Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Day 4 of Youth Squad Tour in Sweden

Today we planned on waking up at 7, but ended up sleeping through and only waking up at 7:20. We woke up and started packing our suitcases to store them under the benches so that the changing rooms would be clear for the clubs' strength training. Carl and I made breakfast this morning for everybody. Lovely flapjacks. So we all ate and started getting ready for the long day. Sarah spotted a deer outside and we called it 'biltong on legs' already missing South African biltong.

The 840 bus was our ride to 'Gudo'. The 40 minutes went quite quickly and at the bus stop Nick was already waiting for us. He drove me, Sarah, Bev, and Heather to the start while the others started walking. Luckily he went back and made their walk a little shorter. Back at the start Heather and Sarah were planning a scare while I was the distraction. It ended up failing and James just staring at us like: "What are you guys doing"-face.

We set off following Nick on a buddy-orienteering: This is where you follow your partner, or a group, and while orienteering you speak out aloud all your thoughts about what you are doing. We discovered that this was the most marshiest are we have run in so far. Our feet were wet going to the first control and cold water just kept on pouring in on our way to every control thereafter. After our first loop of five. Nick sent us out on our own into the daunting marsh. with 6.5 km of orienteering ahead and wet feet we started out first loop. The loop went quite well and all were safe up to loop 3.

Loop four was not just wet it was soaking. Matt and I took a route choice where our feet were so cold we took off our shoes and waited about a minute before continuing. I found my control finding Heather, who was on the same route, just behind me. together we ran the same route around the marsh on the path, but apparently the paths are also monsters as one area almost ate my shoe. I was running along at a casual pace and stepped in mud. My feet came loose easily but I had left a shoe behind, almost invisible in the mud. Heather was laughing so hard Matt had to come take a look as well.

The rest of the training session went well and all except James were able to compete in the race from Control 10, through 14 and 15 and to the finish. Carl was victorious and got a cream caramel treat. My route choice took me through the swamp again and i ended with extremely cold feet. We got back onto the 840 bus, sitting right at the back, and eating Super C's. The 40 minutes passed real quick and everybody scurried to get their feet dry when we got back.

We had a quick lunch and we cleared the bathrooms quickly. We got dry clothes and dry shoes and 30 minutes after arriving back we set off again. This time to Nick's building where he met us and together we climbed to the start of the next training session just behind the ski slope. There we met up with the orienteering Gymnasium school where we trained together. We saw them warm up and was already impressed by their running speed. We followed the ladies then for a warm up jog, because we would have struggled to keep up with the boys/men. Luckily this was Urban and forest environment and short loops.

We did what they called a KEPS-OL: Where you pair up and take two objects each. So you place the two objects at control on and two an the other person at control four and three, and then collect the rest of the course. So one person goes one way and the other person does the route in reverse sitting out the first two and collecting he last two.

After about six maps we were all drained and headed back. We made a stop at the ski Slope and the hill all the way up was worth it, because the view was spectacular. You could see the entire Stockholm and it was amazing.

After a long day in the woods we headed back. We got back and started playing SPEED, a game Heather taught us all. After about half an hour of playing we started receiving some of the club members. We joined in for some strength training and that was also quite tiring. After this Bev, James and Rory made us some fantastic food: peas, carrots, chicken, rice, potatoes and sauce. What a feast.

So this is an end to quite a long day, but what an experience it was. We gained a lot of experience, and more adventures away us tomorrow.

Written by Andries Swart

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