This weekend was the first important weekend of this season, with selection races for the World Championships (WOC) in Estonia. I went to Estonia on Tuesday, and spent the week and weekend together with the runners from Nydalens SK and Løten. The selection races were open compititions which many other nations also used as selection races, so the starting field was tough. In the sprint Friday, I ran very well most of the race, but made a 1' (!) mistake in the middle, and therefore I ended as 4th norwegian, and 37th in total. In the middle distance I started out well, and I was in the fight untill I searched a hidden control in a V-depression for 1'. Again I ended as 4th norwegian, and 9th in total. In the long distance, I ran well most of the way, but made some smaller mistakes several places, and lost quite some time on the long routechoice legs towards the end. Ended the race as 3rd norwegian, and 6th in total.
After two relevant forest trainings and one sprint training, I was ready to start the compititions. Before the sprint on Friday, I felt ready and quite calm, and I started out very well into the race. At the 8th control, I was in a good position to fight for a top 3 among the norwegian and a top 10 among all runners. But I expected the 9th control to be in the middle of the reentrant, and I only read on the contours and looked ahead. I even saw a green area which could fit with the control position. But when I got there, there was no control to be seen. Confused I looked up and down and further ahead, but there was nothing to be seen. I tried to relocate, but felt like I was in the right position - was the control missing? After 1 minute I finally found it, but not in the depression, it was in my opinion very close to the path and more on the nose than in the reentrant, and even though this only meant some meters wrong compared to were I was, I was pretty sure that I did not need to check in that direction... I knew at this point that my race was destroyed, but I took a deep breath and tried to refocus on the second half of the course. I kind of managed, even though I was a little distracted, and fought to the finish line. Ended up as 4th norwegian girl about 1min behind Ida Bjørgul who was the best of us.
In the middle distance, I still felt ready and calm before the start, and I got a good start into the race. Until control 8 I am satisfied with my race, and I had only some minor mistakes to the 4th and 5th control, and a too long route to the 7th. But out of the 8th control, I was not checking the compass, and I started out in the wrong direction. I realized when I came to the marsh, and changed my plan from going straight to going left. This costed me between 20-30s, but the real mistake came inside the control circle. When I came up to the hill, I looked around for the V-depression, but it was nowhere to be spotted. I kept running until I was on the other side of the hill. Confused I tried to control if I was on the correct hill, and I was. I went back, and search the depression one more time, still nothing to see - I felt "blind and stupied" - until a male runner came and jumped into the depression just beside me, and thereby showed me where it was. Really irritated (on the control setter for not following the rules, and myself), I continued, and I tried to forget about the mistake and keep fighting. At the spectator control I got catched by Marianne Andersen, who started 2 min behind me. She held a little bit higher speed than me, but I tried to keep up and cut her corners. This went well until the 13th control, but to the 14th control I had to give her several meters. To the 15th I lost her, and tired as I was I did not see that I could avoid a lot of climb by going right. So instead I took all the climb straight, and lost again some 20-30s. In the end I was nr 4 of the norwegian girls and 9th in total, 3 minutes behind Judith Wyder who won infront of Marianne.
It was the long distance I had thought of as the most important day during this weekend, and the distance that I think suits me best, and I looked forward to it. I started out controlled, and maybe a little bit safe to the first control, but this gave a safe start into the race, and I feel I ran well the first part. Holding the 3rd-4th positions in the first half of the race. To my control 11 (12th on the map), I got stuck in some green and struggled through it loosing 1 minute, I also made a small error the second half of leg 6 and into control 6, and to control 15 as well. To control 16, there was a knew logded area, and I took a knewly made path instead of the one on the map, and lost 1-2min here. After that I misjudged the marshes in the valley between control 17. and 18. as well as between control 18 and 19, and ran too fare around on the roads. At this part of the race I was also very tired. In the end I was 3rd best norwegian girl and 6th best in total. So a stable performance again, and as the two other days, there were many norwegian girls with good performances, and a tight fight for the top 3 spots. Maja Alm won the race clearly, about 11 min faster than me.
So with the series of 4-4-3 my performances were stable, but missing just a little bit to be really good. Anyway, I feel my trend is positive, and I will try to build on these experiences in the coming weeks. Next week I hope to be on the start line in the World Cup in Finland, which also counts in the WOC selections, as well as NM-sprint in the first weekend of June. I am looking forward to more important compititions the coming weeks!