From what I heard about Smålandskavlen before I made almost catastrofic view of it in my mind. They said that cold, wind, rain and snow might make the survival form the race. So I packed the almost all warm clothes what I found at home and headed to the north. Surprisingly the sunny and decently warm weather welcomed me in Stockholm. So the beginning was good, the good sign was also that the competition took part in Jönköping what is more than three hours of driving to the south from Stockholm.
After some sightseeing in Jönköping we finally met our team mates. Our first two night runners were Fredrik Mattsson and Jonas Gustavsson. For those who don’t know the rules of Smålandskavlen: First two legs of the relay are run in the night but there are no mass start. Each runner on 1st and 2nd leg starts separatly during the evening, their times are counted up and the race continues in the morning in form of chase start relay where first day legs are starting in form of chasing start and than it is normal relay format.
Fredrik ran very good but Jonas had some problems and lost more than half an hour to the first one so before my leg we were 37 minute behind the leader at the bottom of the start field. So my expactations of the contact race perished. And in the end it was really individual race. 90% of time I was totally alone there so that didn’t look like a relay at all for me. However I was still enjoying the race. Terrain was the combination o city forest with typical swedish terrain. There were lots of roads and some open areas. It wasn’t really difficult but it was still possible to make a mistake because sometimes it was quite tricky to find the control. I made my biggest mistake on the very first control. My plan was that I would run the first light green shape from the bottm side, than cross a little valley and than would see the dark green thicket before me and get the control. However I just didn’t see anything what would ressemble that what was dark green in the map. So I spent there approximately 1’30” before I managed to find the control. Than I ran quite well but I just couldn’t go as fast as those who ran in contact. Our team was on the final 25th position what is probably not what we expected before the race but at least better than the position after the night legs.
I enjoyed my stay in autumn Sweden and despite the nerve-wrecking traffic jam in Stockholm we managed to catch our plane and happily came at the 3:30 in the morning home.