Lipica Open 2024 - Day 1 (Middle @ Vilenica)

On the recommendation of @RosieW and @andyr, a herd of QOs have headed to Slovenia to take part in the annual Lipica Open (based around Lipica - where the prancing ponies come from - near the Italian border at the city of Trieste). The event is attended by around 1500 orienteers from across Europe, as well as being used as a competition between European military teams.

Attendees are (in no particular order): @daylightgambler (Phil), @Pete , @RosieW , @andyr , @AdeleA, @KarenLewis and Martin.

By informal agreement, the person who had the best run on the day gets to do the write up, so it falls to me to tell you about day 1.

Day 1 was hosted at Vilenica, one of many famous caves in the region (it was the first tourist cave in Slovenia). Once Andy had showed off his rally skills getting into the very muddy grass car park (it was raining continually), it was a short walk to the assembly and some elbowing to get a spot in the army tent for pre-race faff.

It was a longer walk up hill to the start, although with the finish at assembly that meant a mostly downhill course.

The terrain was very rocky with plenty of old walls and huge depressions. Beyond the mapped features, the running under foot was treacherous with lots of small rocks.

I am reliably told that having a clean orienteering run is a rarity - today was my day! For me it was the perfect mix of a map that made sense, being confident and trusting my compass, simplifying and ticking off the big features, and ignoring all the other runners around me. Every control was where I expected and I felt fast (for me) on the terrain - it was magical!

Overall I finished 9th out of 50 on M45. To celebrate this once in a blue moon occurrence I bought myself one of the orienteering rucksacks (with built in stool) you see at these kind of events (feel free to judge me):

For full results:

If you want to see the courses, maps and other delicious orienteering stats, take a look at Livelox (Routegadget on steroids) - Livelox

After the event had finished, we got to have a tour around the fantastic cave system (thanks for the photos Pete!)

For me, day 2 was … less good… so I will hand over to @andyr for the write up for Day 2…