Back from Australia....
..... for one week and still freezing?
No, southern Sweden is not the arctic. The Jetlag didn't have any chance to make me sleep on the daytime, not even the first days after return. So, I'm looking back to an exciting time, which we had on the other side of the earth. We = me and my better half (free translation from the German: ich und meine bessere Hälfte ;)
Please, follow the photo story with comments. I hope it helps you to follow our travel virtually.
But I wasn't flying down under to hang around, but to compete. World cup 2015 was kicked off on Tasmania and many supporters via I Believe in You and others made this trip possible - a big thank you.
The competition series started with the Sprint Qualification in the wonderful surroundings of First Basin, Cataract Gorge, Launceston. Unfortunately, we didn't see that many runners as usual in a World cup race (but easy to understand as such a travel digs some big hole in your purse), so it was easier to get into the final. With a 7th place (best 20 qualified) in heat A I got a safe qualification, but the loss on heat-winner Kyburz too big.
Next day, excellent bathing weather, the sprint final's course sent us through Launceston university campus, a real sprint excitment. I tried to get out everything of my Diesel-engine, which was enough for a good 10th place, a very satisfying season starting. Well, as usual the guys with the SuperUnleadedPetrol engine were ca 1min faster. Anyway, the preparation sprint competitions in Sydney (5 days of Christmas) and the qualification race enabeld me to train my sprint routines, which worked very well in the final.
After the Czech-Austrian World Cup travel group headed from Launceston to St. Helens, a few days of training were waiting before Middle and Long distance were attacked in Coles Bay resp. St. Helens. Although it's quite unlikely to see a snake when running (we learnt in the opening ceremony that all snakes are poisonous and the smaller the spider the more dangerous - thanks) I was running like both a mouse and an elefant. Afraid like a mouse (I guess they are not happy to meet snake either) and trampling like an elefant when running (snakes react on vibrations and should be gone before you see them - conjunctive). Thanks to mental preparations before, I didn't give any notice on them in the competitions - focus on the important things.
The important things: read the map, listen to your compass.
It worked well from the beginning in the middle distance, according to plan, but after the spectator passage a mental black out (didn't find any better explanation) led to a parallel mistake. In combination with another parallel mistake any top 10 hopes were dimolished. However, it was a good middle distance course in a challenging terrain: contours, stones, light green vegetation, no paths. Place 26 in the end.
Two days later, a not less interesting forest was inviting us to the long distance (the super petrol engines made a shortened long distance of it). Strategy after getting the map: safe start the first two controls - make a plan for the long one - continue focused until the end. Having such a long leg is of course a challenge. You decide for one option and you can't be sure if it's the best one or even a good one because you might have overseen something. I opted for the left choice which was a good one. I climbed probably too high from the beginning and could have done some short cuts in between. Quite much time I lost to the 7th control by running too far to the left aiming for the big path. Otherwise I had a good race with safe control attacking. Again, it was fun to run in a forest with just a few paths. With the "seconds"luck on my side, I reached again the 10th place.
Summary: 2 x 10th in the first three World cup races. I have either to boost or change my engine ;) And summer in winter is not that bad :)