TioMila - Men's Relay

As in the women's relay there was only one team leading for much of the race. This team however weren't going to be caught - Halden SK won by 10 minutes to take the Tio Mila for the 6th time in 8 years.

The first leg, 11km starting just before sunset saw some fantastic British performances. At the first radio control, both Stephen Palmer and Ed Nash were near the the front of the pack. Nash however came through the second radio control in front of a pack of 10 runners and was still leading at the prewarning. Unfortunatly he couldn't hold on in the final third of the course and finished 10th. Jostein Andersen of Kristiansand took the leg by 22 seconds from a pack of Ulricehamns, IFK Göorg, Delta and Lynx in a time of 61:39. Palmer of Malungs OK finished with a time of 66:48 in 24th and Matt Crane for Espoon Suunta in 46th was just a further minute down.

Trying to prove who wears the trousers in his household was Matthias Niggli of Ulricehamns who was first back on 2nd leg just 11 seconds ahead of former EUOC member Johan G. Larsson, now of IFK Göorg. Moving up into 3rd, a further 1:30 behing, were Halden SK. It was on leg 3 that Halden broke away and gained a 1:18 lead from IFK Göorg. This would be the closest anyone would be to them for the rest of the race.

On leg 5, the 16.5km ungaffled leg, Jarkko Huovila opened up a 17 minute gap and won the leg by over 2 minutes in a time of 111:21. The size of gap was all the more impressive given that behind him was a chasing pack of 18 runners who were led home by OK Ravinen's Nick Barrable who took 120 minutes dead. A number of other good performances from British runners on this leg came from Matt Speake in 34th for Tisaren with a time of 122:37 and 60th for Allan Bogle for Halden 2 with 121:38. Dan Halliday, running for Sädalens AIK 2, caught 12 minutes on Dave Rollins of OK Tyr 2 and beat him to the finish by a second with a time of 135:39.

On the following 4 legs, the closest anyone got to Halden was 13 minutes but the battle for the top 10 was tougher. At the end of leg 6 the 12 teams (including IFK Göorg, Sötäe, Delta and Kalevan Rasti) behind Halden were seperated by only 2 minutes. The chasing group had been cut to just 6 teams by the end of the 7th leg and then there were 3 teams battling for silver and bronze places at the end of legs 8 & 9.

Going out on last leg, separated by just seconds were Sötäe, Tampereen Pyrintöd Kalevan Rasti. It was Catching Features addict Thierry Gueorgiou who showed that his time spent on his computer hasn't harmed his ability in the forest. With the fastest leg time of 97:51 he helped Kalevan Rasti to second place and reduced Haldin of Halden's margin of victory to 9:40. It was Sötäe who held on for 3rd with an 11 second margin over Tampereen Pyrintö
Starting together, Jamie Stevenson couldn't match Toni Louhisola's fast pace as the Turun Metsääjärunner took the 2nd fastest leg time to pull his team up to 6th behind Delta. Jamie & IFK Göorg finished in 8th behind Australian David Shepard of city rivals Göorg-Majorna. A group of 15 runners, separated by only a couple of minutes, went out looking for the final two top 10 places and it was Björ Valstad who took Bæelaget SK into 9th place after a good run from Dan Marston on the previous leg. Pargas IF completed the top 10.

So Halden take victory once more and for the 3rd year in succession. With an incredibly strong first team which included Petter Thoresen, Emil Wingstedt & Tore Sandvik their strength was proven with their 2nd team finishing in 36th. Helped by good performances from Jon Duncan, Allan Bogle & David Brickhill-Jones they were brought home by Marian Davidik - hardly lacking in quality! Obviously the night training in Scotland last year paid off for them, will this be a tactic tried by clubs looking to displace them from the top next year?

1. 11:52:32 Halden Skiklubb
2. 12:02:12 Kalevan Rasti 1
3. 12:09:59 Sötäe-Nykvarn Orientering 1
4. 12:10:11 Tampereen Pyrintö
5. 12:12:08 DELTA 1
6. 12:14:45 Turun Metsääjä1
7. 12:20:16 Göorg-Majorna OK 1
8. 12:25:29 IFK Göorg 1
9. 12:36:06 Bæelaget SK 1
10. 12:38:46 Pargas IF 1

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