Monday, September 20, 2010

Norsk Mesterskap Orientering

Last weekend the Norwegian National Orienteering Champs took place in Beiterstolen - 5 hours South of Trondheim, not far from the Jotunheimen National Park. We headed away from Trondheim at about 5pm on Friday night, after I had arrived home from work and beavered away to make a pizza and some cookies for us to munch on during the long drive.

At Oppdal we met up with Bård and Ola, and they joined us in our car to make our trip a little more environmentally friendly. We arrived at a cosy cabin at about 11pm and went straight to sleep. Chris and I were both feeling tired after a long week at work, and in the morning we had quite early starts to deal with.

A plush grass roofed 'cabin' at Beiterstolen - the one we were staying in was rather more modest than this little mansion.

The arena at Beiterstolen - they even had a big screen with GPS tracking following the competition, pretty impressive technology for following orienteering.

I really wasn't in the mood for orienteering the next morning, but I was entered so I didn't have much choice but to turn up. It was a middle distance at least, so not too long. I headed off to the start, aware that it was supposed to be a 2km run to the start. However, after running 2 km I got to the start and no one was there! I quickly realised I had somehow taken the wrong way and I was now at the start of the final for the afternoon, not the morning qualification start!

So I had to run 2 km back, then 2 km to the real start! By that stage I had missed my start by almost one hour, and the time from my real start is the one that was recorded in the results! Opps! I actually enjoyed my run after all that, it was tricky and very flat, which was great given I was very tired after already running 6 km!

Chris finished just after me - he had a disaster of a run and missed out on qualifying for the final. Oh well, we enjoyed blobbing around for the afternoon and went for a walk to take in the amazing autumn colours in the mountains.
Emily is thinking "Autumn in Norway is really pretty"
Red and yellow trees, getting ready for snow again!

The next day was the relay and Chris ran the first leg in the first Wing team, while I ran in the 5th men's team. The women's Wing team came 5th overall - there are about 50 teams entered, so it is a tough race. Chris wasn't particularly pleased with his run, but the other two in his team ran well, so they finished in a respectable 6th place.

The men ready to start the relay race on Sunday

It really was ridiculous how fast the men started - not a lot of map reading going on at this stage. Chris sneaks in from the outside here to get near the front of the bunch.

On the drive back home we took this photo looking toward the famous Beseggen ridge. The photo doesn't really do justice to the beautiful autumn colours.

Imarbu Sea Kayak

In preparation for the World Adventure Race Champs which Chris will compete in a few weeks time in Spain we decided on a kayak mission for the weekend. On the Thursday week night before we left it was very mild so both Chris and I took a dip in the Kyvannet - I'm pretty sure that will be our last swim in the lake this year (-:

Evening and autumnal feeling swim in the Kyvannet

On Friday afternoon after work I met Chris at the boat sheds in Ila in our wee Toyota Corola. I had already been in town purchasing some lengths of rope for attaching the kayaks to the little set of roof racks which came with our car. We headed out of town in heavy traffic and through to Orkanger. From there we drove the E39, a road we have previously biked along - until we made it to Valsøa where we loaded the kayaks and set out across the fjord in the gathering dusk.
The fjord in the fading light - it was about 8 when we finally set out
Chris organising the kayaks

Nearly ready to go

We paddled for over three hours - it was about 16km across the fjord then up another channel to the DNT hut Imarbu. It was beautiful and calm, but unfortunately we were too busy paddling to take any photos and it was dark too, so they might not have come out so well.

By ten o'clock Chris thought we should be close and sure enough a light appeared in front of us and we heard voices on the beach. There was a 'working bee' happening on the hut, so there was a big group of friendly Norwegians staying there, as well as a tramping group from the Uni. One man we met had just been studying in Dunedin for a year, so we had lots to talk about with him!

Imarbu hut the next morning
Before we set out for our long paddle on Saturday, I was considering ditching the kayaks and taking that inflatable white speed boat thingee in the background.

The sky was gray, but the scenery was still very cool
We paddled for about 4 hours before we stopped for lunch on a rock outcrop. We saw a wee otter swimming amongst the rocks, and I was enjoying listening to my iPod as we paddled. We had also rigged up an ingenious tow system the night before so my kayak slip streamed Chris's.... and if I felt like a little break he would never even notice....

At about 7 o'clock we finally rounded the headland and floated back into the bay where we had parked the car. We were both really tired after a long paddle, but happy to be back at the car and it was Saturday night, so the best thing was to be able to drive home and have a nice long sleep in the next morning (-: