3rd leg on NSK 2. Super fun.
Time to elaborate. The first two legs of 25manna are run solo and the third leg is the first of the 4-at-a-time legs. That means that four of us headed into the exchange zone together to warm up and wait for Gjermund, our 2nd leg runner. It was fun to have a whole group to warm up with, and then once we got going (as our designated map-carrying-sprinter Marte handed us maps) it was fun to have the others around. Marte and I quickly confirmed that we had the same first control (we were expecting 4 different first controls) and that was an additional boost, knowing that we didn't all have to split up right away.
I stuck with a group that moved decently fast for most of the route to 1, leading a bit, and then things got a little slower for me. There were definitely a few times when I was unsure and stopped for a bit to check things out, but I think it was worth. Overall it went pretty well, you can watch it here:
For the most part there were runners everywhere, sometimes going my way, sometimes going slightly not my way, sometimes heading backwards after hitting a wrong forking, and sometimes standing at a control trying to figure out where they were. The one exception to this was near the end of the course, going to 7, where I was confident I was going to my control and everyone else around me disappeared in other directions. Once I got there I think I checked the code three times just to make sure it was mine. Still no one else! It turns out that control had 4 forkings so I guess I just happened upon a big gap in other A runners.
I got to the finish chute feeling like I'd had a decent go and hoping I wasn't too far behind the others (I'd seen Marte and Anne ahead of me at #5). I heard someone coming up behind me on the way over the bridge and tried to stay ahead but really couldn't. She passed me just before the finish punch and I see that it was Marte, who had just sneaked ahead of me. Phew! That's fine. Anne came in just 30s later, so that's some nice timing by team 2, slightly offset by Maiken's rough day, but we still like her.
Each of us sent out a kid for leg 4 and then cheered on both teams for the rest of the day. Our first team ended with a very good (but we can do better) 12th place, and team 2 in 128th. I bit off of my predictions of 1st and 85th but we'll get there.
I would like to take this time to declare that we must build a US 25manna team and complete soon. 2017? Who's in?