Sunday March 7th Vasaloppet from Salen to Mora was an incredible experience! We traveled to Sweden on Friday, and had accomodation in a great cabin in Tåndadalen up on the Salen mountain plateu. Was tempting to go dwnhill skiing on Saturday in fantastic weather, but we stuck to the plan and got our startnumbers and tested the startarea down in Salen.
Then back to prep skiis, I opted for minumim with wax, hoping I would have faster skiis than last race.
After breakfast 5am Sunday morning we left to start. Got there at about 7am, without any big trouble. We later found that almost 3000 skiiers got stuck in traffic and did not make the 8am start!! My startgroup 4 was alredy full off skiis 7am, so I had to start with almost 3000 skiers in front of me:-)
The start gun went 8am and it was sureal! I had fantastic skies and manuvered through the tracks before the first hill. But looking up the hill i just had to laugh! It was all black, completely covered in skiiers. And looking behind was even more sureal, cause I had a black carpet of 12 000 skiers behind. In the hill I went out far left, that was not to smart. Cause it seemed everyone in the middle moved steadily up the hill, while we got stuck in the corners. but no need to stress. Just watch my brother in the middle just disapear up there.
But when it all losend up after 10-12km i still had fantastic skiis. Passed a lot of people and soon cught Truls back. And dropped him soon after:-)
After 45km it got ugly. Yes halfway, and my arms was finished. Vasaloppet is flat. Very flat. mostly just standing there using your arms. If you wanna go fast anyway. But my arm was dead, and I lost almost 100places the last 30k. At the last checkpoint I was just on shedule to get a medal (winnertime + 50% !!) Just i skied as fast as I could the last 9km. And entering the finish cute they counted it down fram 45sec. I was 200m from the line when the time was out:-) Just cruised from there.....and sat down really wasted barely crossing the line. Great workout in the worlds biggest ski race. Incredible organisation, jsut imagine getting over 15 000 over the line, on busses to get warm chlotes and shower. then food and tranportation 90k back to start. Amazing jobb by the Swedes!
I will be back. With stronger arms;-)