You did pretty well. This are isn't the easiest around here to navigate when not used to it. For smoother then usual bedrock are land forms / contours quite vague and bare rock mapping is pretty vague too - just mapper's imagination. But it becomes quite easy and straight forward when you one used to it. Thats why those fittest locals may look like super fast.
But of course Mikael D is still training and pretty fit and has always been super fast in this terrain type, he still often races in H elite instead of H45. He made several minutes mistakes now so he could have run these courses quite a bit faster. And what it comes to Mikael B, I believe he hasn't been training pretty much at all a decade but if take you look at splitsbrowser you'll notice he didn't do any mistakes or even mediocre route choices in this years Suunto Games. Or last year. Or any other races since 80's. There is plenty of old farts who rarely make any mistakes, of course, but this is still something different. I believe he just is like that, natural born orienteer who doesn't even know how or what it is like to make a mistake in this terrain type. If he only could teach that skill to his little brother.
It is great to have these fellows still racing because - for us mortals it is always fun to see the difference and have some challenge. It wouldn't be the same without these guy's, motivation to get better and at least closer (beating them seems like science fiction) wouldn't be the same.
We seem to have had pretty much the same pace 2nd day, you just did even more mistakes. On Saturday I was slightly faster. I think you did short legs better than long legs, maybe being used to the terrain type wasn't that important for short legs, exiting controls at right direction was more essential. For longer legs you would need to look ahead and figure the most runnable surface and push hard, and see it same way as locals do to hit the tracks made by other orienteers. It may be difficult to do efficiently when not yet used to the terrain type / flora. But Jukola is different, it is hard to not see the tracks or fail to find any.
Hi Jagge. Thanks for your comments, they fit with how I think my races went. You are correct that I feel more comfortable with the shorter legs - even in this terrain I can be quite smooth through the controls most of the time. In the UK the longer legs are usually more about path running (except in the WOC Long area!), so maybe I'm less used to having to make these judgements about finding the faster lines through the terrain.
I ran a training course in the forest around Solvalla in 1998, just before the Jukola which was close to Espoo that year. My Finnish friend who took me there said that Espoo had quite difficult terrain, and that visitors usually have a lot of problems. Despite my mistakes on Sunday I feel quite happy with the weekend. As the sign I saw at Helsinki harbour this morning says, "a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor".
Jukola will definitely be different - there'll be a few hundred people in front of me who will make sure of that!