8th at Tiomila, what a night!
In front of Tiomila this year I have to admit that I struggled a lot to get into the right mood. It is still short time since I failed during the test races for the European championships (some seconds to slow in the sprint), and to be honest in some ways it feels like the season could be over even before it began for real. I am therefor really thankful for the backing from team members and coaches into Tiomila! You made me refocus and I am really grateful to be a part of this team.
So how was tiomila?
After a day full of waiting were we watched the future of Mora fighting through the forest, and our stunning ladies performing two teams top 50. It was our turn. The batteries were charged, Sir B drank his traditional Red Bull and accompanied by "Lose Yourself" we were getting ready for the big hunt during the night.
1. leg Roman Ryapolov: You are never afraid when sending out Roman at the first leg! He is always really stable, and this year was no exception. Even though he wasn’t satisfied with his race, he sent me out in a good position less than four minutes behind the lead.
2. leg Per Harald Löfgren Johansen: My leg started with a small mistake at the first control, maybe 20 seconds, but I felt strong and easily caught the group afterwards. Some controls later the drama began, I fell when running along a cliff and suddenly the joint of one of my fingers was pointing in a totally wrong direction. It was hurting as hell and I have to admit that for some seconds I didn’t really know what to do. I concluded quite fast my finger had only jumped out of joint and wasn’t broken or anything worse, so I forced it back where it belonged and decided to continue. Luckily I caught my group quite easy(again...) and could refocus. The picture of the dislocated finger is not my finger but it looked something like that.
But as the words say, an accident rarely comes alone! Only two controls later I ran into a tree, and I know it is hard to believe, but my lamp was thrown of my head and the contact was loose from the battery. In some desperate seconds I was searching for my lamp in the darkness before I found it. Again I was really lucky and a Finnish runner helped me some seconds with light while I connected my lamp. A bit stressed, but still focused I pushed really hard and AGAIN I was able to catch the group. The rest of the race was without this kind of drama, and I was really relieved when I ran into the changeover and was able to send out Zsolt as nr 17. In total a decent race, and I am really happy that I managed to handle all the stuff happening during the race without destroying for my team.
3. leg Zsolt Lenkei: Zsolt is as stable as you may get, and he easily secured our first goal for the night, by sending out Simon in front of Bergman and Högstrand
4. leg(långa) Simon Hodler: Simon waited for nearly four minutes at the start for Gustav Bergman and Ravinen. Simon was first into the changeover at långa last year, and was the hero of the night in Göteborg, so he knows all of how to do this leg. He kept his group and could send out Sebi just some seconds behind the second place.
5. leg Sebastian Baumann: Sebi was the one at the team that maybe impressed me the most! He was thrown into the first team at a difficult night leg less than 24 hours before the start of tiomila. Sebi was nervous as hell and on top of that Simon sent him out with the best teams in the relay. Sebi handled the pressure like if he had done nothing else for his whole life. Running out and performing as if he was a 35 year old guy being in the first team for years, and not making his debut at the first team. Respect!!
6. leg Raffael Hüber Svensson: At least we had a Svensson in the team, even if we had no Swedes. Raffi performed as he always does! Stable and accurate. Raffi navigated safely through the night and was able to send out Florian in a good group.
7. leg Florian Attinger: Florian was just as Sebi thrown into the team just a day in front of tiomila. And again, I am extremely impressed of the youngsters in the team! Floori debuted at tiomila with a 5th best legtime and was able to send out Marek as the 5th best team after 7 legs. Wow, the future is bright for Mora!!
8. leg Marek Minar: Marek was the only guy in the team joining my moustache stunt! Marek was running a really stable leg fighting against the world stars like Florian Howald and Oleksandr Kratov. Marek did a great job and proved the power of the moustache!
9. leg Vojtech Kettner: Keetja was another debutant in the team. He ran technically really good, and showed how calm he is by choosing secure routes and executing them properly! He was able to send out Vojtech the elder at 10th place and it was all up to a fantastic finish!
10. leg Vojtech Kral: Vojtech showed yet another time why he is a world class runner! He fought as hell the whole leg and I have to admit it was a real pleasure to welcome him into the finish, knowing we are the 8th best relay team in the world!
Thanks to all coaches, supporters and runners in and around Mora! It’s you who have made this possible. Now we charge our batteries for the Finnish forest! Jukola, here we come!!
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