Two weeks ago the Norwegian Champs in Ski-O were moved from Trondheim (for the second year in a row) to Lygna Skisenter, my local playground. I was looking forward to skiing on terrain that I know is mostly flat marsh with some short but steep slopes. The snow didn’t start settling here until early January, so in a month we’ve had a couple of metres of mostly fluffy powder. The last days have been warmer again so the snow has compacted down making the surface for ski-o good too.
I started mid field and was really motivated to ‘go for it’ today. My ‘go for it’ isn’t much faster than my normal skiing speed but I was a little more aggressive on the hills. The first controls passed without a problem, only getting my ski tips stuck in the edges too much. I never fell, but ended with ski’s and limbs in knots on several occasions.
I only made a mistake to control 8, where knowing the terrain counted against me. The optimum route was down a steep ski track descent, one that I normally have issues with anyway (snowplough!), and with the start right at the bottom of the hill I wasn’t sure if it was allowed to go back through the start (without control). I had an image in my head that I would just crash straight into all the people waiting to start, so I went around, and lost probably about 50 seconds. Stupid.
Other than that, I didn’t have any problems, just getting frustrated to get the ski’s stuck so often. I finished 14th but 35% behind the winner, so a great success for a middle distance. I think last year I only achieved this in one really short sprint race, normally hovering around 50-75%. Furthermore I was just 3 minutes behind Ingrid Stengard, the fittest and strongest female athlete I know, and well known Adventure Racer! So I’m quite pleased with this result. The technical terrain probably helped too, I like races that have a dense track network with high possibilities to make mistakes.