This weekend the World Cup Final was held in Grindelwald in Switzerland. In beautiful, but steep mountain terrain we ran a long distance on Friday. I had a good start even though I was a little slow, and was in the fight for top 10 the first half of the course. But made a bad routechoice as well as searching two controls a little, which put me down in 21st position in the end. In the middle distance Saturday, again in a beautiful mountain forest, I did an other stable technical performance, but lacked the speed for a top position, and ended as 27th. With these two last world cup races, I ended as 25th in the World Cup Total. The weekend was rounded off with a sprint relay which counted in the Relay World Cup. I ran the 4th leg for team Norway 3 in team with Ingjerd Myhre, Håkon Jarvis Westergård and Thomas Natvig Årstad. I was sent out as 7th team, and did a good leg and ran us up to 4th position. Very good performances from all the three norwegian teams with the end positions 2nd, 4th and 7th, and we could end the Relay World Cup on the podium as 3rd nation.
I travelled to Grindelwald at Thursday, and ran the model event in the afternoon. Friday we had to take the Firstbahn up to almost 2200m above sea level for the quarantine. The path to the start at 1900m went through open, steep mountain slopes. I was really looking forward to this long distance race, as I like tough long distances, and to be able to run in such beautiful mountain slopes is just fantastic. The slope to the first control was very steep and the runability was low, but I just fought to keep the height, and found the first control without problems. Short downhill controls followed and I took my time to avoid mistakes. At control 5 I catched the runner who started 2 min ahead of me, but I chose to run up and she down on the long leg to control 6. Up on the path in the open fields I even saw a marmot (murmeltier). The slope towards control 6 was rocky and steep and I hesitated a lot, probably loosing about 30'. Additionally, my routechoice was probably approx. 1min slower than the left route. At control 6 I was at 11th position after everyone had passed. After two controls down the slope, a new long leg waited, I thought the climb would be the same on both routes, and decided to go up in order to run most of the distance on a flat road. Down towards the control I misinterpreted the map, and missed the path, and I hesitated and was not sure where I was, I decided to run until the cliff, and from there the control was easy. I probably lost about 1:30min on the routechoice and some more by my mistake down towards the control (in total I lost 4:12min to the best split, but some of it was physical) . Out of control 9 I tried to keep the height, but it was rocky and steep, and I climbed up and found the path after the other runners out and up to the field. Up to the arena and passt it was mostly physical, and at the arena I heard I was 7th and 2:30min behind. I was tired but tried to keep it together the last loop, but I misunderstood the counters into control 13 and lost 1 min here. With that I lost the chance for a top 15, and ended the race as 21st. Overall a good technical performance, but I lacked physical capacity to really be able to fight in the top. The other norwegians ran well, and we got two women top 6, and three top 10, while the men also got two top 6, so a very good norwegian day.
Picture: Rolf Gemperle.
The last race of this year's World Cup was a middle distance in the forest just above Grindelwald. The forest was open, steep, but fast, and it was really beautiful. I enjoyed the race from the start to the finish (minus running steep downhill on asphalt with spikes), and managed to do a stable technical performance. I started carefully, but came a little fare down into the reentrance and got a longer climb as necessary. I continued well, but to the 7th I again took a bit more climb than necessary. Towards the 8th I catched the runner who started 2min ahead of me, but we ran differently to the 9th. At the 10th we were together again, and out of the 11th I was a little bit to fast and not careful enough and I made a mistake. I had to stop and relocate and she ran away. I managed to keep the mistake small (lost a total of 1 min to this control, which all of it was not the mistake). After this control I was tired, but I kept orienteering well. Out of control 15 I ran straight down the slope, which was rocky and steep and slow, and down on the road I decided to run via the field to make it easy, but I got confused by the cliffs, and lost some time. The 17th went well, and after that there was only running down to the arena in town. I ran in quite some time behind the leaders, and realized that my speed had just been too low (as on the long distance) to really fight for any good position, and I ended the race as 27th. Also today we got two norwegian women in the top 10, and one man in the top 6.
Picture; Sven Alexandersson.
After the middle distance race, the teams for the sprint relay was selected and I got the 4th leg in team 3, and together with me in the team I got Ingjerd, Håkon and Thomas. After a long wait in the quarantine without possibility to really follow the race I could hear the speaker, and also talk with the runners who ran before me. The three (four) norwegian women running the first leg ran well, and changed over as 3rd (team 1), 5th (team 2) and 9th for Ingjerd. The men followed up, and when Sweden team 1 and Suisse team 1 got disqualified, our team 1 was starting the last leg in 1st position. The 2nd team was 3rd, and I could start at 7th together with Finland team 2, France team 1 and Russia team 1. I tried to focus on my own race and picked my first 3 controls without problems. My routechoice to the 6th was not optimal, but the runners around me also did not take the best route, and I kept my position even though I lost 10s to the best split. To the arena passage I was just behind suisse team 3 and FIN 2, and out of the arena I passed FIN2. I pushed up the hill, and could see SUI 3 infront of me. Towards control 9 I had the shorter forking and picked the best routechoice, and gained time on the leaders, passt NOR 2 and SUI 3. I got the shorter forking also to control 12, and I got a gap to the runners behind and could see SUI 2 fare ahead of me. Down towards control 15 I saw SUI 2 ahead of me and RUS 1 behind, and I tried to focus on the technical job to keep RUS 1 behind. I hesitated a little towards the 19th, but made no mistakes, and could keep my position until the finish, and run us in as 4th team, and I had the 2nd best leg time. Norway team 1 got 2nd place behind Sweden team 2, and Switzerland team 2 catched the 3rd position. This was definitly the best world cup sprint relay we as team has done, and as a bonus we won the 3rd position in the overall Relay World Cup.
Picture: Øystein Kvaal Østerbø.
Picture: Emma Johansson.
Picture: Remy Steinegger