event::TioMila Part 1

Legs 1-5.

The lead chopped and changed over the first half of tonights mass relay, with all the major player looking like they could make a break at any stage. But it was a clinical route choice on langa-natten which has given one team an advantage which might make all the difference.

First leg was the usual crazy affair, the win being tied by Thomas Asp of Goteborg and Mattias Muller of Ulricehamn. Kiril Nikolov of Stora Tuna and Bulgaria finished just behind in third. Matt Speake had an amazing run after a shaky start: he was in the 60s at one point but pulled up to finish 10th. Other high placed brits were Mark Nixon - 25th - Ewan McCarthy - 50th.

On second leg it looked as if Halden and Kalevan Rasti - last years 1 and 2 - might make a break for it but it was not to be, and they were quickly caught up by the pack. Stephen Palmer had a good run, picking his club up over 20 places to finish in 15th.

On third leg Halden again took the lead with Sprint superstar Oystein Kvaal Osterbo hot on Erik Axelssons heels. They handed over to their respective runners at the front of a very large pack: clearly it was very hard to get any kind of lead out there.

The main british interest on 4th leg was Stephan andersson, currently studying in Edinburgh and part of EUOC's JK Trophy winning team: out in third he looked to be leading his pack into the finish until he vanished between the prewarning and the last contro~: he emerged a minute later, behind the pack and sending his 5th leg runner out on his own.

Fifth leg is a legendary orienteering run. quoting Jarkko Huovila, who last year won Tio for Halden with his "Langa Natten" performance, "You can't call yourself a man until you've run Langa Natten". Usually ungaffled, run in the middle of the night and of epic length, 17km this year, it can often be the turning point in the race. Broadly speaking there were two packs at the start, but they quickly merged to form one with 12 runners in it. As the video stream started displayng the GPS tracking of the runners one dot was moving independently of the others: the red dot of Anders Norberg, Kristiansand OK, took a different route, then vanished as signal was lost, then reappeared with a lead, then took a different route on a super-long leg and gained a lead of over a minute. He extended this to the end, finishing over 2 minutes ahead of the chasing pack. With runners of the callibre of JWOC champion Audun Bkerkreim Nilsen and WOC winner Jorgen Rostrup still to come it looks good for Kristansand.

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