Venla Relay

Nearly 15000 people descended on an old airfield in Jmi, Finland, for the 2004 Jukola Relay. The biggest in the world, with over 700 women's teams and 1300 in the men's.
The womens Venla relay was on Saturday afternoon in glorious sunshine. A field cannon was used to start the relay as the women charged into the super-fast terrain. The pre-race favourites were Ulricehamns OK, however Tampereen Pyrint (2003 winners) wouldn't be aiming for anything less than the best. First back was SK Pohjanthti, Paula Haapakoski, she had managed to pull a 30 second lead over the front runners of the main pack doing under 5 min/k's. Ulricehamns OK were 2:31 down. After 2nd leg IK Hakarpspojkarna took a 30 second lead, with Delta leading a chasing pack including Domnarvets GoIF, Hellas, Tampereen Pyrint, Halden SK, Ulricehamns OK and many other world class teams. Liisa Anttila ran the fastest 3rd leg to give Tampereen Pyrint a 40 second lead over the pack, in second it was Halden SK with Heather Monro on last leg. Heather was joined in her chase by Simone Niggli-Luder of Ulricehamns OK, Hellas, and IK Hakarpspojkarna. By the second TV control a group had formed, Tampereen Pyrint, Halden SK, Hellas and Ulricehamns OK. At the 3rd TV control, 5.7km into the 8.4km course Simone had pulled ahead with a 30 second lead, Halden SK and Hellas were still in position to take the relay if mistakes were made. Tampereen Pyrint had now dropped back in to the 2nd pack having lost time in the intricate marshy and rocky area. The last part of the course was on the very fast, and technically easy sandy terrain, and undisputed World Champion Simone Niggli-Luder brought Ulricehamns back in 1st place. Russian Tanja Ryabkina gave Hellas 2nd and Heather Monro came back 3rd for Halden SK. The last leg was run in just over 4:30s min/kms!!!

1 Ulrichamns OK Sweden 2.26.19, 30.2km
34 Stina Grenholm +2:31
20 Martina Fritschy +1:55
4 Jenny Johansson +0:48
1 Simone Niggli-Luder

2 Hellas Sweden +16
3 Halden SK Norway + 27
4 Domnarvets GoIF Sweden +2:25
5 Leksands OK Sweden +2:31
6 Nydalens SK Norway +2:55
7 Tampereen Pyrint Finland +3:09
8 Fredrikstad SK Norway +3:23
9 IK Hakarpspojkarna Sweden +3:39
10 Baekkelagets SK Norway +4:14

For full results visit the Jukola Website

Ulricehamnsok

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