10mila in Småland, more to the south than usually. Very atypical legs lenghts contribution among the race and unusually early start at 19:30. But .. typical winner. That was in shortcut this year 10mila.
We in OK Kåre had quite high ambitions as we all were in the good shape and felt confident about the race. It was difficult to decide who will run each leg but in the end we had the perfect team in my opinion.
On the first leg, Czech national team member Adam Chloupek who was believed the best first leg runner at daylight. Althought he didn’t have much exeperience with such a big competitions he did very good job and he changed to the second leg just some minute after the leader in group with good teams. On second leg, Radek Nožka did amazing job and thanks to 12th place on the leg he gave me map just 2 minutes after the leading group.
I ran the third leg. 13km and not forked just after the sunset. SO beggining was at twilight and the end at night. From the very beggining I ran in the group of people with teams such as Kristiansand, Södertälje-Nykvarn or Kalevan Rasti around me. Pace was very high and we ran body to body for nobody wanted to loose a tight contact with head of the group. It was even worse when we soon cought the first group after their mistake on the routechoice. Than more than 40 people were in the group. When I ran in the middle of the group it was extremly difficult to look a the map and simultaneusly to keep high pace. As soon as I looked at the map and lost just half a meter to the runner before me than immidiatelly somebody attempted to overrun me. Even worse situation were on the controls. At most times there were just two SI boxes and imagine that at least 20 runners try to stick their SI card to the hole at the same time. On some controls I struglled more than half a minute before I managed to punch the controls and I wasn’t even sure if I really punched it because I had no chance to see the light or hear the sound. And for me roads were the worst part of the race. We ran really fast in the terrain but when we reached some road than the pace became crazy. I had to use all my strenghts that remained in me to follow the group and I was praying to turn to forest soon. On the last few controls I felt strong and I managed to follow the group and in the finnish I was just 30 seconds after the leader so everybody from the team was satisfied.
Following legs were ran by our Swedish runners Fredrik Mattsson and Fredrik Edén. They both ran quite good even tough theyself were slightly dissapointed with some mistakes they did. 6th leg was ‘Långa natten” thus, long night. Our newcome runner Ola Nyberg with experiences from trail running went out together with phenomenal Gustav Bergan and he managed to follow him for entire race. 7th leg ran Leif Bader and 8th Tomáš Kubelka who was little bit afraid of night leg and getting up at 1 o’clock in the night. Even though he lost 15 minutes he can be satisfied with his performance because to compete with runners such as Thierry Gueorgiou would be far beyond possibilities for anyone at our team. On 9th leg we had our biggest star Jan Petržela, silver medailist from relay from the recent ended EOC in Portugal. He did some mistakes in the beggining but still he ran very good and gave over to finishman David Procházka at 26th positions. Our dream was 25th what would mean to equal OK Kåre best historical result from 80’s. David was trying really hard to catch Michal Hubáček from OK Tisaren but unfotunately he ran good too so we finished on nice 26th position just 1 minute after 25th.
I have to say thank you also to OK Kåre service because I dare to say we had one of the best team service from all teams. We had eating tent with kitchen and some cooks, lot of food and drinks, heating, live streaming from the race and very proffesional coaches. We also had a rooms in nearby hotel so for example after I finished we just take a car a went to the hotel to have a shower and sauna around a midnight. It also allowed our last legs to sleep in warm and confortable beds in the hotel before their races even though we also had heated sleaping tents at competition center.
So next year again and who knows. If we would cut same number of positions as this year we would be on 20th place what would be perfect but it will definitelly be extremelly difficult to getting better and better in following years.