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Bad luck with the weather for the 5th Stage

From the start, it was questionable whether the runners would have much time left for the World Cultural Heritage for the Sardona Arena during the “Tectonic” stage. Comparable earth faults are rare worldwide, but when following personal running times and capricious weather, it was probably more about speeding today than leisurely orienteering.

A perfect infrastructure around the Berghaus Nagens was provided. It was already used for yesterday’s event and a lot of work, and a coordinated approach by the responsible of the OLK Piz Hasi was necessary. It was only thanks to starting the planning some two years ago and always a well thought-through logistics that it was always possible to create conditions suitable for competition.

The crew visited the stage locations several times to provide the necessary material in the central SOW warehouse in Goldau and then stack it regionally in Flims: a dozen tents, large quantities of auxiliary material, power stations, heavy pallets of beverages, barriers and first-aid material, countless crates, boxes, toys or trash bags as well as additional utensils. Even the entire electronics for time keeping, speakers and sound had to arrive at the event centre on time. A veritable mirror for the merchandising was also available during all stages. All of this was moved daily by trucks and vans.

On-site construction usually started early in the morning at six. Civil service men involved in the World Orienteering Championships were able to assist as well. The employees from the mountain railways were also very helpful. Without their commitment, four alpine stages of the SOW 2023 would not have been possible at all. The ToiToi cabins provided by the delivery company and cleaned daily were also well received.

Around ten o’clock in the morning the unpleasant news was sent out: cancellation of the fifth stage. A fair competition was out of the question because of fog, freezing rain, storm and local hail. Shivering, partly hypothermic runners arrived at the finish line. This was a right decision!

Here a few numbers: it took thousands of hours to create an infrastructure for around 3’000 people at 2’000 meters above sea level. However, the time window for The Tectonic stage’s cancellation only lasted minutes. In contrast, the continental plates in the Sardona region have been shifting for around 200 million years.

How does this compare to the x-billions of digital signals that commented on today’s cancelled stage via I Phones and other devices….?

Text: Oskar Schiess (translated by Béatrice Zurcher)

Photos: Urban Engel