Vinterresjet. A really fun event. I guess I could call it a race, but it's really more of a spectacle. It's mass start, and mass confusion. The maps are peppered with hints about how to find the controls, but those hints are sometimes Swedish text, wrapping around the edges of the map.
My plan, going into this race, was to not get too hung up on knowing what was going on, to do an awful lot of following the lead if someone looked like they knew what they were doing, and to run hard.
I got a lot of help from other racers that translated stuff for me when I looked lost and when I said things like " I have no idea what I'm doing right now."
Some triumphs and some failures when it came to the tricks. I got caught hard by the mirror flipped control on the first map, I ran to where there was a control and a sign that said something like "Are you sure you're in the right spot?" I didn't realize the mirror flip until I had finished the whole course, basically... I just followed the first person that yelled "Ah!" and he lead me right to the flag.
I triumphed, though, on the swiveled control on map two, because I noticed the little patch of field, and realized that I couldn't follow my compass but instead had to go to where the field really was.
I also triumphed on the quiz about mushrooms section of the course. I hadn't read the information sheet in our packet, but I knew enough biology and enough Swedish to answer the questions correctly and thus I visited all the proper controls.
Perhaps the biggest time loss for me was making a Swedish translation mistake though. There was a section after control 20 that had been blanked out, except for a few narrow corridors that traced through the empty zone. There was a warning in the empty zone that I mistakenly read as "you are not allowed to run in the empty areas" but what was really a warning about not running in the "private areas" [a one letter difference from tom to tomt]. I ran a long way around to avoid that, but I should have just run straight through the blind zone.
Very fun day, and a cool chance to run with lots of people in various places around the course. It's really nice to see a small group of dedicated juniors put on such an amazing show. 90 starters, entry was free for juniors this year, and about 3$ for adults ( they had a grant to help offset costs this year). Between the 5 of them, they made a sprint map, creatively mangled everything in OCAD, had a cool arena, food, awards, and great atmosphere. Check out their website