9th European Rogaining Championships May 2012

9th European Rogaining Championships were held last week-end in eastern part of Lithuania near Moletai town.
170 teams with 370 participants from 11 countries took part in the ERC event, whereas another 90 participants opted for the concurrently held 6-hour Lithuanian Open Championships.
The terrain included a part of Labanoras Regional Park and featured mainly open pine forest with middle relief forms, intercepted by many lakes and smaller marshes.
The terrain offered some very enjoyable springtime rogaining and received many positive comments from participants.
Croaking frogs on lakeshores at full moon night and bird concert at sunrise added some unforgettable emotions.
The location of controls was well chosen and presented some of the best features of the terrain, while the checkpoints were fairly set.
The map was generally good and sufficiently accurate, while its readability could have been improved by retaining only the 5 meter contours and hiding the 2.5 m intermediate contour lines.
The open forest and dense track network made the terrain fast and pushed up the speed of top teams.
As a result, 14 best teams cleaned up the map by visiting all controls. The overall winners, Armo Hiie and Lauri Lahtmäe from Estonia covered a distance of over 125 km in slightly less than 18 hours, exceeding the former European champions and World Championship medal winners Evgeny Dombrovsky and Oleg Kalinin (Russia) by 50 minutes. There was some drama though. European champions from 2011, brothers Silver and Rain Eensaar (Estonia) finished the course in 17 hours and 8 minutes, being by far the fastest team of the day. However, they missed a punch on one of the two SportIdent cards from one of the controls, leaving them out of the podium.
The mixed category was won by a very experienced Latvian team Valters Kaminskis and Anita Liepina, whereas silver medals in XO category went to a Polish team Sabina Gielzak and Marcin Krasuski, bringing Poland among the medal-winning countries at ERCs.
The best women's team was Marina Galkina and Nina Mikheeva from Russia.
Overall, despite some minor issues, the event was perceived positively by most of the participants.
Thanks and congratulations to Gediminas Trimakas and his team for organising this event.
We hope that the event gave also a positive impetus to the development of rogaining in Lithuania.

Final results: http://erc2012.lt/index.php/results
The map (with the route of our IRF councillor Eduard Pukkonen): http://www.spordilinn.ee/failid/kaart_rajaga_150dpi2.jpg