Jukola, the world’s biggest orienteering relay was held today in Tampere, Finland, with nearly 1500 teams competing in the notoriously tough terrain. The relay is composed of 7 runners and starts in the dusk at 11pm on Saturday night and continues throughout the night, with the winning teams finishing on Sunday morning at 6am.
Several of Australia’s JWOC and WOC competitors used Jukola as part of their World Championship preparation. The Aussie Kangaroos, a team comprised of Warren Key, Kerrin Rattray, Jim Russell, Oli Mitchell, Leon Keely, Nick Andrewartha and Blair Trewin finished 230th.
The best placed Australian overall (24th) was Julian Dent who ran first leg for Malung (pictured in the front row), he started well but lost time in the wet and dark conditions later in the course. Dave Shepherd, running for Göteborg Majorna (26th) provided Australia’s best performance to be 19th fastest on 4th leg. Troy de Haas (Rasti Kurikka) and Simon Uphill (Malung 2) both produced respectable performances to be 48th and 58th fastest respectively on the competitive 6th leg.
Jo Allison took Göteborg Majorna from 66th to 44th on the second leg of the Womens Venla relay held on Saturday afternoon. She had the 59th best time on the leg. Anna Quayle produced a fantastic performance on the first leg finishing 3rd, her team Sundsvall OK eventually finished in 116th.