Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Hallandsstafatten + Hallandspremiæren

I traveled with my club (Pan Århus) to Halland in the south of Sweden on the weekend. The idea was to get some good training in before Tiomila. On the Friday night we had a night race. My run wasn't very good. I made about 5mins of mistakes, mainly from not using my compass enough. I have to get used to night orienteering in forest. So far I've only really tried it in open farmland in NZ. It's much more difficult when the visibility is so low.
Saturday was Hallandspremiæren long distance race. I was using this race as training, trying to concentrate on my navigation. The terrain was really rough. There was a lot of fallen branches and thinnings everywhere. It was also really muddy, so it was very difficult to run. It seemed best to take the tracks, but there had been a lot of forest work going on, so some of the tracks had been turned into squishy mud pools by some big machines. I went well in the beginning of the course. My first real mistake came at the 5th control where I didn't read the control circle properly. I lost a little time on the way to 9 where I got a bit disorientated and fell in an icy pool of mud. Number 18 was my biggest mistake. I lost 2½mins coming into the control... I was using the green vegetation to my left which was a really bad idea :S All up I lost about 5mins, I was in 5th place. The winner Marcus Millegård must have run like a demon. He was 11min in front of 2nd place and 14mins in front of me.
Sunday was Hallandsstafetten (splits are from 1st and last leg runners - 8.5km - with the same forking). It was snowing. I ran first leg as practice for Tiomila. I was with the leaders until the 10th control where I got confused by all the forest work tracks that weren't on the map. I wondered at the time why I was the only one heading in a different direction (usually a sign that something is wrong). I lost about 90sec but I ran hard and caught up to a group about 1min behind the 2 leaders. I totally lost my mind on the long route choice leg to #15. I wanted to run just around the left of the quarry, but for some reason I decided to run way up a massive hill through some green. The rest of the course was ok. I pulled out a big 330m finish sprint and came in in 9th place, about 2mins behind the leaders, then threw up everywhere. I had to quickly get to the showers before I got hypothermia!
It was a good weekend. I definitelty think I can run fast enough to keep up in Tiomila. The terrain there should be a bit more open than at Halland so it should suit me.
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