Ås by Night & Fog Cup #5 (01/02/2022)
Category: Competition
Map/area: Granerud
Distance: 4.92 km
Time: 46:17
Average HR: 156
Maximum HR: 177
Heavy snow resulted in lots of accidents and delays in the Oslo area, I arrived at the arena parking barely 1 min before the mass start! I just had to take off my warm-up pants (no time to warm up anyway), put on the battery vest and headlamp and run over to the start area. Due to the forking setup the starter then had to find my personal map which took another minute or two, so in reality I got to start 18:18:08, i.e. 3 min 8 seconds after the rest.

With the fresh snowfall on top of the original crusty snow cover it was easy to follow elephant trails to my first (forked) control, which by chance was the easiest and gave me an obvious route to #2 where I also got the fast forking, so at this point I had caught up to the stragglers and started to pass runners.

I took slightly different routes than those I could see in front of me, both up to #4 where I thought they went too far east (I passed a group here) and also up to #5 where my personal choice was less successful and I lost a little time (20-30 s?) to the fastest runners.

Very good route and execution to #6, over to #7 I again "took the route less travelled".

On #8 I made my only mistake: I had the south forking and I knew I needed to go a bit further south but I felt I had to check the code when I spotted the north fork. At this point I knew exactly where I was but then when I planned to go south to hit the series of cliffs leading to the control, I aimed in the wrong direction and hit/followed the wrong set of cliffs, about 75 degrees off from my planned course. When I didn't find a flag there I finally checked my compass, realized where I was and ran around the knolls to my control. I lost almost exactly one minute here.

OK to #9, then I considered going straight to #10 but the terrain and snow cover made it too tempting to drop down to the path, a route which I in hindsight believe was faster even though the big paths were pure ice.

Compass to the last control. When the terrain offered a natural path/shallow ravine slightly to the left of my bearing I used it but knew that I had to compensate for this after crossing the path.

The final run-in was scary! Extremely slick ice covered with 3-5 cm of fluffy powder that acted as extra lubrication and a buffer so my spikes didn't work properly.

It is of course quite clear that I gained back most of the 3+ minutes I started behind simply because I did a lot less trail breaking than the front of the pack.
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Ås by Night & Fog Cup #5 (01/02/2022) Ås by Night & Fog Cup #5 (01/02/2022)