Started the race with a big old long leg. Strayed off line early on when I mistook which track I was on but quickly corrected and rejoined the train, immediately losing the places I'd gained through speed and settling into a rhythm. After crossing the track I wanted to climb over the spur and go straight for the control but not a single other person was going for that option, everyone was going around. Only barely missed it but I was running on that hillside for quite a long while and I wasn't sure where I was. There was a thick reentrant so I bounced back and hit it. Time lost, should have trusted myself and left the track but that contrasts heavily with all the times I left the track and shouldn't have. Ah well.
Things were pretty dark but I wasn't confident enough in my headlamp's battery to put it on full power. I can test that when the stakes are lower but I just chilled on the lower power for the whole race. Plus when I put it on high power I can't read the map, it's too damn reflective.
A string of controls of chilling with the train and looking for good footing in the forest to pass people. The opportunities were pretty slim but I took them when I could. Downed some Dexal, but my pace up the hill into 7 wasn't the best. The guy behind me said in German to stick to the train and I spent a while confused on why he would speak German to the guy wearing the US shirt but nonetheless I flew through the green and connected our train to the dudes in front of us. Small miss into 7 but fixed. Lots of mistakes wow was very scrappy looking back at it, not the best nav.
Hooked onto the train for 8 and 9, let them do all the nav and just tagged along for the ride. Moved into some dope passing maneuvers on the next string of controls. Horrible to 13, the train disappeared and by the time I corrected I rejoined right where I had passed it around 11. Shoot. I hit the ride and thought I was on a different part of it. Yes, I was looking at my compass. Yes, I knew I was off line. Yep, didn't fix it. I think I talked about this problem two weeks ago during the world cup qualifications. Need to fix it.
Split from the train into 14, was a good decision they went further around to the left. Uneventful for 15 and 16, the lighting was getting a bit brighter, I had people around me, hesitated into the circle on 15 but otherwise fine, but really these weren't important legs.
16 was fun, I was with a small group of 4 other guys and at least two were Russian. Let them guide me through the undergrowth. More boring stuff after that.
Quite bad into 20. When I was in the broad reentrant I thought I was already in the narrower index contour. Wanted to edge along the side of the hill, which I did. Wrong hillside. Hit that green and open area and corrected. Not very well, but I corrected. Hit two other controls before I hit mine. Just peak stuff. Lost a lot of places on that leg. There's literally a hill with a spur coming off it that leads to the control.
Overall, was a scrappy Jukola filled with dodgy mistakes and showed more things to improve on. Lots of work to do, off to Sweden we go.
I figure if there's anywhere to put this it would be here, to make it easy to follow the progress over the years.