Orienteering race 3:32:10  23.5 km (9:02 / km)
shoes: VJ Supra Fall 2011
I wasn't sure I was going to run until the last possible moment, as I had felt quite sick the two days before, and also in the morning before the start. But hey, I am in Norway, and this is a race I have always wanted to run, so I came to the start thinking I could always stop after one loop. It was fun to stand at the start line with Ross and Olle - we had our own race within a race to battle out.
Right off the bat, I did the idiotic thing of choosing my own route to the first control, trying to save some climb. If I had executed well, I probably would have been right with the leaders, but I lost confidence and stopped short, losing 30 seconds and the pack. Only one other person was with me at 1 - Olle. On the way to 2 we picked up Ross too - none of us had a good start.
The rest of the first loop I kept having trouble, as I was just not used to Norwegian terrain and maps. I made two more big mistakes on that loop (probably two minutes each), but the last three controls before the map exchange, and I decided to continue, going through the arena just seconds ahead of Olle and maybe two minutes behind Ross.
The second loop was better. I was moving slower, but orienteering much more confidently. No mistakes on this loop, and I passed a few people, and saw Ross along the way. Ate a Gu and some banana at the exchange.
The third short loop seemed to fly by. I was feeling really good here and passed a few more people along the way. Another Gu and more banana here.
Then came the long, 11.3km, final loop. I passed the arena with two other guys just ahead. Unfolding the map, I saw that getting the two first controls cleanly was really important, as they were very long legs, and the rest of the course would feel like coming back in to the finish. I ran well here and spiked 1 and 2. A bit more of a group formed for 3-8. I was getting tired here, but could tell that the other guys were even more tired. I pushed hard on the hill up to 8 and got a bit of a separation from the guys behind me, but then promptly screwed up 9. This demoralized me, and I was really slow on the short legs towards the final spectator control. I stopped there and ate one more Gu and drank a bunch before heading out on the last loop. Didn't see anyone there and orienteered slowly, but cleanly.
Finished in 44th, nearly a full hour behind the impressive Anders Nordberg. I probably made about 9 minutes of mistakes, 6 of them on the very first loop. I am not sure how much faster I would have run if I managed to not lose the pack right away. It is quite possible that I would have run out of energy earlier and not even finished.
Anyway, I'm really glad I ran this, and I ended up really enjoying it. One more event crossed off my list of Orienteering Races to Run Before You Die!