|Looking fairly composed five minutes before the start!|
I organised to travel over on the Thursday to give Friday to settle in / recover and reccie a small section of the route, then race on Saturday, recover on Sunday and travel home on Monday.
It all went fairly straightforwardly and I arrived in Grodås (the main village in the valley of Hornindal) as planned on Thursday night, and spent Friday doing a gentle reccie of the final section of the 75km full round and registering then attending the race briefing.
Saturday morning dawned dry and hot and we all gathered at the start. There was a delay while some chips which had been wrongly programmed were cleared, but at 09:20 we were off.
The first section headed out of town along a road before an undulating bit of forest road.
|Climbing Middagsfjellert, about 650m up|
|Doesn't look too bad up the power lines onto the west ridge of the Saetrehornet,|
but this was rough ground and a faint track which was boggy where it wasn't rocky.
|Climbing the Saetrehornet, just after I'd missed CP5. I went up almost as far|
as the peak on the right before I realised and double backed.
|Hornindalsrokken from just above manned checkpoint A, with some|
typical race terrain in the foreground.
|Crossing the river in Knutsdalen|
|On the summit of Moldsvorhornet, looking to Hornindalsrokken|
|Rolf and Mathias at Moldsvorhornet|
By now I had decided that given my difficulty with the climbing I'd call it a day at the halfway point rather than risk having problems late on in the event on the exposed section of mountain terrain around Hogenibba where there would be the least amount of light (the Norwegians call the peculiar light when dusk merges into dawn "the grey light"). So having made that decision there was only one thing to do coming off the final summit - belt it down. I had a pretty good descent, taking aorund ten minutes off the competitors who were with me at the top in 4.3km. I reached my final checkpoint at Horndøla bru at 18:08 for a total time of 8:48. I'd done 41km and 3,100m of climbing (25.5 miles and 10,200').
|Little Saetra with typical old time huts above upper Hornindal|
|All done for the day at Horndøla bru|
There was hot soup and chocolate milk for the finishers (and for those going on to do the full loop Ultra Fjellop). I got a lift back to Grodas with the Race Organiser and arrived with plenty of time to snack and lounge about, then take pictures of the leading guys finishing the full round. My neighbour in the B&B, Mattias Gärdsback, finished an awesome second and he and his grilfriend Caroline shared dinner with me in the late evening. I popped back out to the finish line to see a few more guys completing the round including another I had chatted to in the B&B before the race, Per-Einar Roth.
|Winner, Kristoffer Normark just beyond the end of the final descent|
|Second place was Mattias Gärdsback, my neighbour in the B&B|
I went back in the morning and saw the last finishers come in, three locals, just before the presentation, then had a great afternoon out on the hills which form the last quarter of the full course.
|Final finishers, Stian Løkken, Anne Raftevold, and Inger Margerthe Nordskov|
after 25 hours 50 minutes out on the 75km course
|Brilliant race organisers!|
I'll definitely be back to complete the full round.
I struggled with hydration, drinking a lot of water (all from streams and rivers on route) but I think my salts got out of balance a bit. I forgot to take any salt tablets with me and only managed to buy some Ritz biscuits as a substitute. Although I ate several at one point I don't think they really were as good!
And finally I do really need to sort out my health issue which may be underlying the odd off day when I can't seem to control my HR. That's twice I've had a problem, once on the CCC which I put down mostly to being mildly hypothermic but I had very similar problems at Hornindal - maybe it's when there's additional stress (heat, dehydration / salt depletion) as well as the normal ultra running issues.
I did have a great day, and actually a great trip with good runs the day before and after the race too, and a fairly smooth journey in each direction. More details of the race are at: http://www.hornindalrundt.no/