1500 teams, one mass start but only 3 teams that really matter. Lillomarka OK team 1, 2 and 3 in our sexyyy sexyyy white running ‘suits’ :P. SO I was super excited for this trip and it definitely didn’t disappoint! I arrived at Helsinki and waited around for the rest of the team to fly in before being introduced to everyone (forgot their names almost instantly…specially as I couldn’t pronounce anything in Norwegian without sounding stupid!).
They were all lovely and very welcoming though and soon we were off to the cabins that we would stay in the next couple of nights!! We spent the day before the race doing a little bit of training but mainly chilling out for the race! I was running 1st leg on the second team with originally Ingvild, Ingvild and Ingvild…easy to remember right but then one of the Ingvilds had to drop out because of an Achilles problem :( although all of use seemed to have weak/problematic Achilles issues!! What a team :P Soon I was getting used to everyone’s names and decided I am definitely going to learn Norwegian over the summer!! Although they all spoke excellent English but I felt a bit ignorant expecting everyone to speak English!
Most of the team got 10 hours sleep the night before the race so we were well rested and excited!! Ingvild braided my hair before the race as well which was awesomeeee (always wanted to be able to do my hair in braids but don’t have the patience to learn)! I got changed into the white kit which everyone seems to hate…and yeh it might look hilarious but I LOVE IT, not amazingly flattering but you do stand out :P we had special socks designed for it as well…the ‘magic socks’ which we were optimistic would get us around the course if all else failed :P
So the start. OH MY GOD. Awesomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! I started like five rows back, which in a crowd of 1,500, was pretty daymmm cool. At the beginning I was waaay too caught up with the adrenaline rush to orienteer just deciding to pace it for as far as I could get away with it!! Andrine (the first leg runner on the first team) pulled the BEST banter start ever, racing off after the gun, pulling a lead of about 30metres and getting to the first control first!! OUT OF EVERYONE! And got on Finnish TV ;) what a legend…though after she said she was absolutely knackered for the rest of the 8km course :P The course went well for me…I just trundled round and enjoyed it, it didn’t feel especially fast and I twisted my ankle fairly early on BUT came prepared and bandaged it up as soon as I finished! I think I came back around 65th, a minute down from Andrine :). We then waited for all our team mates to return…the three teams finishing in: 43rd, 151st and 379th. Generally pretty strong but I had the feeling we all wanted to pull it out the bag and do something incredible!! NEXT YEAR GUYS! :D
We went back to the cabins, had food before leaving again to watch the guys start at 11pm (although it was still light…so although impressive not as good as it could have been in the dark with just the headlamps to see!) I didn’t stay too long – well until two am – saw the first legs come back in (and Jonny Crickmore, running for Ravinen - on the team for JWOC this year - too did amazing coming in 32nd…someone’s going to do boss it at JWOC ;)). In the morning I found out the boys first team came 25th!! TWENTY FIFTH!! Out of 1631 teams! So they got to go to the prize giving and got a small medal :) Jealoussss! We met the boys at the airport before everyone flew off home :D Such a good weekend and I’m so glad I joined Lillomarka…definitely the best foreign club out there with the nicest people!