Tio Mila!

Right, well I am getting a bit behind with my postings, but I have been busy! So this post is for the weekend before last when I along with 14 other of my Wing OK clubmates headed to Skåne for Tio Mila - one of the biggest annual orienteering relays in the world with approximatly 10 000 runners. For all my non O geek readers this post may not be a dazzler, but read on anyway...maybe you will get inspired (-:

The Gist: The mens race starts at 9pm, there are 10 men per team and each runner heads out as soon as the previous returns until the last runner returns at around 9 oclock the following morning. The women's race is the previous day, held entirely in the daylight and there are 5 runners on the team.

We flew to Rygga airport (near Oslo) on Friday morning, then hired cars and drove further South and into Sweden. Chris and I drove to the Eliteseries Sprint race where we met up with Øystein and Elise. Those three all competed in the sprint race while I spectated (the series title gives away why I didn't run!). Chris had a "fun run" but was never going to run so well after a sprint event the night before saw him running into a barb wire fence in the forest and slashing his legs open!

The four of us ate out at a nice wee Italian restaurant, then met up with the rest of the Wing team. I was pretty nervous about running on the girls' team (they are all far better orienteers than I!) but I was also excited about running for a real team!

Warming up (literally) before the start of Tio Mila.

Saturday was a wonderfully warm, sunny day. Lena had the idea to tie blue and white ribbons in our hair to ensure we were at least the prettiest girls' team. As Marta, Helen and I walked into the arena someone told us that Elise had won the first leg...this was an awesome achievement for her...but I have to admit I was horrified that I might have to set out on my leg in first place!

Elise at the beginning of her great run! (Bib 619)

However, by the time we reached my leg (no. 3) I did not have to run out in first place...phew! I was still well up the field and in my somewhat stressed out state I followed a group of girl's to what I thought was my no. 2 control only to discover they were on leg no. 2!

In a desperate attempt not to completly 'freak out' I jogged back to my no.1 control, gathered myself together and checked my bearing. A rather steady stream of girl's running past me helped guide me into the controls from then on and I had made it around the course. Ok, so it wasn't the best run I was capable of...but it wasn't the worst either!

Helen and Martha finished off the race with very good runs and our team finished in 62 place. Here we are after the finish of our race.

We had fun hanging out together afterwards and stuck around for the exciting start of the men's race. After that the girls' headed away while I stayed on to watch Chris run the 'lange natten' (longest night).

The stampede of the men's start about to begin...

And they are off!

He had 18km in the dark...crazy! I sat in my warm sleeping bag and watched the action unfold on the big screen where thay had GPS tracking of the runners and video controls so we could see them passing through. There was a great atmosphere and I thouroughly enjoyed watching.

Chris made a poor route choice towards the beginning of the course which seperated him from a very speedy group of runners and left him alone with another "not so good" orienteer. The two of them jumbled themselves round the course in a respectable time only to be caught by a ginourmous swarm of 50 runners 3 minutes before the finish of the 2 hour course!

Nevertheless Chris really enjoyed the race and is already plotting ways to improve for next time. The men's team finished in a solid 100th place after some more good runs throughout the night...finished in style by Ally at around 10pm the following morning.

When we reached the Norwegian border on Sunday we stopped at the huge supermarket that is conveniently located there and stocked up on lollies, coffee, and chocolate....mmmm! After that it was on board the fly and up up and away back to Trondheim.


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