So on Thursday we started to get organised with the plan of heading away mid afternoon. By 7 pm when it was dark, cold and raining we were finally ready - we decided to postpone our departure until Friday morning.
The drive to Uppsala is pretty long - especially driving on the slow and windy Norwegian roads. We drove over a snowy pass, then down down down until we were on the flatter faster Swedish roads. We stopped to look at a crater formed by an asteroid thousands of years ago.
Finally we reached Uppsala, and Martin's girlfriend's brother's house where we were able to stay! It was rainy and a bit cold, so Chris decided he better head out for a last minute roller blade practice (-:
We reveled in the cheap and delicious Swedish supermarkets.
In the morning it was still raining and cold, but luckily we had both brought loads of warm gear with us. We drove down to the kayak transition to drop off Chris's boat, and I met my very friendly teammate Josefine. Then it was up to the main race transition area to madly try and get everything sorted in time.
For the short course we started with a short canoeing section, which was fun, but a crazy mad scramble to get down to the river. After the canoe was the orienteering section. Josefine was super speedy, but had left me entirely in charge of the navigation.... the forest seemed like typical Swedish terrain, flat, no features, marshy, the odd boulder....ghghegehghe!
I really struggle in that type of terrain, especially under pressure and so we made some big mistakes. After over an hour we made it round the course and switched to the mountain bike orienteering section. This was pretty straightforward, but extremely muddy slippery riding.
Then it was on to the 'bike run' section, where one person bikes and the other runs, and you can swap round if you want. I still didn't have the navigation under control really, but it was much easier fortunately. Finally we had a short orienteering course to finish the race - we headed up the hill and I decided to try really hard to make no mistakes.
To my amazement we managed to orienteer the last 4 controls perfectly and just hold off the other girls. So, even if we kind of sucked I was happy - and it was really fun racing with Josefine.
After the roller blade they had a long paddle and this is where they actually lost most of their time on the winning teams - unfortunately Chris's lack of paddling in Trondheim showed up. After that they charged through an orienteering section, mountain biking, the same bike run thing and then the same little orienteering course. They finished in 6th I think, both saying they weren't so excited about their placing, but that they had really enjoyed the race. Both were completely brown with mud!
We had a nice little catch up with Aaron, Sara, Karin and Greta before the prize giving, then we headed back to our place in Uppsala for some delicious warm showers and dinner at a yummy Thai restaurant.
It was a long drive home on Sunday - especially given we both had rather sore muscles! But it had been a very fun weekend. I have to say thanks to the race website, I hope they don't mind me using some of their photos - it's hard to take some when you are competing (-: