Interview with one of the project authors Ralfs Janis Eizvertins

Greetings to all in 2021!

May this year bring to all of you a lot of joyful emotions, a sense of dream fulfillment and an opportunity to attend “Dzintaru Three-days 2021” at the end of July. 

This January #Dz3D blog post features a conversation with one of the “Dzintaru Three-days” idea authors Ralfs Janis Eizvertins who is a determined and purposeful young man.

KK: How did the idea for “Dzintaru Three-days 2021” come about? How did it all begin?

RJE: It all began after a simple conversation with Karlis Stradins who is also one of the idea authors. Karlis had previously organized an indoor orienteering competition for his family in his own house. This event inspired us to organize something of a larger scale for our friends, and orienteering in the forest. Why exactly “Dzintaru”? Because the first competition was held in Dzintari, Jūrmala, in the forest around Kārlis house.

KK: Did you initially have the idea that this competition could get bigger over time?

RJE: I don’t think so. It was just an idea to organize a competition for our friends. However, the emotions gained from the first competition acted as a driver to carry out something similar in the next summer but already for a larger audience and in a larger area. 

KK: Why exactly “three-days” and not competition for just two or one day?

RJE: I guess that initially we wanted to resemble “Kāpa 3-days” with our format. It is because we associate this competition with a positive atmosphere and a sense of community, especially, when living in the tent city. The format of “three-days” allows to spend more time playing games or just relaxing with friends in the evening after completing a race in the day, which facilitates this spirit of being together. In a way, it can also be called a “festival for orienteering enthusiasts”.

KK: Why are you no longer a part of the organizing team? 

RJE: After the first “Dzintaru Three-days” in 2018, the feeling of competing with friends was unique, which, in my opinion, gave this project its special spirit. On the other hand, when organizing the second “Dzintaru Three-days” in 2019, I felt the competition gradually losing its special spirit and trying to be what it is not. Perhaps I looked at this too short-sightedly, focusing on what it no longer is, but not seeing what it could grow into. I also decided to focus more on other projects, such as organizing the Jelgava Indoor Orienteering Cup and studies in gymnasium.

Seeing what you have done so far, I am very much looking forward to the next “Dzintaru Three-days” in 2021. I am also very pleased to see that this idea is becoming not only a competition, but also a brand.

KK: What is your brightest memory from the first “Dzintaru Three-days” in 2018?

RJE: From an organizational point of view, it seems that the most difficult thing were the difficulties that arose in organizing this competition, because we did not have this kind of previous experience. On one hand, it placed an additional burden and stress on us, as there was a constant need to focus on the work and its prioritization. Initially, it was very difficult and we postponed a lot of the work until the last minute. The very idea of ​​the competition came just a month and a half before it took place, so, naturally, there was a lot of work to be done.

I also vividly remember the night micro-sprint inside and around the yard of Karlis’ house. It was hardcore. After the morning forest race it seemed we had time to relax and there would be enough time to organize everything till the night micro-sprint start. However, we did not account for the fact that the evening will get darker by the minute which will make further organization very difficult. As challenging as the situation was with the lightning, we were so high on emotions that we managed to complete everything with just a little delay for the start time. In my opinion, this was the most productive, but at the same time the most dramatic episode of “Dzintaru Three-days”.

KK: What does “Dzintaru Three-days” mean to you?

RJE: In my opinion, this is more than just another orienteering competition in the calendar of Latvian orienteering events. It is an opportunity to be among like-minded people who form a unique kind of a network together. Looking at the organizing team, it is clear that all these people are close friends and none of them have agreed to act solely for the possible financial benefit. They are united by the idea itself and its implementation at the highest possible level.

KK: Please name 3 adjectives you associate with “Dzintaru Three-days”?

RJE: Friendship, because it seems to me that orienteers are open and friendly people. Opportunity, because it is an opportunity to meet other like-minded people for those who have not participated in orienteering competitions before and to encourage them to continue engaging with this sport. Third, potential. “Dzintaru Three-days” have a huge potential to become the most anticipated orienteering competition in Latvia.

KK: Are you planning to participate in the upcoming competition in 2021 and what do you expect from it?

RJE: If not as a volunteer, then I will definitely participate as a runner. I expect excellent distances because I believe Ilgvars Caune has enough and high-quality experience in drawing maps, which he has acquired from one of the best Finnish map-drawers. He will definitely know the area by heart and will be able to add unique features to the distances, which many distance planners do not always succeed in. Of course, I also expect a quality map, a great atmosphere in the competition center, as well as happy runners at the finish line. I also hope that there will be a joint event on one of the days after the distances.

KK: How did you imagine the “Dzintaru Three-days” project in 10 years?

RJE: I see “Dzintaru Three-days” as something new that will change the culture of Latvian orienteering competition organization by 180 degrees. I believe this project can grow into something very, very big, but it depends on whether the direction of this idea will continue and the team of organizers will maintain a common goal. At the moment, the team seems to be united and strong, and I believe everything will be fine in the future!

I wish you to continue what you are doing now. Over time, more and more people will start reading this story and the project will get bigger. Keep motivated!

I hope that after this conversation, you, reader, are also encouraged to plan your end of July in the vicinity of Ropaži!

In February, another conversation with one of the participants of the previous “Dzintaru Three-days” competition will follow on #Dz3DBlog. Let’s continue to train and follow #Dz3DBlog!

The blog was prepared by Kalvis Kalva
04.01.2021, Riga

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