When I came to Sweden in August, I was lucky that Sweden didn’t have very many COVID restrictions. Therefore, training and competitions were still allowed to happen as long as groups no larger than 50 people were in one place at one time. This was really good news for me because OK Ravinen had two training sessions a week at that stage; technical training on a Tuesday, and some sort of terrain intervals on a Thursday. Then there were also many local competitions each weekend. In fact, the second weekend I was here I competed in a 3-day competition with over 1000 competitors. This sort of big competition was able to take place because the organisers did a really good job at making it “corona-safe” (i.e. many different starts and finishes, long start periods, and no assembly). It was a really good example of what could be done with a bit of adaptation.
Throughout August, September and October, I have developed a great routine with training. I had Ravinen training every Tuesday and Thursday, a competition at the weekend, and I would normally be invited to some other form of training during the week. This could have been anything from a run with a friend, to joining in with the training for the elite orienteers in the Stockholm area. In October, Ravinen also started their strength sessions on a Monday evening.
Unfortunately, at the beginning of November, Sweden’s COVID cases had increased; new restrictions were introduced. Although, in typical Swedish style, these were just recommendations rather than strict rules. The implications of these meant that all club training and all competitions were cancelled. I was really sad about this because I had got myself into a great routine with training, meaning I was feeling really strong in the terrain, and also there were a few competitions left this year that I was looking forward to.
However, it hasn’t ended up being as bad as I expected. Although there is no official club training, I have a good group of friends in the area who have taken the initiative to plan our own group training. So, a small group of us meet (socially distanced, of course!) on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and do our own training. In this training group, there are 17 JWOC or WOC medals, a woman’s 10km PB of 36.16 and a men’s 10km PB of 30.37! So apart from being a very inspiring group to train with, it certainly keeps me on my toes!
Kathryn Barr UCDO, Moravian Orienteers and OK Ravinen!