Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Behind the scenes - at the start of the long quali

At the World champs the start procedure is quite different from the SILVA National League... Firstly you get bussed out with all the other competitors and coaches.

Trondheim has bikes for people to use around town. Melbourne and London have just launched a similar scheme although the Norwegians have had their system going for decades! These bikes are at the Central Station.

This is us waiting for the bus - we are often first there!

Mainly we catch a bus so we don't get to check out the Finish Arena. Obviously it also means you don't get to see the last control. There's a lot of waiting around at the start too... but you do get to sneak a look at what the World Champions do to prepare before their race. Maybe the qualification is different, but I have to say - they look very relaxed!! Maybe the final is a bit different.

When we arrived this afternoon we all lined up to 'sign in'. Afterwards, Wendy found us a great possie in the paddock and we had about 1.5-2 hours before our start. You'll be pleased to know the toilets are similar!! A couple of portaloos which were a bit on the wiffy side...

After we signed in, we lined up again to get our emit thingo and timing band. The boys also had to collect a gps harness. You also get given a 'warm up map'. This is a small area with some controls. Apparently a few years ago a girl got lost on the warm up map at a World Cup race and missed her start...

The warm up map - do you risk shattering your confidence if you head out and make a mistake?! Actually, today's warm up map was nice and easy.

Here is a photo of the warm up area. You can see a guy above the cliffs near #1.

Here is the communal tent for all nations to use. Above it you can see the first warm up control.

Emit stuff

As you can see, some teams come well prepared - the Swedes even have their own oversized Swedish tent. Here they are hanging out in front of it.

There's a lot of prancing around at the start too. Approximately 200 competitors need to strut their stuff and go through their pre-race warm up routines. Some listen to music, others read, some have a snooze. Robbie preferred to relax lying down

When it's time to race you start with 2 other people (in a qualification) so that 3 of you begin at the same time - of course you don't have the same first control!! Actually, the courses are usually so different that you may only share one or two common controls. Anyway, that's about it for what happens at the start!

STOP PRESS - Anna makes it through to the FINALE!! Congratulations, good stuff :-)


  1. Well done to Anna! Have a great run tomorrow!

    and likewise to Simon, Shep, Vanessa & Grace on Saturday.

    the times make it a bit difficult to watch live - but good to 'see' the women on Tracka in the middle Qual on Monday night.

    good running. Kathy L.

  2. Good to see not much has changed since I was running these races, other than the swedes now have a different tent to sit in front of.