First I was afraid,
I was petrified
Afraid is for sure the first feeling I got when Kristoffer rang me 2 weeks ago on Tuesday : “We would like you to run the “långa natten” in team 2 for 10Mila for Centrum OK”. Strange words for non-orienteers maybe ?
10Mila : One the biggest Swedish orienteering relay. It takes place once a year, at the end of April. It’s 10 runners (men only, since women are running during the Saturday afternoon) in a team, running one after each other, first start at 21H30, Saturday night, best team finishing around 8 Sunday morning. Why night ? It looks that it’s too easy for some people by day time, and also for the show, of course. One of the 10 legs is called “långa natten”, around 16 or 17km, between 2 and 4 o’clock in the morning, before the sun rises. So it’s very long, in the darkest hours of the night… Grymt!
So, yesterday, the meeting was set to 14.30 for the women start, Saturday afternoon. It’s just south Stockholm, on an old airstrip. It’s huge. More than 7000 people will be there during the week end! The women start, first look at the map during the GPS tracking on the big TV screens. Fast terrain, as expected. Good media coverage with iPhone/Android apps, TV Controls, speakers in the forest. Perfect! Good job from the 2 Centrum OK teams. 195 and 222 over 345 teams. Then it’s time to eat/rest/find a place in the tent to sleep a little bit before the fight.
Impossible to sleep. It’s cold (reached below zero degrees during the night), someone is already snoring, and most of all, the speaker don’t stop talking… Frozen, at 21.30, everybody leave the tent, it’s time for THE SHOW. The men start. The night is now there, all the runners have light up their lamps… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Goooo :
Due to small mistakes in the previous legs, I started finally at 4 o’clock. The nice thing is that the sun will be there in 30 minutes. The race will be then easier. Emil arrives, he gives me my map : “Wait, there are 2 maps!”. “No no, it’s only one!”. Sh*t, it’s a huge map, A2 size. 2H20 afterwards, the finish line. I gave everything I got for the race… Sugar, quick!!! Thank you again team leaders! You can think that the worse is behind me.
Wrooong! The shower, outside, in the wind, with a temperature around 0°C is the next step! I have to, swedes are crazy! Undress as quick as you can, run on asphalt 20 meter in the wind to the shower. And then back, when you’re all wet. Hopefully the sauna is warm afterwards…
About the men results :
- 1. Kalevan Rasti (Teri Chorchou, Phil Adamski)
- 2. Halden SK (V. Coupat)
- 3. Södertälje
- 4. Järla
- 5. Göteborg MOK (André’s Club)
- 6. OK Denseln (Lucas Bazé)