Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Long Q - Close call

The Long Qualifier took place late this afternoon, again at the Jervskogen ski-stadium. As the race started, the men's course was shown on the big screen in the stadium and we could see that the runners would face some serious challenges out in the woods. Courses started with some difficult controls in the green, just like yesterday, followed by some fearsome looking long route choice legs, steep climbs and detailed navigation. First out for the Canadians was Sandy Hott with a very early start. She was reported from the intermediate time as having lost some time to the leaders, but when she came in at around 55 minutes there was a feeling that she might have a shot. Sandy reported that she had a pretty good race, but had struggled a bit to keep focus and direction on the long legs. After a long wait for the entire field to finish, it was finally clear that Sandy barely missed the final again with a 16th position. This time only 13 seconds out... Carol Ross and Louise Oram both ended up with a time of about 62 minutes. Carol had some trouble early on the course, leaving the first control in the wrong direction, forcing her into a much slower route to the second. Louise was hanging on to the last qualifying position halfway through the course, but lost her direction when attacking a control and lost too much time relocating.

On the men's side, Nick Duca started early, and came to the finish reporting some hooks and hesitations early in the race. Mike Smith had a bigger mistake at the 3rd control, dropping around 4 minutes, so the last hope for Canada was Patrick. He started second last and we were waiting nervously at the finish as the clock was ticking. Patrick came charging in to the last control as his time was running on 68 minutes and he was a few minutes on the outside, even though he had the best time of all the North American men today.

The Canadian team will now recharge for the weekend action, running some public races and watching the Long Final on Thursday. Louise is running the Middle Final on Saturday and then there is the Relay on Sunday. Stay tuned in!

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