O-Festivalen Lang H60 (23/06/2018)
Category: Competition
Map/area: Skytterkollen
Distance: 6.59 km
Time: 47:15
Yes! 5 years since my last win in O-Festivalen Long distance and 4 years since I had major ankle surgery I am finally more or less back where I used to be.

Today I won more splits than any other runner, particularly those with tough uphill or cross-country navigation, but I very nearly lost the victory on control 8 where the description was wrong. In the end I was just 18 and 59 seconds ahead of my old friends Harald Thon and Arve Glittum, Arve lost the win by missing the last (!) control.

BTW, since I forgot to start my watch until halfway to #4, the first three controls have been drawn by hand, but the timing is correct.

Won the first split and ran OK to #2 & 3, keeping the lead.

To #4 I didn't take the best route, I suspect that Harald who was 22 s faster ran slightly right of the line and cut down to the path, I was afraid that this could be rocky so I turned more left when I spotted the road. Both Harald and Arve passed me, with Arve in the lead.

EDIT: I spoke with Harald after the Sunday race, he told me that he actually ran almost straight, so he skipped the road but avoided the climb from the bridge/open field back up to the control. Very well done!

#5 was simply bad direction running in the beginning, the plan was to go nearly straight but now I had to cut across the partly overgrown logged area. I was 21 s behind Trond Rønneberg here and Harald took over the lead.

OK down to #6, just a few seconds slower than Arve.

Pushing hard up the hill to #7 gave another split win and now only Harald was in front.

I decided to take the 100% safe route to #8, running back to the path and then I followed the ridge out to the nose. My GPS shows that I passed the flag after 1:30, 12 seconds faster than Arve who won this split, but the problem was the control description: I had read that casefully "NE foot of nose" so I just ran right past the flag since I knew I was looking for an edge with the control located below it!

It took me exactly 2 min to get back, so instead of being just 1 sec behind Harald here the distance was now 2:01 and 1:35 to Arve, with Kjell Markset just 30 sec ahead.

My route to #9 was suboptimal, I should have either gone down along the road or followed the ski track further up the hill before crossing over. Eirik Næss-Ulseth won this split clearly but I gained some time on all three in front of me.

#10 was the toughest leg on the course, I won this and got back into 3rd spot.

The cross-terrain let to #11 went very well, another clear split win left me just 49 and 20 s behind, but hesitation into #12 (I took the wrong path up the final hill) increased the gaps again.

OK to #13, second-best split after Ivar Refsland and the gaps were down to 32 and 24 s.

Harald made his only significant error to #14 (maybe he took the lower right-hand path?), dropping about 45 s and handing me the second spot, but Arve increased his lead to 37 s.

The final control is where Arve finally messed up, according to the Livelox tracking he made an almost 45 degree direction error and ran east of the dangerous marshes, losing 1.5 minutes and handing me the win in spite of that 2 min error on #8.

I am quite certain that without the "foot of" description for #8 I would never have run past it, so I am very happy that I still got the win. :-)
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O-Festivalen Lang H60 (23/06/2018) O-Festivalen Lang H60 (23/06/2018)