01 September 2008

Eliteseries weekend in Vimmerby

This weekend I went down to Vimmerby for 2 Eliteseries races. The first was a sprint in Astrid Lindgren's World, which promised to be pretty exciting. It turned out to be a great venue, and a good race in all aspects except the map, which was shocking. It seems to me like the map was updated from its old incarnation (pre-ISSOM) without anybody checking it, ie. just changing some symbols without leaving the office. Not only is the drawing really bad (very untidy - eg. path junctions), but it is also plain wrong. Leaving the 5th control, there is a potential route to the west, but there is marked a building in the way - actually an arch-way. So can you run there? Not according to the rules...
Also basically any white 'runnable' forest on the map was green swamp jungle, and I can't see that it can ever have been white. I made the mistake of thinking white meant runnable, and I lost a lot of time - 20 seconds on number 6 alone! The forest outside the park (around the first controls) had really high vegetation, and I would have used green stripes there. People were also complaining about other things, and rightly the race was removed from the Eliteseries after a number of protests (here if you can read Swedish).
Apart from that it was a nice venue for a race, and I ran ok. I seem to be in really top shape at the moment and I had a number of fastest and good splits. Finished 7th though, about 30 seconds behind.


Sunday was a long distance race with a mass start and with butterflies as forking. It seems to me that butterflies really aren't effective - many times they have the opposite effect, bunching runners up, and so it proved this time as well in my opinion. Far better were the really long legs with big route choices (not that there were many in this race). I ran quite well, trying to stay near the front without doing too much work. I actually took the lead on the way to the 6th, and then lead on my forking from 10 to 15. I lost a little on 14 and 15, and dropped to around 8th. Then on the way to the 19th I decided to run on my own to the south and up the track. That was really good and at the top of the hill I was alone with a huge group behind me. Then I made a stupid error (around a minute) approaching the control and I was back behind chasing. I was chasing what I thought was the lead group (although actually Haldin and Karlsson got away with a better route to 19) all the way from 20 to 25 (despite their shocking route choice to 23), and I caught them again in the butterflies. Although by that point people behind taking a better route to 23 had caught us also. Then it was a bit manic around the second butterflies. My group ran the first one well, but messed the 2nd up, especially 31, so we came back to the central control maybe 30 seconds behind a big group from the other forking. The fastest of us chased them down and there was a sprint finish from number 35 to the finish. At control 33 I was 17th, and then I took 4 places to 36, and 6 places on the climb to 37! I finished 7th, 20 seconds behind a lightning William Lind.

Good tough race. Fun to do these occasionally, and nice to know I have the fitness to fight to the finish.


1 comment:

Tomas Hansson said...

Hi Graham, you won a gift card the other week when you came second at Långlöparnas Kväll. Congrats, excellent time! Please contact me at tomashansson[at]bredband.net , and I'll send it to you. Best regards, Tomas Hansson.