Our last full day at this wonderful cabin in Solvalla has arrived, and it has come onto us in full force. We’ve nigh run out of yoghurt, granola, and juice, and it became a race of who could wake up earlier to get his or her hands on a good breakfast. Getting energy was necessary for the first training of the day, the long course (or better said, part of the long course) of this year’s Suunto Games.

The terrain from the morning’s exercise.
US Juniors discuss the training.

The terrain was quite difficult. Some regions were quite difficult to navigate, and the forests were somewhat dense in some places. However, Finland is still Finland, so the quality of orienteering was still outrageously high. As we ran, we were pelted with rain right until the final minute. Shivering in our clothes, we drove down to Espoo to go shopping. Among our other groceries, we bought over 20 liters of milk, juice, and yoghurt drink, which might be a little much, but at least we won’t be running out soon.

Morning Long Training

Upon returning to the cabin and quickly eating a bit of lunch, the boys went down to the sauna. Anton and Michael took the full heat of the sauna, sitting on the top step. Colin warmed up to it, building his way up to the top step right up to the final round, where the intense heat became too much to bear, and Thomas slowly built up to one step below the top. As we intermittently jumped into the lake, the heat built up to around 60 celsius. In the final round in the sauna, we sang the national anthem as Anton added water to the rocks until the song ended.

Come four o’clock, it’s time to go out for the second training, and we’re not feeling overly sleepy. Julia and Izzy were feeling a little tired and decided to rest, so Forest, Jen, the four boys and Erin headed out to the training site. There were many navigable bare rocks, hills, and marshes, which made it a lot more enjoyable. Colin and I were assigned a ~3.6 km variation on the D21E course, and Anton and Michael were given the full course. At least, they were supposed to. Anton got the right map, but Michael was given the H21E map. There were no streamers on almost all of the controls, save for some toilet paper that a different training group had used.

Afternoon middle training
Michael’s map
The nicest girl on the team.

Colin Face

The rest of the night went by quickly. Erin made a delicious combination of beef, peppers, onions, and couscous, and we started on the 20+ liters of drinks we had bought. We played a few rounds of card games, watched the Euro Cup, and one by one we slowly trickled off to sleep for the final night in Solvalla.