That looks like fun

Startlist Swedish League Final tomorrow!


Are you afraid in the dark?

I know my english is bad, but this topic is important to me and I want a lot of people to understand this text.

So am I afraid in the dark? Of course I am! Running orienteering in a dark cold forest is special and can be very scary. But as long as I have a good lamp lighting my way and warm shower waiting for me, it is fine for me. If I hear strange sounds, it just makes me running faster 🙂

I had a fast look through 10MILA results and found at least 118 women running in 51 different teams. That’s 4,4% of all runners. Maybe these numbers are not totally correct, because I am not sure about the gender of some finnish and russian names. However the best known of this women is Simone Niggli, who had the 25th best time on the 9th leg, just 4:44min behind the leg winner. She caught six places and her team ol Norska reached the 47th place in the end.
Furthermore I found five teams with just ladies. Best one was NTNUI 6 from Norway on place 200.

However, I don’t want to show you just the numbers. In my opinion these ca. 120 women all showed a very important point: That women and girls are capable of exact the same things as men and boys. These women contribute to break down limits existing in many young girls and women’s minds. Limits like „I can’t do that“, „I am not allowed to do that“, „I am to weak“. We live in a gender equal world, but when I talk to other girls about running 10MILA, many say something like: „Oh no, I will be to tired after the women’s relay“, „I’m scared in the night“ or „That’s to though!“. It is your decision, but in my opinion it is also a decision about showing that women and men are both capable of running difficult and long courses in the night.

And as a german orienteerer it is even more strange to me. We don’t have many orienteering competitions or trainings in Germany. So when you are somewhere and somebody is organizing a competition there, then you run there. Circa 1680 women started in the women’s relay. Just 7% of them were running the men’s relay. So the other 93% didn’t use the chance to run a demanding course with a good map and a great organization.

I was very sad when I saw the results of this years swedish night champs. 137 men started, but just 47 women ran the race. Because of such numbers some people believe that women are afraid or weak or just incapable to do different things. If there are nearly three times more men than women, who are brave enough to run night champs, then this opinion just becomes strengthened.

So what I want to say, beside that running night orienteering and competing against men in 10MILA is great fun, it is also our responsibility as independent women to show that those people are wrong. Think about that the next time you refuse to enter for a night competition. I don’t want you all to run the long night. The nice thing with orienteering is, that there is allways a course suitable for your skills and fitness level.

There are maybe thousands of reason to not do it, but there are two very good reason to do it: „Because we are allowed to and we can.“ Or like Amanada Granqvist, who did run youth, women’s and men’s relay last weekend, said: „Last chance this year“. You don’t need any better reason than just: „Because I can.“

Maybe also the organizers can help to build a more gender equal event. I understand it is difficult for most clubs to set up teams with only women in 10MILA. So what about a mixed team category? Same courses as men’s relay, but if a team has, let’s say, at least three women, then this team will be counted in the mixed category. Hopefully this will increase the number of participants. So win-win for everyone.