Jukola 2019 - Map at the bottom
There is a famous orienteering speech which I like to recreate before relays. It involves the coach calling his team together for an important meeting, telling them all to check their codes, then declaring the meeting to be over. Only ruder, and more Finnish. Obviously I was not following this advice today. The last time I disqualified a relay team was the Junior Inter Regional Champs in probably 2003, since then I believe I have only ever once been disqualified for registering at the wrong control (a pre JWOC sprint race in 2010). I would describe this whole situation as unacceptable but understandably, and here is the story of why.
It's the last leg. It is two controls from the end, therefore it is highly unlikely that it is forked. William Lind, WOC medallist and extremely good relay runner has registered at the control and run off down the tapes for the road crossing, he has a small lead. I'm there just behind Arturs Paulins who is faffing around at the units, I think great, here is my chance to sneak ahead of him. I register, grab a look at the number, and go for home. Only it isn't my number.
Here are my excuses for not checking the code properly:
1. I am looking for a road crossing control, and this one has tapes leading away from it to the road.
2. William Lind registers at it and it is highly likely to be unforked
3. Arturs Paulins is also there
4. I know we are close to where we should be (but I haven't actually been looking at the map, I have just been chasing the boys trying to get onto their backs)
5. I am looking for 27-113 and have just come from 26-something. I am looking at number 162 on the box. In my tired state there are enough 1s 2s 6s to convince me that it is probably alright.
6. It is going for a sprint finish and the small margins count
Arturs realised and when to the right control. Very good discipline. William was also DQ, so I at least had a friend on my visit to the wailing wall. The cliff I registered at is right at the north edge of the circle on my control 27.
The rest of the course was ok, I ran badly at the start taking some poor routes, but improved once I caught William at the 5th control.
We could have been 21st.