Gutta bak ORM er også gutta bak løpet Mudnificent 7 som arrangeres for andre gang iår, et kult løp satt sammen av flere løpsarrangører. Hver arrangør har sin egen kilometer de kan legge hva slags hinder de vil i.
Men uansett - her er artikkelen jeg skrev for ORM i dette nummeret:
Viking Race - an epic race in the slopes of Norway
Obstacle course racing first came to Norway in 2013. That year Viking Race was born. One of the cofunders, Andreas Dietzel, a true OCR lover, was together with two other persons going to get Norway out of the couch and into the woods. This was my first OCR...and then I was hooked!
Since august 2013 I have raced lots of OCR races, both in Norway and in, amongst others, England. But in my heart, Viking Race is something special. It's my first true OCR-love.
In both 2013 and 2014 Viking Race has held its races in the woods of Tryvann. You know, the famous slalomslopes a bit higher than Holmenkollen skijump. It had been two epic years...and I was very sceptical when I heard that this year they would move it to Grefsenkollen. The people running Grefsenkollen were much more eager to help out, and as I know OCR-races are very hard arranging in Norway, I could understand this. Andreas also told me that at the racevenue of Grefsenkollen would be situated around a small lake called "Trollvann" - as in Troll-water...how perfect wasn't that. As everybody were concerned there wouldn't be enough hills...well Andreas promised us there definitely would be! Definitely!
Since the very first Viking Race two years ago, the race has gone from one race of 5 km, to two races the same weekend - 5 km on saturday and 10 km on sunday. I know the dream of the Viking Race team also is a 21 km race in Jotunheimen - where all the highest peeks in Norway are situated. The name Jotunheimen "stammer fra norrøn mytologi, hvor Jotun betyr kjempe og derfor betyr Kjempenes hjem! I surely hope the dream come true one day.
The race day arises with sun from blue sky, it's going to be the perfect weekend for double racing. When we come to Grefsenkollen loud music from a dj meets us, and a grin immediately flashes on our faces. It's going to be so awesome. The OCR-milieu are still very little in Norway, so it very much feels like a big family racing together. Me starting in the elite with my Superman, especially felt like this...we were about 20 people at the startingline, almost everybody knowing eachother...it would be a race between friends where everybody wanting to be first over the finishline.
After a quick warmup, a lot of picturetaking (that is absolutely some of the most important thing of the race - the prerace pics, of course the pictures taking during the race, and the medal-show-off after the race) we had to start the race by getting over the famous big walls of Viking Race. The Viking Race members are very concerned with the obstacles being true and epic OCR- obstacles...and of course the famous wall starts of every race. Well over the wall we are gathered at the startingline - being pepped by Andreas and his race-speaker. We giggling and making fun, quickly getting to silence when the speaker tells us: "The terrain of this course is extremely dangerous - and I want you all to listen carefully!" I glanced over to Andreas, in hope of seeing him smile and telling me it's all a joke...but he just nodded seriously. The speaker continues..."I am not kidding, you will see that I am telling the truth, and I want you all to take care of each other. You don't loose the race only by checking on your mates, I promise it will not go that fast, and again - the course is dangerous. It will be hills, rocks, slippery parts and logs you can trip over - take care of each other!" And by that the countdown began - and with a loud roar we are off!!!
I promise you, the speaker was not telling jokes – as we flew out from the starting area, we soon hit the first slope, a steep hill and of course it was put straight out in nowhere. It was rocky and difficult to put the feet straight, and the tempo slowly fell from fast, to not so fast and on the top of the hill…more like dragging us against the top. Of course, as expected, on the top we met the first obstacle – a new wall, not that high, but still high enough! In my head I thought, now we get some rest! As Viking Race has put it, the 5 km is for everybody to finish, while the 10 km should be a bit harder and challenging for a bit more hard core athletes. So now was a good time to run flat till the next obstacle…but it should not be like that. We went straight into the woods again in a nightmare of off-road running. It went up and down and up again, on narrow paths, outside the paths, over rocks, logs and other obstacles in the nature…and then it hits me – they are going to prove to us that Grefsenkollen can truly be a Viking Race worthy. I was running for a place on the podium this race, and I honestly thought I was going to puke, die or at least cry when we were running as fast as safety allowed us in the woods. I was so happy when we finally came out and I saw the cargo net – I know many hate the crawling, but I have my strength here, and use every crawl obstacle to catch my breath.
Luckily, for me, the worst part was now over, and more walls was to come, some muddy hurls, balancing on logs and of course the dreadful monkeybar. Placed slightly uphill just for fun. Of course with some more running in the woods, obstacles as over/under/through, cargo climb and Earl of Lade (irish table) came stumbling against us.
Running with my new Garmin I knew the race was coming to its end, but we were missing the two most important, the rope climb and the fire jump, and suddenly we were there. I just love the ropes, and after a quick filling of the lungs with some fresh air I went straight up and off into the watercrossing. We were so close to the finishline now, I could practically see Richard from Epic Action Imagery sitting there waiting for us…then I saw the logs! The logs and the zigzag lining up the slope to the left of the finish…OMG! Oh yes, it was too good to be true – one more obstacle before the fire! A total nightmare – but I loved it! Stumbling across the firejump, and then being dragged over the finishline I was so happy – so tired, so sore, but superhappy!
What is so cool – but also frightening, is that we were going to run the same course all over again the next day, only longer and harder.
«Viking Race Ásgarðr is the next level up for aspiring Vikings. The distance, terrain and obstacles will be more difficult than the 5k version, but this version should also be manageable for most fitness levels. This race is perfect for people who have completed a Viking Race Miðgarðr and now wants a bigger challenge. The elites will struggle, the average person will survive»
As Saturday is all party, everybody is a bit more serious on Sunday, the level rises higher, the course is expected to be harder, and also (but maybe the best part) only the ones running the 10 km on Sunday is allowed in the icetank! And this year, as last year, the sadistic thought of sending us running down the black slope of Grefsenkollen and then up again…only to run all the way down again and into the freezing ice tank. Dead cold and all sore and worn in the muscles we are now of course going up again. The difference this time from last year, was that last year we actually “ran” in rotten snow from last winter…this year we were put outside of the path, stumbling in tigh high grass, and so steep that we had to use the grass to drag us up. Those people really know how to make those legs burn ;) And of course, we all love it!
Other than the slopes, the ice tank, and a few more minor obstacles, the course is much the same. So when we finally came up the slopes for the last time we went for a long run in the woods. Awesome running I thought, the legs felt great and I was so ready to ace the last obstacle…the log-carry up the slope before the firejump. How naïve of me to think this was going to be easy. As I with a large smile starts running with the log, I hear my boyfriend shouting at me – Today we are going all the way up!!! Say whaaat? Of course! On Saturday we only carried the log halfway up…but today we had to go the entire slope all the way to the top! Thank you guys! I still love you!
Going down fast as I could I still had juice enough in my leg to run down, jump over the fire, get my time finished…and then running back meeting my awesome girl Helene, who I had run together with all the time. She did so big of an effort, gave it all, and just as we had made a pact of – we held hands and jumped over the fire together! The firejump on the 10 km is ours, and will always be.
An epic weekend was over, we found ourselves sitting until long in the evening, just taking a bath, our little girls helping the Viking Race crew rigging down…and just being in the moment. It had been so much more than awesome, and its going to be a long year before we meet again by Trollvann running the slopes of Grefsenkollen.