OLD NEWS >> September 2004
Last weekend I was hiking in the mountains around Grövelsjön
(on the Norwegian border, ca 3,5 hours driving from Borlänge). Usually
I can see and experience mountains only during my training or racing but
this time there was not any time pressure. Only the weather was making
the whole trip a bit tough. It was raining and it was very windy during
the first night and morning and I was freezing in the light-weight sleeping
bag and the 800g - racing tent. Later the weather got much better and
it was actually very enjoyable. September is much better time for hiking
in the Scandinavian mountains than for example July - then there are too
many mosquitoes. Check the photos!
Yesterday I and Patrik won the mix class of "Gruvbragden"
- a sprint multisport race in Falun (10km MTB, 3km running, 3 km canoe,
3km running). Patrik was towing me during the both running sections and
also uphill-MTB (see the picture). It helped to improve the time from
the last year by 2 minutes despite some time loss during small bike accident
(I fell in one curve and crashed together with one guy from another team).
Gruvbragden is a cool race (and well organised). It is a pity that there
are not more people participating. It is a perfect race to start if you
want to try multisport.
Link to results
(our team is called Maybe Silva).
One and half month has gone since I updated my website last time.
The reason is simple - too much work! In August I was responsible
for a Swedish language course organised by our university (Högskolan
Dalarna) and also for the introduction and administration of all international
students coming to Campus Falun (about 100). Unfortunately I am just about
to fininsh this job since the person who had this post from the beginning
is back and I have to leave. It is pretty unclear what I am going to do
after October 31st.
have been trying to train as much as possible (of course...) About
10 hours a week in average which is not much. Mainly MTB. However, most
of the time I am tired and it is difficult to recover. My car got broken
at the end of July... The positive thing about it that I have to go by
bike to work in Falun (abour 25km single trip). I was involved in course
setting work for district championship in relay orienteering which was
organised by my orienteering club Domnarvets GoIF at the end of August.
One week later I was one of the organisers of an adventure day, introducing
some people to climbing, which was a great fun. In August I also participated
in two races:
- Fjällräven Mountain Marathon, Åre, August 6-7th
The race concept of the longest distance (70km) is as follows:
- 2-days-race (35+35km), 2 people in one team have to stay together all
- the night is spent in a camp in the mountains
- the runners have to carry all necessary equipment (tent, mattress, proper
cloths, stove and gas etc) and also the food for both days with them from
- orienteering course on 1:50000 map (15-20 check points each day), easy
navigation compared to an orienteering race
- the terrain is alpine with a lot of elevation and also with some marshlands
which cost a lot of energy, few tracks, the highest point (Åre Skutan
- about 1400m)
- first day mass start, second day chasing start
- the race is organized by Fjällräven (a Swedish company producing
outdoor clothes), start fee 1200SEK (110 EURO)/team, prize money for the
first team 25 000 SEK (2 250 EURO)
ran the longest distance 70km in a team called "Silva/Björntjänts
Kakel och by" together with Hanna Larsson in the ladies class. There
were only 4 teams participating in the longest ladies class but it was
the most exciting fight of the whole race. A fight between our team and
Lundhags Adventure. Lundhags didn't rely on their navigation skills but
they were stronger runners at the end. What happened? Lundhags' girls
were following our team almost the whole first day. They were stopping
at exactly the same places as we were; sometimes even waiting for us for
example when we stopped to fill our bottles. They confessed that they
didn't know where they were sometimes. It was their tactics to follow
us. A mountain marathon is not an orienteering event where the rules forbid
to follow other runners in this way. So we could not protest only fight
harder. In the beginning of the second day we tried some different tactics.
We took another route choice to the first checkpoint and suddenly we were
some 50m ahead of them. We ran as fast as we could and increased the lead.
In the middle of the course (second day) we were about 13 minutes ahead
of them. But the race was not over. They managed to catch us after very
strong downhill running. What to do now? We sat down at one checkpoint
and let them run away, hoping that they would run in a wrong direction.
They did but the terrain was open so they could catch us again and despite
some mistakes Lundhags crossed the finish line first after 14 hours (7+7)
of running in the mountains. No prize money for us but an exciting experience
and good team work with Hanna. There is a story
about our fight (in Swedish) on the official site of race.
Results, photos etc: www.fjallraven.se/fem
City Challenge, Stockholm, August 20-21st
The decision to participate in this race was made 3 days before the start.
Not the best way to prepare for a race like this but we tried to do the
best out of the situation. I competed with my team - "Silva"
together with Staffan, Jari and John + our asistants. The concept of this
race is similar to Raidseries (3 men + 1 woman in one team, 3 on the course
and 1 resting, the woman can skip only limited number of sections, short
pauses between the sections, assistants transporting the equipment and
the resting competitor between the transition areas).
The race consist of three parts:
- Prologue on Friday night (ca 2 hours)
- Long Night (Långa Natten) during the night (ca 8 hours)
- Day After (Dagen Efter) during Saturday with first team coming to the
fininsh at around 4 p.m. (ca 8 hours)
I was confident about the race - I participated in C2 in both 2002 (with
Silva, finishing 4th) and 2003 (with Gainomax Recovery, finishing 8).
The only question mark was kayaking. There was space for only 3 kayaks
on the roof of the assistent-car and I had to borrow kayak from my team-mates
if I wanted to participate in the kayak sections. I tried to paddle in
one of their kayaks a few hours before the start but it felt too unstable
and I realized that I have to skip all kayak sections.
prologue was located in Gröna Lund - a famous fun-park in the centre
of Stockholm where thousands of people were enjoying different activities
such as roller-coaster, bumper cars, fun house, shooting etc. Some of
these activities were included in our race. The prologue was definitely
the best and most exciting part of the race and it was easy to forget
that we have to keep on running, paddling, skating and cycling for at
least 15 more hours. The speed was high during the prologue but it decreased
a lot during the night and the following day. Since I skipped quite many
sections I felt much fresher than my team-mates, towing one of them almost
the whole last orienteering section (10km). We finished 4th - about 2
hours behind Lundhags Adventure. According to my team an "OK-result"
but I was disappointed with our performance. It was pity (and my fault)
that I didn't organise a suitable kayak for me and that I could not participate
in the kayak sections.
It is also a pity to see how the quality of this race decreased. Some
sections had to be cancelled - I guess that the organisers simply set
the course "from a table at home" without running, biking, paddling
etc around it otherwise they would not be able to do such a wrong evaluation
of the expected times for each section. It seems that the organisers'
main goal is to make a lot of money on the race. They concentrate on the
sprint and motion classes, which attract many participants. Some of the
maps, which we had to use were cheap photocopies and almost impossible
to read. It took them couple of days to publish the official result on
their homepage and we had to wait more than one week for the split times...
C2 has been one of my favourite races but unfortunately I had to change
my mind after this year's experience.
from the race (taken by our team photographer Mats Andren @).
The official site of the race www.citychallenge.nu
The report written by the British team Saab Salomon Orange for www.sleepmonsters.com