Swiftly through the streets of Goslar
The runners rushed at their most rapid pace through the streets of Goslar at the sprint final of the WMOC. The course led over cobblestone pavement and small bridges or into hidden backyards. Often it winded its way along the old town’s timber-framed houses that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only the weather would not cooperate: most starters suffered under rain showers, some finished their course soaking wet or even slithered on the slippery ground. Anyway: runners and spectators felt that the picturesque finish straight directly beneath he magnificent Kaiserpfalz made up for their wet shirts and socks.
Germany gained two gold medals: Michael Finkenstädt won the title in the category M45, Helmut Conrad was ahead by a nose in M70. Heidrun Finke confirmed the hopes that were put in her: she won the silver medal in W55 for her club OLV Uslar behind no one but Norwegian Unni Strand Karlsen who led by 11 seconds.
“I am glad to be sure of a medal for now” said Finke who is still hungry for a good performance at the long distance race that lies ahead: “I want to attack at all events” she affirmed. Neither her choice of routes nor the weather was dramatically problematic: “I guess everyone slithers under these circumstances – it was just alright” she said. “Only the curves demanded slowing down.”
Another silver medal was earned by Michael Thierolf in class M50 who missed gold by three seconds. Ingo Horst got silver in M35 and Monika Depta got bronze in W40.
While the audience was entertained in the finish area beneath the Kaiserpfalz people in the city centre showed their interest in the event as well: they watched from their windows, pursued runners and informed themselves about rules and procedure of the sports. In the early evening a premiere of this WMOC came up: the award giving ceremony! It was accompanied by a school orchestra.
Improvisation was required from the organising team when the soaked finish straight caused many athletes to fall when they tried to slow down for the finish punching. While most runners laughed about their slips the control stands suffered immensely. Now and then someone rushed into them. The result: The wood splintered. “We need new stands – many of them!” demanded Steffen Lösch who was a member of the organising staff. In less than five minutes the grass in the finish area was covered with dry sawdust and the control stands were installed firmly in the ground. Thus, further falls could be avoided. The quintessence? Brains are essential when orienteering – also on the organisational level…