The Jukola orienteering relay will take place this weekend in Heponiemi, Kangasala. The four-leg womens Venla relay will be run on Saturday afternoon and the Jukola relay during the night between Saturday and Sunday. .
Venla Harju, the anchor leg for one of the frontrunner teams for the Venla relay, Tampereen Pyrintö, is restrained in her expectations.
– As our coach said, we start 23rd in the relay, which means we haven’t been winning much recently. And it won’t come easily this time either.
Most of the four Tampereen Pyrintö Venla-competitors have lived their whole life in Tampere. According to Harju this means that they have been preparing for this competition during all the years of running in the terrain surrounding Tampere.
– I have been able to do a few Jukola practice runs during this spring.
The winner of the Tiomila relay this spring, Swedish IFK-Göteborg, is competing for victory in Kangasala-Jukola as well. The team unfortunately suffered a setback when two of their top athletes Fredrik Bakkman and Eskil Kinneberg had to drop out.
Max Peter Bejmer, who has competed in previous years with top times for the Göteborg team, believes that the team is very strong despite the setbacks.
– We run as a team and have prepared well for this competition. We always aim high at the Jukola and Tiomila and have been successful in recent years. We expect the terrain to be quite difficult and technical, but that suits us well.