Kolmårdskavlen leg 1 for NSK4
I was supposed to run the (shorter) second leg today but a last-minute illness and some team shuffling meant I got (?) to run the first leg instead.
- Splits my forking
My plan was to absolutely go with the flow and use other people but I didn't want to run too hard, blow up and then find myself unable to think as everyone left me in the dust.
The run out of the start was narrow and junky so I only went moderately hard and let a lot of people pass me. I was moving plenty fast even as tons of women passed by. Pretty much the whole crowd went the same way towards one and I hung on, basically just keeping map contact, not making decisions. Seemed like everyone had the same control (we did) and then people went in slightly different directions towards two. I was having a hard time keeping up but there were enough people in sight to keep me moving and I went straight to my control.
Now it was really thinning out but there were a few women still ahead. Alone I would have gone straight but following my rule of going with the crowd if what they were doing made sense I crossed the marsh more directly behind the others, figuring they were just crossing the marsh early for a better approach. Nope, they were going to their forking and therefore so was I (whoops!). We all ran to the same three and then I once again went with the crowd/tracks towards not-my-four. Luckily I caught myself before actually reaching the control but it was still lost time.
Fell in behind those coming out of not-my-three for the longer stretch to four. All of a sudden we got to a control (not-my-four) that I knew wasn't mine but I figured some of the women must also have my forking, which was farther on. Nope. They all took off in another direction and all of a sudden I was all alone. Took me a few seconds to catch my breath and make sure I knew where I was and where I was going and the next two went ok, just a bit slower.
Bad compass work in and out of six lost me some time, and then to eight I seem to have managed to run a route almost entirely different from everyone ahead of me and, since it was mostly on north sides of the hills, there was a decent amount of snow. I was feeling a little bummed out at this point at having lost everyone so early. I did see a few other people (on various courses, it seemed) around the rocks for nine and ten but there seemed to be lots of forkings and people moving in random directions, so no help there. All alone again for the long leg to eleven, though I found some useful tracks this time.
On my way to 12 I once again seemed to have been lazy with my direction, causing me to be right of the control where I bumped into Frida (from NSK3) who was having trouble breathing, so I stopped and waited with her until she could move again. We punched 12 and 13 together and then it happened again (we were now in the arena passage), so I waited until someone from our club came by to be with her. She sounded awful but she eventually went on to finish the course.
The last bit was in really nice rocky, more open, less snowy terrain and I had started running without really knowing what I was doing, still sort of freaked out by how horrifying Frida sounded trying to breath. I took it slowly and carefully and came out the other side alive and without mistakes there, running hard into the exchange area only to find... no one! Alix hadn't been expecting me and didn't realize I was close to finishing until she saw me punch the go control. I spent a few minutes standing there, calling out for Alix, jumping up and down and waving at the Nydalen section to make sure she was on her way, folding her map for the first leg, etc., and then eventually (it seemed like forever) she showed up and was off.
Nice day, very nice terrain, more typically Swedish than the previous stuff, which I enjoyed very much.