Nordic Race Hasle Bakker

A few moments before the start
Photo: Rebel Media House

My favourite Nordic Race in 2017 was the one in Hasle Bakker, therefore, I was exited about this race. Unlike the other Nordic Race events this one is more trail running, which is something I really enjoy (surprise surpriseπŸ˜„).
The day before the race, I went to check out the course, and it looked good. On the first 3 kilometers there were lots of trail, so it was looking like it was going to be fun.

Before heading to Aarhus for the race I had decided on the following goals for the race:

  1. Focus on my own race
  2. Push my pace from the beginning
  3. Have faith in my training
  4. If I make mistakes or loose my wristband, let it go!
The race
As soon as the Elite men were sent off, we were called to the start box. We had 5 minutes until our start, though waiting in the start box felt more like an hour😠 I hate standing in there before a race, it makes me so nervous, I just want to start!
Hurdles and tire madness
Photo: Rebel Media House
The race starts, and it is utterly madness; everyone is just pushing each other to get to the first obstacle first. We run uphill to get to hurdles, however, the twist this time was that we had to carry a tire with us over the hurdles. I figured I would put the tire on the left shoulder and then just roll over the hurdle; that seemed like a quick and efficient way to do it. I get over the first hurdle, and this technique is no good. Instead I decide to just throw the tire over the hurdle and the jump over it. We are still wayyyy too many people in the group, so it's really difficult getting over the hurdles without getting kicked or getting a tire in your face.
I drop the tire and run downhill towards the next obstacle, Monkey Valley, at this point I am in 4th place I think.


Monkey Vally with Katja
Photo: J.P. OCR/Sport Foto
That only lasts until I get to the obstacle, as Katja catches up with me and pass me, now I am in 5th place, next up is Edge. There are three girls on the obstacle when I get to it, I decide that I want to take it with my left side first, as that's what I'm most comfortable with. I was slightly concerned about edge, as this time we had to take it the other way compared to normal. This means that I would have to do a pull up at the end, to reach the second to last hold, as the distance between the last and 3rd to last hold was too wide. Here I normally just skip the top holds, but I managed and now I was off to chase the girls in front of me. I get through more obstacles and get to the up and down hill run. It was a steep slope, you had to run up and then back down, I knew this was were I could pick up ground, as I have become pretty good and comfortable with downhill running. Maria is in front of me when we get to the top of the hill, as soon as we get to the downhill I passed her and then I just ran, now I was in 4th place 😊

4th place is good enough, right?
This is not something I am proud of admitting, nonetheless, I knew I was in 4th place by now, the girls who were in front of me are awesome athletes, so I just thought "Oh 4th place is good enough, you can be happy with that!" And so I was, or at least until I saw Katja at the new obstacle Yoke Carry. I get to the Yoke, pick it up, walk across the lane, put it down, pick it back up immediately, and walk back to the start, where I put it down. Now I am in front of Katja, and suddenly, I am racing for the podium and not satisfied with a 4th place anymore. I get through a few more obstacles, run up a steep hill to do a rope climb, and then run back down through wannabe mountain bike tracks. A few more obstacles, another hill, and Katja is still behind me. I run down a slope to the field where the balance beam is. Here I see Margrethe struggle with the obstacle. I take a deep breath step up on the beam, move towards the rope, catches the rope and then I know that I will get through the obstacle. I enter the motor-cross course which is towards the end of the 5km course. My only thought is "don't f**k it up now, you have a podium spot!". I get to the rings, Katja is still behind me, but I don't know where Margrethe is. I skip every other ring, I feel awesome and like I'm flying through it like a little monkey πŸ΅πŸ˜„

The Rings
Photo: Rebel Media House
(There were so many photographers, and I just thought I looked so cool, and I could imagine that FINALLY I would be the one with that awesome picture from the rings! 😍 And they did have a picture of me in the rings, but I do NOT look like the cool little monkey that I imagined, no I looked like an elephant that was getting all tangled up in the rings πŸ˜πŸ˜‚)

The finish
I know Katja is great on the technical obstacles, so I had to win time on Power Push before we got to Nutramino Big Rig, which is (still) no favourite of mine. I get to Big Rig, there's a ring between the two spinners - I can do this! I get from the first spinner to the ring, then suddenly I have my back turned to the next spinner - "eh how did that happen? Okay, don't panic!" Somehow I get a hold of the next spinner, swing to the pipe, and seriously struggle getting a hold of the pipe - I'm just dangling there with my left hand on the spinner. I finally manage to get a hold of the pipe and I get through the obstacle, but Katja is now basically next to me. I get through Incline first, and enter the barbed wire in front of her, and that's when the race stopped! 😬 My hair gets stuck on one of the first barbed wires, and I just can't get it out. Katja passes me and get through the crawl, barbed wire and roller, while I am trying to get my hair out of the stupid barbed wire. I manage to get it untangled, get through the rest of the obstacles, my knees and elbows are bleeding from all the small stones in the mud. I get over the high wall, on to Power Push, it takes me three tries to get the slam ball over the 3.20 meter wall, on to the last obstacle, Staircase. This time it was placed strategically by Nordic Race, so you had to run a small loop in the bushes before you got to Staircase. This meant that you had no run-up to the wall. It took me two tries to get a hold of the top and another two tries to get my right foot up on the edge of the wall, so I could crawl over - I had no strength left. I could hear spectators cheering, the speaker was talking about me as well, and the Nordic Race crew on Staircase was cheering for me, which really helped me get over the very first wall. I get over the last two walls, luckily they are a little easier as they aren't as tall as the first one. I jump down from the Staircase, run to the finish line and cross it as the 3rd female 😊 
Congratulating Ida on her 1st place
Photo: Rebel Media House

So what did I learn this time? 
Well first of all, I have learned time after time this season that writing down my goals for a race is something that works really well for me. And on that note, I am very conscious about my goals have to be something that I can control, like my running pace or approach to a certain obstacle. I followed my race plan, and I pushed my pace within the zones I'm comfortable at at an OCR race. For me it's a fine line between when I push too much and don't have strength for the obstacles and when I am just a little too comfortable on the running part. 

One thing that I need to remember in the future is that a race, especially an OCR race, is never over until you cross the finish line. This means that I need to keep pushing, because you never know what will happen or what is going on with other athletes on the course. Who knows what the posium would have looked like if I had pushed my pace early and not been satisfied with a potential 4th place.
Congratulating Katja on her 2nd place
Photo: Rebel Media House

On the Sunday I did a trail race and my hair got stuck in a branch (again!), so I think it's safe to say that I need to learn to keep my head down so my hair doesn't get stuck! Luckily, this time it didn't cost me my placement 😏 However, that being said of course it's annoying that getting my hair stuck in the barbed wire should be the thing that ended another wise great race with Katja. But to be fair, I much rather loose second place due to this, than loose it because I was struggling with an obstacle.       

Prize ceremony


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