On the stretching area behind the changeover gate, people are tightening their shoelaces, going to the last-minute panic pees, checking the emit spot for the tenth time to see if their own team has already visited the next interval spot.
It is sometimes crowded at the gate. Those who have gotten their map, head deeply concentrated to the K-spot. Stretchers are going here and there. At the latest in the changeover area everyone starts to feel a bit antsy.
At half past midnight, Olli Honkalehto (Otaniemen Jyllääjät) stares intently at the screen showing the feed from the audience check point. He’s waiting for his team’s starter from the first leg.
– It’s looking good. Soon the starter should come, Honkalehto states. He seems concentrated but the atmosphere at the changeover area he describes hectic.
– I’m feeling a little nervous, but I’m taking this as an experience. I’ve not orienteered in a kettle hole terrain ever before.
A little to the side from him, Juha Kylliäinen (Nordea Urheilu) is adjusting his ankle tapings.
– The first taping wasn’t quite right, but luckily the first leg isn’t coming out of the forest in a moment, so I have nicely time to do the tapes again.”
Kylliäinen is expecting a tough orienteering course.
– I’ve heard about the difficulty of the terrain. I’m a little nervous about how I’ll find the check points.
What is the atmosphere at the changeover area?
Text: Outi Hytönen
Picture: Tuomas Tuisku