We’ve spent this weekend competing in the O-festivalen competition held at Siggerud on the outskirts of Oslo (not far from the IBM office). I went to Friday’s middle distance race on my own. It made a pleasant change not having to go off at one end or other of the start block and with minute intervals I was actually able to race round most of the course. It still took me just under 10 mins/k but with only a couple of minutes lost at the first control I was pleased with my run.

On Saturday we were back to the split starts. Given that the winner took 1:44:35 for my 10k course there was little hope that I was ever going to make it back in time to take Emma and let Christine get to her start two hours after mine. As it was, I’d had enough of the physically tough terrain after one and a quarter hours and wasn’t exactly disappointed to head back to the finish early.

Today it was relay day. The times worked out well with Christine back from her second leg a good hour before I was due out on third leg in the men’s open. Yesterday I had been told that the team was incomplete but Egil had stepped in to take last leg so no taking it easy.

Up until the spectator control things were going fine. I was on my own and not running terribly fast but I had wasted no time in the circle. Unfortunately, come the 11th control I threw away about 4 minutes by just being too low down the spur and not realising it. I then followed this up with another couple of minutes overshooting at 13. I still managed to move the team up a couple of places but failed to get back in time to prevent Egil going out in the mass start.

It’s now the start of the summer holidays here in Norway and, as we’re not going to Sørlandsgaloppen or nipping over the border to O-Ringen, this is likely to have been our last competitive event of our stay here. Whilst I have enjoyed the technical challenge, the fight through the steep, rocky and green terrain has been less fun. In that respect I certainly look forward to returning to the rolling open woodlands of Southern England (once the bracken and heather has died down!).

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