The first World Cup round of 2019 was held close to and in Helsinki in the beginning of June (8th-11th) with Middle Distance, Chasing start and Sprint Relay on the program. The weekend was the first warm days of the summer and we came from 15 degrees in Norway to 30degrees in Finland. The Middle Distance was therefore a tough race, but I did what I could to deal with the heat, and ran a stable technical race until the 2nd last control, which I search at least 1minute and ended on a 22nd place in the end. In the chasing the day after I felt tired and my whole race I was within a group and ended 26th. The last race was a sprint relay held in the city center of Helsinki with a great arena and lots of people. I ran leg 1 for Norway 1, and my race was good except a small mistake on the 3rd last control and I changed over in the big group behind Sweden 1. My team (Kasper Fosser, Gaute Steiwer and Ingeborg Eide) ran well and we were in the medal fight all the way, and got a strong 4th place.
I knew some days in advance that it was supposed to be hot in the weekend of the forest races in Finland, but there was not enough time to climatize and get the body used to high temperatures before the compititions. I therefore tried to be good in getting enough salts and drinking enough in the days coming up and also to train in the heat also these last days. I was also careful not to overheat while warming up and I was able to put the heat away in my head while compiting. My start into the Middle Distance was a little weak, I did not catch the small path and ran a bit further left than my plan, but I realized and corrected it. After that I ran technically well with only minor mistakes for many controls. But on the long leg to control 11 I did not execute my plan well and ended up running straight through the green and got stuck in some fallen threes up the slope. At control 11 I was already feeling extremly tired and I decided to take a gel to try to help my brain for the last loop of the race. I continued well on the next 4 controls, but to the 5th I wanted to go safe via the big rock in the yellow area right of the line, but from there I could not get the terrain and map to fit and ended too much to the right (I think I might have been at a smaller rock which was not on the map but I don't know). This mistake costed me at least 1minute, and towards the last control I also struggled to find the bridge and lost some 15s also here. I was therefore very irritated on myself in the finish and it costed me many positions on the final resultslist, and I ended up as 22nd. Tough race physically as expected, but happy that I keep it together technically for most of the controls (minus one control) though. Something to build on for upcoming compititions.
The day after we ran a chasing start based on the results of the middle distance, and I therefore started just behind three runners and had rather many runners close behind. To the first control I wanted to use the big path a bit to the left in the beginning and then go straight, but the three runners infront of me went straight directly and I did not want to go solo already from the start so I decided to stay with them. We lost time on this routechoice and the runners behind catched up with us approaching the forking. Since we had all the controls on the map we did see when it was forked and in the butterfly I alsways had some runners with me, but at least I was in the front part of the group and could be in charge of the orienteering for myself. Finishing the forking I started to be really tired and I took a gel to try to compensate a bit. From here on there was no more forking and I managed to stay in my group eventhough I was very tired. I did not have to orienteer at all from here on, but I stayed focused to avoid making mistakes if the runners infront of me did. At the last loop I tried to be more active technically and got closer the first control, and the 2nd control, but to the last control I went more straight then the others and ended up in high gras and low runability (not possible to read out of the map) and only lost time instead. I was also struggling hard physically this last loop and came in last in my group as 26th. Not my day, and not really fun to run a whole race just being part of a big group. For the future I hope they can make the forkings more interesting if they want to keep the chase format. I would have liked better to do a normal long distance race.
After one day of rest we went to Helsinki for the sprint relay. I ran the 1st leg for Norway 1 and I got a good start leading my forking towards control 1. Sweden 1 with Tove Alexandersson passed me on the way there and she had a higher pace then me all the way, but I kept the 2nd spot for a while. The forkings at control 3 and 4 were very strange and not smart with opposite running directions around a building and there was a lot of collisions at least on the first leg. Tove got a gap out of these controls and was some meters ahead at the 5th control. Also the narrow passages in and out of the 5th control was not optimal with so many teams and again a lot of collisions. At the 6th and 7th control I and Tove had the longer forking and the group who had had the longer forking on control 1 came up again and at the 8th leg towards the arena Sweden 2 and 3 were pushing very hard and closed the gap up to Tove who started to get big. I was not able to follow them, but were in the group behind. Kept loosing some time to the three swedes but ran in the front part of the chasing group behind them. Entering the last few controls more consentration was needed, but I made a small mistake to the 3rd last running one corner too fare and had to turn. This costed me about 10s and I dropped from the front of the group to the back of the group. I changed over in 11th posititon (?) but with only seconds up to the medal positions. Kasper, Gaute and Ingeborg fought well all the way through the relay and we ended up as 4th with only some few seconds up the the Czech Team 1 who took the 3rd place. We were happy with that!