After the top teams had finished their course, the course setters for Jukola 2021, Kimmo Määttä and Jyrki Itkonen, were really happy with the way the competition progressed. The difference between their estimation and the winning time of the relay was finally 19 seconds.
Corona virus pandemic caused problems even for the course setters, when the courses planned to be run with midnight sun were finally run during the darkest time of the year. When about 50 teams had finished, this change didn’t seem to have caused any particular problems for the top teams. Darkness favored strong night orienteers. It’s only the green areas that brought up some challenges.
– The relay turned out to be really interesting, but that was to be expected. Beforehand, you could think that orienteering here was pretty easy, but there seemed to be some problems for many teams. If you are used to always having something to read on the map, the green areas may prove to be somewhat challenging. The relay was won by the team that orienteered the best, Kimmo Määttä concluded.
– There were no big surprises among the top teams. They have national team runners to finish the relay, and they ended up at the top
According to Jyrki Itkonen, the terrain around Mäntyvaara and Vennivaara has been an excellent setting for the relay.
– This is a versatile and ever-changing terrain, excellent for an orienteering relay like Jukola. It was somewhat surprising that there were big mistakes made by some runners.
All lost property found during the competition weekend can be delivered to the competition info center, where it can be claimed on Sunday until 4 pm.
After that, it will be delivered to Jukola office, where it will be stored for one week.
The most valuable items will be delivered to Lost and Found office in Rovaniemi, https://loytotavara.net/loytotavaratoimistot/rovaniemi/. To claim lost property, please call 0600 03392 (1,98 euros/min + pvm).
The best Finnish team in Jukola 2021 relay is Helsingin Suunnistajat, who finished third.
It was time to celebrate, when Olli Ojanaho, who started his orienteering career with the organizing club of this year’s Jukola, Ounasvaaran Hiihtoseura, could bring his team into bronze medal position.
Olli Ojanaho could leave Tampereen Pyrintö’s Florian Howald behind during the last leg of the relay, but it still wasn’t enough to beat Kasper Fosser and his team Göteborg IFK.
Hurt his knee
Top three positions were sealed at control 19, where Olli Ojanaho made a mistake and Kasper Fosser could run away from him.
Olli Ojanaho’s comments during the interview by Finnish broadcasting company Yle reveal us what was going on in the forest:
– Otherwise everything was under control, but one leg didn’t go well. During the previous leg, I fell and hurt my knee. It took away my concentration and I lost around one minute there.
For Helsingin Suunnistajat, this result is a historic moment, as last time the club finished among the top teams was in 1970, when they finished first.
– The work continues. We’ll try to make more and more progress, so that we will end up getting the victory in the years to come, Ojanaho said interviewed by Yle.
Judging by this year’s result, there’s not much room for improvement, Ojanaho concluded.
– When we run eight hours and end up 4 minutes behind the winners, it shows no major improvements are necessary.We had a good relay.
Home terrain didn’t feel like home
Olli Ojanaho, who grew up in Rovaniemi, didn’t feel at home in the forests around Mäntyvaara.
– I have been orienteering here sometimes in my childhood, but didn’t really feel like home here, Ojanaho says.
The camping site in the middle of the horse-race track felt more familiar:
– I have played football here.
According to Ojanaho, he hasn’t heard any negative comments about the organization of the event. The course itself was rather demanding:
– It was really challenging out there with lots of green areas.
For the results, see: https://online.jukola.com/tulokset-new/
Victory at the Jukola relay went once again to Sweden when Stora Tuna left others behind in Rovaniemi.
Jukola relay got decided by Stora Tuna’s Jasper, Joakim, Viktor and Eemil Svensk who lifted the team to the top at fantastic speed. They had also won the Jukola relay in Kangasala, back in 2019.
Other participants in the fight for victory at the race Helsingin Suunnistajat, Tampereen Pyrintö and Göteborg IFK in the anchor leg could not anymore catch up with Stora Tuna’s anchor, Eemil Svensk, who got to ensure victory for his team.
Jukola relay of the year 2021 has been a real thriller. Order of teams in the lead changed almost every leg. On the fourth changeover top ten teams were still only 2:23 apart. In the end, however, double victory went to Sweden when Göteborg IFK snatched second place.
Tampereen Pyrintö and Helsingin Suunnistajat are the leaders of Finland
Tampereen Pyrintö, Helsingin Suunnistajat and Stora Tuna came to the next to last changeover practically at the same time. Difference in the trio was only three seconds.
Viktor Svensk of Stora Tuna remarkably succeeded in his own leg and tore away from Göteborg IFK and Tampereen Pyrintö who came next by more than two minutes.
Also Göteborg IFK’s Max-Peter Beijmer succeeded in his leg which he started 2:19 after the leader. Einari Heinaro of Helsingin Suunnistajat sent the anchor runner Olli Ojanaho 2:59 behind Stora Tuna’s anchor Eemil Svensk.
In the last leg, native of Rovaniemi Ojanaho managed to deal with Florian Howald of Tampereen Pyrintö, but the spurt was not enough to overtake Göteborg IFK’s Kasper Fosser.
Order in the leading trio was finally decided on 19th control where Ojanaho made a mistake and Fosser ran away.
In the Stora Tuna team, besides Svensk brothers, ran also Anton Sjökvist, Henrik Johannesson and Olle Karled.
See the full results here: https://online.jukola.com/tulokset-new/en/j2021_ju/
Photo: Emma-Roosa Koponen
”Blue stretched the sky, a faint west wind breathed in the air, the birch gleamed on the hill in its new cloak of green an a white-foaming rowan spread its perfume far around.”
This is how Finland’s national author Aleksis Kivi describes the beauty of the Finnish nature during the early summer.
Clean nature, clean air or clean waters however should not be taken for granted. The Arctic Centre at University of Lapland promotes sustainability of the northern part of Finland by increasing the knowledge about the Arctic region. The work is done by combining high-quality research and providing scientific information to both decision makers and the general public.
Nearby the Arctic Circle, we have carried our message through the bright summer night of Lapland on Vennivaara’s demanding cliffs and on the surrounding treeless wet swamps, to thank the Arctic Centre and all other parties, who with their work and example want to contribute in preserving the unique beauty and purity of the Arctic nature also for the future generations.
Rovaniemi, 22nd of August 2021
Jukola Relay orienteers
– It has been much calmer than usual, says doctor Leena Uusitalo, who has a long experience from helping out at Jukola relays over the years.
During the day, around 60 persons have been taken care of by medical staff on site. The staff even had time to follow the exciting Venla relay.
Some runners have been transported out of the forest and a couple of orienteers even needed to be taken to the main hospital for further care.
On Saturday, most patients have been orienteers fallen down in the forest. Many of them needed Suspensory bandages.
At night, a different scenario is to be expected, remarks Kyösti Haataja, vice medical head ot the event.
– We are dealing with a long and wet course of 16 km. We expect many orienteers to spend around 4 hours in the forest. They can be tired and have cold, Kyösti Haataja estimates.
According to Kyösti Haataja, they are well prepared to transport those injured or exhausted back to the competition center.
The wonderful gates of Arctic Circle Jukola are a masterpiece of Finnish handicraft.
As it happens, they were carved by an enterprise that is a namesake of the event: Jukola Industries.
The impressive gates were designed by Jouni Lehmonen.
When the enterprise was contacted by the General Secretary of Arctic Circle Jukola, Sami Leinonen, Jouni Lehmonen didn’t hesitate:
– Of course! I really appreciate this event, says Mr Lehmonen. Rovaniemi as the location of the event acted as an extra incentive for Jouni Lehmonen. – I have studied Industrial Design at the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi. It was so lovely to come here!
The themes used for the gates are a combination of Jukola and Lapland.
Jukola Industries is a pioneering enterprise in this field in Finland. According to Jouni Lehmonen, Jukola relay offers an exceptional opportunity to contribute to the visibility of the enterprise. The material used for the gates was Finnish spruce.
The 2021 Venla relay came down to the final leg, which the top five teams started within 48 seconds of each other. In the end, it was the Swedish Alfta Ösa who managed to snag the victory, thanks to a spectacular performance by anchor Natalie Gepberle. IFK Göteborg took the silver medal, and Järla Orientering finished with the bronze. The top performer among the Finnish teams was Tampereen Pyrintö, who finished fourth.
At the start of the final leg the top teams were neck and neck. Gemperle from Alfta Ösa started in the lead, with the chase group of Ok Pan Århus, Tampereen Pyrintö, and surprise team Hiidenkiertäjät coming to the changeover just 34 seconds behind Alfta Ösa. OK Kåre changed fifth 48 seconds behind the lead, and IFK Göteborg was sixth, 1 minute and 57 seconds behind.
The final leg saw some exciting events. There was a momentary lead change as Simona Aebersold from Tampereen Pyrintö took the lead for a while. Unfortunately, Aebersold struggled after the third control and got lost in the marsh, which ultimately led to Tampereen Pyrintö finishing fourth overall.
The deciding moments in the relay were between 4,8 and 7 kilometers, where the top teams had different route choices. Natalie Gemperle from Alfta Ösa ran the stretch perfectly and managed to grow their lead to 1 minute and 35 seconds over the second-place Sara Hagström from IFK Göteborg. Tampereen Pyrintö, OK Kåre and Järla Orienteering came to the next control as one group, 1 minute and 51 seconds behind the leader. Meanwhile, Annika Rihma from Hiidenkiertäjät dropped to sixth-place, trailing by 3 minutes and 31 seconds.
Gemberle finished strong, and won the relay with a lead of 2 minutes and 46 seconds over Sara Hagström and IFK Göteborg, who finished second. The third-place Järla Orientering’s anchor Karolin Ohlsson crossed the finish line just three seconds after second-place.
– I love Jukola, and running in front of an audience like this feels incredible, the overjoyed Gemperle told Yle.
One of the biggest surprises of the relay was the team Hiidenkiertäjät, who finished sixth. They had a large starting number, and didn’t have the GPS on them during the first three legs, meaning that they weren’t expected to be fighting for the win today. The organizers reacted to the team’s success, and the team’s anchor Annika Rihma did have the GPS with her during the final leg.
See the results here: https://online.jukola.com/tulokset-new/
Finnish teams are in a strong position halfway through the Venla relay. After the second leg, Hiidenkiertäjät runs in the lead. Swedish Alfta Ösa is second, one minute and six seconds behind. Third is Lahden suunnistajat who owes 1:40 to the leader.
After the first leg, the leader was IFK Göteborg whose opening runner Viktoria Björnstad came to changeover 14 seconds before Alfta Ösa’s Irina Nyberg. Göteborg’s second leg runner Isia Basset, however, made a mistake right in the beginning of her course, and the team dropped after the leg to eighth place.
Tampereen Pyrintö, one of the competition’s Finnish favourites, was 32nd after the first leg, 3:17 behind the leader. Openning runner Saila Kinni was relatively satisfied with her result, though. In the second leg, Lotta Karhola lifted her team to fourth place. Third leg is run by continuous achiever Venla Harju.
Mäntyvaara terrain has turned out to be challenging in the first two legs, and time differences have been quite big. The relay results, however, are midway still much, if not fully, uncertain.
Follow here: https://jukola.com/2021/en/en-jukolalive-web-tv/
Event Director of the Arctic Circle Jukola Martti Anttila seems relaxed as he follows last preparation work at the competition center.
– I am gladly waiting for Arctic Circle Jukola to finally get started.
He is pleased to see that it is finally possible to organize Arctic Circle Jukola. Having been postponed twice, the event is long-awaited.
– I’ve had a good night’s sleep, now there is just that right excitement.
Coronavirus pandemic has brought challenges to the organizers, but health safety and various associated risks have been pondered and predicted in tight collaboration with authorities.
Anttila stresses that much has been done already and that postponing the event two times has brought more challenges.
12 543 orienteers have registered for Arctic Circle Jukola.
– The amount is not what we expected, but that’s what it is, – Anttila says.
Originally, organizers planned to gather 17 000 orienteers in Rovaniemi.
Arctic Circle Jukola has teams from 13 countries registered. Most foreign teams come from Sweden and Norway.
There are 999 teams registered for Venla relay and 1221 teams for Jukola relay.
Venla relay start is already at 13:45. Jukola relay starts at its traditional time, 23:00.