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title: ! ’[Orienteering] Changing clubsö_This is a letter I sent to my clubmates at Pargas IF yesterday._

Dear Friends,

With heavy but also forward-looking heart I need to inform that I will be running for Tampereen Pyrintö in the orienteering season 2006. Most of Piffen’s elite runners already knew this but I’d like to inform all of you here openly.

The decision to change a club wasn’t easy. I’ve been representing Pargas IF all my life, from year 1987, in five disciplines (football, handball, athletics, xc skiing and orienteering), and even on the orienteering side more ööecade.

All my greatest orienteering memories relate in one way or another to Piffen: as a boy watching Kenneönkku" Cederberg run PIF to a second place in Killeri-Jukola, beaten only by Halden SK ; Finnish relay championship in Loppi in 1997 with Mats and Samuli and dragging the prize potatoes (or were they carrots) to the parking lot; sitting our ears attached to a radio with Kenkku while waiting for our own legs and listening while our guys lead Tiomila through the night in 2000; running the second leg in Nikkari-Jukola (2001, 5th after my leg and 7th overall) with only a LED lamp and listening to the “conversation” between Elvis Loukkalahti and Jake Puttonen; winning Kevätyönviesti in 2000 and 2004.

All of the memories are obviously not that bright: losing the pretty much certain Finnish relay championship in 1998 because Samuli was selected in the men’s team; being sick the whole army winter 1999 and the bitter tears later that spring when I fell out of the NOC (and later JWOC) team.

All these and many other memories have created a strong tie between me and the club. However, my own development lately hasn’t taken the direction it should. The time used for orienteering training has needed to compete with other, accumulating, commitments. Living in Tampere has meant that at least every other weekend has been spent away from home even during the winters. Although this hasn’t directly reduced my training hours, it has certainly affected the total strain and motivation.

So during the fall a thought of changing over to Pyrintö was slowly developing in my head. Although the decision was extremely hard, the idea of representing my “home town” club felt more tempting every time I thought about it. The thing I’ve mostly been missing during the last five years is training together with with clubmates — working together towards a common goal. The memories from my time at Aurajoki sports high school in Turku and trainings back in Pargas together with Kenkku are so splendid that I’d like to experience something like that again. And since my home now — and many years to come — is in Tampere, the only practical way to realize that is to run for Tampereen Pyrintö.

I will have many close friends left in Piffen. I will still represent the club in xc skiing, so I will still be seen in Pargas every now and then. I wish my old clubmates all the best, and, mostly, a new coming for the elite and junior orienteering of Pargas IF.