You probably have more photos – suggest one of the 21 winners or prize-winners shots. Break up the text a bit.
Day 5 – Fai della Paganella
The final stage of the 3rd 5 Days of Italy saw a return to the sunny slopes of Fai della Paganella. Instead of an urban sprint though, Stage 5 was a middle-long distance, starting by heading east up the intricate sloping forest above the town. Courses began with short legs pin-balling up and down the generally runnable forest, rich in rock and contour features with a few helpful paths winding through the middle. Further east was a precipitous craggy edge, often fenced off with warning signs, but the organisers had sensibly taken steps to avoid any mishaps with extra taping and officials guarding, especially as some controls were located near the side.
Those on longer courses were faced with some interesting route choices around a steep riverbank and everyone finished off with a long climb across the fields separating the forest from the town. It was easy to miss the remarkable views over the nearby mountain ranges as competitors scrutinised the best entry point between the buildings for the final controls, as well as choosing your route between groups of spectators relaxing in pockets of shade.
On W21E, Caroline Gjotterup was the strongest of the day, coming in front of Agnes Norgaard Kracht and Johanka Simkova. However, it was not enough to give her the overall win, which went to Czech Johanka.
The M21E stage winner was again Florian Schneider, with Feliciano Pawlowski SUI in 2nd and Mads Moller Skaug DEN in 3rd place. Florian had missed the first 2 races. The overall win was taken by Siro Corsi. Siro said that he had had a great week experiencing beautiful terrain. “It was particularly hard doing 5 races in a row after so many months of not racing. I had a bit of luck with two of the strongest men not running all the days, but all the same I am happy with my performances and my week and thankful for the racing opportunity.”
We got to chat a little bit more to Johanka Simkova, who was here enjoying the week with her family and boyfriend Silvan Ullman, staying in the ‘super beautiful’ Molveno. We went swimming in the Lake there which was surprisingly cold! All the races were really close and every day was an Orienteering race so it was a great week! It was extra special that both Silvan and I won both Elite races the first 2 days, so we could stand on the podium together. Every stage was very different and it was important to adapt your strategy. Sometimes it worked well for me but not always. On day 2’s long I was contouring more than taking the high or low/around path options, which didn’t seem to work out well for me. For the Middle distances I wanted to orienteer cleanly and although I didn’t win any stage, I was happy with my performances. On Day 3 I only had 90 seconds of mistakes which I am pretty happy with. Day 4 was almost a perfect race for me. Day 5 I was maybe too stressed and made so many mistakes, I didn’t find my flow at all but I was still good enough to win overall. To celebrate I will get a massage! And go for a nice family lunch, maybe a swim. And tomorrow maybe a nice easy long run in the mountains, as it is such a beautiful area and we don’t go home until Monday. I hope we can come back again!
We also had a chat with Michele Viola, the President of the Tourist Board of Paganella. He was delighted that so many Orienteers made it to the 3rd Italian 5 Days. He saw many smiles and happy people enjoying this Dolomitic area. The 5 Days Orienteering event is very important to the region. Normally through the summer season he would expect to have 20 – 30 events like this, usually for 500 – 2000 people, but due to Covid we have around 10. The region is very popular for Mountain biking especially, and at the end of September we will host the European Triathlon Championships. And let’s not forget the wine, beer and food the area has to offer. It makes any visit here very enjoyable, as the Orienteers here have experienced!
Preparations for next year’s Italian 5 Days 2022, the 4th edition, are well underway and after the prize-giving for Day 4 Winners, Day 5 Winners & Overall Winners, a special presentation was made, handing over the Event from Dolomiti Paganella to Madonna di Campiglio, who will host 2022, the week before the World Masters & Spectator races in Puglia 8th – 16th July 2022. Entries and Bulletin 1 are now Open at www.wmocitaly.eu