The extreme race Jesenický tvrďák
01. 07. 2018
After the annual break, the classic adventure race, Jesenický tvrďák, was held again. It was organized as a Czech Championship in extreme rating for individuals this year and the whole Czech team was present. The race combines about 15 events and the start of the first race – night orienteering- began traditionally on Friday at 11:30 pm.
A 4-minute sprint and a promising 2nd place
A four-minute sprint, with four checks, lay ahead of us and according to our results at this stage, we were assigned penalty circles for the race on Saturday. I ran well and with 2nd place, was in a good starting position for the next day. A quick shower after the run, alarm set for 3:50 am, a good beer before going to bed and before midnight, we lay down to sleep.
Uphill running and canyoning the brook
In the morning, I ate a quick breakfast and then surrendered my bicycle and my equipment bag for the rest of the day, and at 5:00 am, we were off from the Nová Ves village to the second stage – uphill running. After a few miles of running, I took the lead, which suited me fine, because I could run at my own pace. The route led through Malý Máj down to Karlov village, where a stretch of about 150 m of canyoning brook was ahead and then I continued along the Velký kotel to Ovčárna.
Bike, swimming, kayak and other disciplines
It was exceptionally warm weather this summer, so I only took a thin, nylon jacket and set out on the bicycle stage. It was necessary to climb up to the peak of Mt. Praděd, the highest peak in the Jeseniky Mountain Range, and then I rode down the hill to the pool in Břidličná. I felt good and did not want to ride too fast in order not to have cramps whilst swimming, which is a common problem in such a tough race. Swimming was good in the end. After leaving Břidličná, I hit the target at the shooting range and after a few more kilometers in the bicycle saddle, I got in my kayak, at the Slezská Harta dam, and set out for the 10 km long track.
There were no waves in the water this year, so it went quickly and after a few hours, I got on the bike again with a map in my pocket, in the direction of the town of Břidličná and Stará Ves village, near the town of Rýmařov. We had to pass three checks on the way and advanced into the second half of the race. In the Stará Ves village, we went 7 km on inline and a short bike ride, climbing, with a rope center and bouldering to follow.
I got lost in the mountain orienteering
At this point, Tom and Paul had a pretty good head start, but the orienteering was still ahead of us. This time, it took place in the woods at the Janovice village, so we had to go by bike. I ran slower, until the last check of the first orienteering, when I went astray and had to search for the check for about 10 minutes. This second orienteering was easy and I kept ahead of my competitors to the area of the starting line and the finishing line in Nová Ves village. The road was pleasant, at first, asphalt, then gravel and still uphill. The last two events were ahead of me. I quickly ate a little soup, refilled fluids, and set off for the mountain orienteering. It differs from normal orienteering because we do not run according to a special orienteering map, but rather according to a tourist map, so we were lacking in some details. Although the track was almost the same as last year, I made a huge and hard to understand mistake. I missed a giant rock and blundered into the forest for about a kilometer other than where I should have been and lost 25 minutes and 2 places. I did not feel much in the final biking race, but I finished third and kept last year's place.
What to say about this: to spoil this good race, made me feel bad, but in events like orienteering, you never know. Maybe next time. Anyway, it was a great race and I enjoyed it, but Tom's appellation the "Festival of Pain" is apt because after 9 hours and about 140 km of various disciplines, you do not know what hurts you more because you do not feel half of your body. I also met with some of my friends, who I hadn’t seen in a long time, so it was a nice sporting event.Tomáš Matera