Monday, September 12, 2011

SM Lång Weekend

This weekend we joined the club and drove 5 hours to Alingsås, just south of where the Swedish national long distance championships took place. The drive out was long and fairly uneventful, except that we were totally the coolest car because I had baked chocolate chip cookies to eat as road trip food. In some ways, these championships worked like a WOC long distance race. On Saturday there were qualifiers, with 12 from each heat for the elite women and 10 from each heat for the elite men making it into the finals on Sunday. Ross and I both had out best races yet in Sweden, but neither of us qualified. I finished 14th, a little less than 2 minutes out and Ross finished 33rd. In order to make the final for the men you had to finish between 2 and 4 minutes behind the leader, depending on the heat. For the women, you had to finish between 8 and 10 minutes behind the leader. Impressive how close the times were for the men!

After the races on Saturday a few of us went exploring around the small town of Alingsås and had coffee in a café. The guy working behind the counter immediately knew I was American and asked where I was from. Coincidentally enough, he had lived in Newton for a year! Small world! That evening when Lisa and I were sitting around in our hotel room we heard lots of commotion coming from outside. Turns out Saturday evenings are when the locals take their cars out for a spin! I found it incredibly amusing :)

Hm, I wanted to put the video right in the blog, but I can't get it to work, so here is a link the the raggare. Raggare means Greasers, which is the closest word I could come up with for this. Google's first translation of raggare is Asian Network... which doesn't seem like it has any connection to Greasers.

On Sunday everyone who didn't make the final got to run the spectator race, which was a middle distance race. I ran another fairly solid race, but Ross's was a bit less smooth. The girls decided to race the finish chute today and I claimed the victory. In the process though I got covered in mud, since the entire chute was a mud pit (it was the same finish chute as yesterday). Sunday didn't rain as much as they had initially predicted, but it drizzled a few times and had rained overnight so the entire field was mud. I now understand the joys of owning rain pants and rain boots. Must get myself some in order to survive here.

My sneakers in the mud. Must get rain boots.

Enjoying the sawhorse that Ross took from elsewhere in the arena so that we would actually have somewhere to sit. Also must get stool.

Everything was damp and muddy... but we had so much fun :)

Ok Linné came home with two medals - Mats was third in H21 and Albin was first in H20. Well done! After a long day in the mud we headed home (magically the vans managed to escape the muddy parking field). It was another long five hours, but the entire van breaking into song to the Backstreet Boys made it go by a bit faster :)


pg said...

Looks like you ran well both days. Certainly improving. Keep it up.

pg said...

And thanks for the blog, good stories.

Samantha said...

Thanks! This terrain was more like home - bigger features! But I think we are adjusting and training hard, so hopefully we'll continue to improve!

Anonymous said...

I suppose you (the club) expect to be medal contenders for the relays as well? At least the male junior and H21 teams would be possible medals. What about the women?

Samantha said...

I don't think the women are medal contenders, but I'm not 100% sure. But yes, the male junior and H21 teams are quite strong.

Anonymous said...

Alingsås!That's the town I lived in for a year as a HS student. Did my first orienteering there, in gym class, but I had no idea what we were doing (we went in groups and my group didn't bother to fill me in). Nice little town, lots of memories ...
Peggy D