except one control which we could not definately locate. We were on the right linear feature (a sort-of reentrant) near the control and could see the tracks of other runners. Oh well. We were getting very tired after this control and cut off two controls from the course (a tactic we would return to again). Took a trail back toward the start/finish where we picked up a few more controls before having a nice picnic lunch at the park's cafe. Caught the bus back to our hotel.
- Solvalla, Finland - This is Tapio's favorite park. It's actually the other side of the same preserve region as Pirtimaki. Tapio picked us up in his cousin's car from our hotel. Van and I signed up for the 5 km course. But alas we both choked on the first control (even Tapio had trouble). We eventually located the first control after a hint from Tapio, but did the rest of the course together. Even with two brains, we were moving very slowly. Much relocating and careful use of collecting features. Was very easy to miss a control by just 10 m because of the density of elevantion changes. There were more contour lines on this map than I've ever seen before. The courses closed at 8 pm, so we had to cut off two controls or we would not have finished til well after the dead-line.
This was a humbling experience to say the least. Recently, James S. wrote that American orienteers must practice in Scandinavia if they hope to compete internationally. He is absolutely correct. I am no where near competing in the US, but I understand the wisdom of his words.
- Til later - Hope you've found this interesting. Perhaps an experienced orienteer would have a different perspective. I'm happy to chat about our experience when we return.

June 18, 10:30 am - This will be my last update from Finland, the computer lab is closed the rest of the week. No orienteering yesterday, just walked around Helsinki and took the ferry to Suomenlinna (250 year old island fortress). Going to do some O' training today at the park we were given maps for and try to catch the Jukola special on Finnish TV 2. We'll probably join Tapio at another training event tomorrow at Sovalla.
- In case anyone is terribly impressed by my Jukola run, I should come clean. On the way to the fourth control, I met a nice Finn whom I teamed-up with for the rest of the course. Well, maybe there was more following on my part than team work, but I was helping with the navigation for the last third of the course. We were in a small train at first, but later it was just he and I. He navigated very fast, but I could beat him in a flat run, so we were a good match. We talked a little on a long trail route, but his English wasn't good enough to kabitz very much about the navigation. If I didn't find him, my time would have been another 30 minutes longer. "But I have learned so much, master Yoda!" "Use what you have learned, help you it will.But beware of the Dark-side!"

June 17, 9:34 am - Finally got all the details straight so I can do remote updates.
- Went to an orienteering training event in a Helsinki park yesterday (Monday). Ran the 5 km course in 62 minutes. Had about 12 minutes of errors, but otherwise it was a good run. Much easier terrain than the Jukola, but still more technical than the Bay Area venues (except maybe Big Basin.) Imagine flattening Big Basin to a few small hills, replace all the redwoods with birch trees, and add lots of rock and water features. The event organizers were very nice and the event was well run. The meet director guessed we were on the Jukola team (it was just Van, Greg, and I) and we talked a bit. After my run, another of the club staff found me and gave me maps to the training event they held the previous Monday. This map is much more technical, harder even than the Jukola. He even cut out map pages from his phone book so we could find the park. Even though the training event was held last week, the controls are still in place (just durable paper tied to trees) without the punches. All the controls and courses are marked on the map, so we can just show up and run any course any time (the controls will be taken down some time this week.) Van and I may do some careful contour and compass training there today, assuming we can get a bus out there (about 15 km from here). I will return with all the maps for the curious.

June 11, 2:14 pm - We have prepared a press release for our Jukola team. This will be sent to the local papers and should find its way to the Finnish press as well.
- Updated the Legs section with the final proposed running order.


TEAM STATUS

We currently have a complete team of seven runners.

The team mailing list is jukola97@activesw.com

Van Boughner M21 van@activesw.com
Jorg Hofer M21 jorg.hofer@ac.com
Steve Jankowski M21 steve@activesw.com
Tapio Karras (Captain) M35 tka@dp.com
Greg Lennon M40 greg@mendel.llnl.gov and onorris@juno.com
Trevor Pering M21 pering@tongass.EECS.Berkeley.EDU
Syd Reader M21 sydryck@leland.Stanford.EDU

Tapio has run the event in 1988, '89, and '93.


LEGS

A wide variety of conditions and course lengths are available in the relay legs. Sundown is 11:11 pm Saturday and sunrise is 3:24 am Sunday.

Each leg includes 0.9 - 1.25 km of marked route. Note also that climb is nothing like what we are used to here.

Mass start for the first leg is 10:30 pm, Finnish time

    Length Climb Controls km/Control Light Runner
    1 12.2 km 300 m 17 0.66 km light/dark Syd
    2 11.2 280 17 0.60 dark Jorg
    3 13.2 330 19 0.64 dark Tapio
    4 7.3 200 16 0.39 dark/light Steve
    5 11.9 180 14 0.78 light Trevor
    6 6.4 180 14 0.39 light Greg
    7 14.6 420 24 0.57 light Van


THE JUKOLA

The Jukola relay is a yearly organized international night orienteering relay (still, a head lamp is needed only on two of the legs) with teams of seven men. The relay is held each year in early June in different locations in Finland. Alongside the Jukola relay there is a Venla relay for teams of four women.

The Jukola event is the largest orienteering event in the world, with approx. 10,000 competitors and almost twice as many spectators. In the '96 Jukola there were over 1100 teams all starting in a HUGE mass start. (I have a couple of video tapes of it if you'd like to see.)

This year Jukola is held near Jyväskylä (mid-Finland) during the June 14-15 weekend. To find more information about Jukola visit their web page at http://www.jyu.fi/~mikpera/jukola-97/


LINKS

Jukola 1997

General Jukola information

Finnish Orienteering (for foreigners)

Finnish Orienteering Events in 1997

Helsinki Orienteering Events

Bay Area Orienteering Club

Seven Brothers by Aleksis Kivi can be ordered from the Finnish American Bookstore in Wisconsin (715) 394-4961. The price is $14 + $ 1.75 for shipping.

THE STANDS

Start time: Saturday, June 14th, at 12:30 pm Pacific time. (10:30 pm Finnish time)
(It's hard to predict when a leg hand-off will occur. We will probably take 14+ hours to finish the race.)

From here you can watch the Jukola from the safety of your Internet terminal. The Jukola is going to maintain an interactive web page during the event (won't be set up until shortly before the race). They expect to provide updates every minute (!) for the current leg. In addition, it may be possible to submit comments to be read over the event public address system. This page contains more details about "Interactive Jukola."

See the Legs section for the running order of the team.

I hope to provide my own updates directly from Finland. They won't be posted until after the event, probably on Monday or Tuesday after we return to Helsinki. I will need to find Internet access to do this, so if the page isn't updated, then I'm off-line. I'll send a message to Bay-O-Net if I get on-line. (The update page will be stored on my old Netcom account and will load more slowly than this page.)

If you want to send email to me or the team members, try booga@netcom.com (my Netcom account). If I can get on the Internet in Finland, I can forward the messages and respond.

Here are some links to the official Jukola web pages.

Jukola 1997
General Jukola information