|Boden has many hidden treasures|
Hans Jørgen, as planner and mapper for the O-Ringen MTBO, said he would need to spend a lot of time in Boden over the coming year. Each time he went I was drawn back with him, with persuasive arguements: night trains, best breakfast, MTBO training.
|One view from Northern Pagla (unused terrain)|
|Control site in the fortress|
The biggest problem we had was making the courses simple enough! The areas we were using for days 1 and 2 were incredibly technical. In some places so many tracks we couldn't map them all at the scale we were using, so instead adopted a 'many un-mapable tracks' symbol. Many of the junior courses were the easiest we could make them in the terrain, and still they were a little on the technical side. Normally course planners work to make courses challenging. We had no such problems. The elite courses we could take anywhere. But for everyone else, a lot more thought was required to cater not only the fastest, but also the slowest and beginners. We weren't far wrong as even my mother successfully negotiated the open short course and didn't finish last!
In the races, the key was to bike steady and navigate hard. Many people didn't pick up on this and made some sizeable mistakes! But after the first day we were both happy with the comments about the terrain and courses. Most notably 'the most physical and technical sprint ever'!
The final week, O-Ringen week was tough. We spent 3 days before re-checking and re-tagging control sites as some kindly members of the public/army had removed our tags. For which we are grateful ...
O-Ringen days dawned and we were up early to glorious sun at ... 4.a.m. Too early for me and way to soon for breakfast so it was out biking the 20mins to the event and putting out the SI units on the stakes we put out the day before. Then some biking around checking the units continued to work throughout the competition before collecting in some 6 hours later. We then had to transport our stakes to the next days' terrain and put those out, before being allowed to chill at 5pm. The next morning was the same procedure, Si units out, ride around, collect in. Day 2 was the longest day 4am - 11pm as the chasing start procedure needed to be checked and re-checked to iron out the bugs and allow the start team to practise.
Day three was in 'mygg festivalen' on Pagla. A wonderful ski stadium with a fab view of the start, spectator loop, second spectator control and finish loop. By this point I was fed up of being 'mygged' on Pagla Berget, so refused to leave the commentary house all day!
|View of Rodberget fortress|
We had a really professional start team who worked hard putting up the start each day and ensuring it was of a professional standard - perhaps a lesson for future organisers, a few bits of tape stuck to the ground won't cut it anymore!
|Post event food|
|Entry prohibited to aliens :-)|