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Today was Tour Champs, which had been expertly planned by Helen O, even though she didn't see fit to actually come on the trip. So instead, Paul got up early and hung the controls. We used the area immediately north of the hut, which was good for the most part, except for some unmapped felling in a small area. The runners were set off in reverse order of estimated speed, and this estimate got the order exactly right. Jonathan set off second last, wearing the head camera, so hopefully managed to get some good footage as he overtook people. Rory set off actually last to collect all the controls while walking round because he's #injured and had fun taking photos and being 'played with by a dog'.
There had been a lot of rain last night, so everything was very wet, but the weather today was really sunny which was nice.
Once everyone was done, we packed up and cleared and cleaned the huts, which took a while, but we had lots of time so it was OK. Dave got worried that we would clean the toilet before he got a chance to use it, so we did that at the very last minute. In the end, we were finished early, so after Liat had shown off her impressive tree climbing skills and we had all basked on the rock for a while, we locked up and set off for the station.
The walk took just under an hour, and we stopped just before the station to get ice cream, which was very cold, unlike the sun, which was very hot. We left Jason at the station, who was heading to Bergen to see a friend, then got the train and bus to the airport. Then we had loads of time to spare, so spent a while in the tourist shop,where Liat bought one of everything, and Helen didn't buy any bilar. Going through security, Rory's penkife got #confiscated because it had a serrated blade, so it has been sent in the post. Hopefully he'll get it back sometime.
When we got back to Stansted we had to go through passport checks, which took ages because most people aren't able to use an e-passport check machine, even though there are instructional sheets and videos every 3m for the entire queue, which was very long. We had to run for the 2030 train, which Jonathan and Sam caught because they left for it early, and everyone else missed. Lindsay and Jeremy left us here too. The rest of us then sat on the platform until 2127, when Liam left, then got the train back to Cambridge before going our own ways.
Update from last night - everyone survived the walk, but the Dan hat did not. While taking off a jumper, Dave forgot he was wearing it and it fell off and the propeller broke. However, Jeremy has said he will try to fix it, so that's alright.
Today the training was at Skaran, which is about an hour's walk north of the hut. Paul had planned a few courses around the very south of the area, with some people focusing on attackpoints, and others doing a long legs course, in which 4 legs covered 4.5km. The area was more runnable than on previous days, although still quite rough, but also very boggy in places. Unfortunately there had been a fair bit of unmapped felling, which made one of the long legs quite difficult, but it was still good fun.
The weather stayed dry for the morning and lunch, during which we played catch using Helen. John and Richard collected some morning controls, then left early to get their flight home. Everyone was sad to see them go.
The afternoon activity was a two part exercise for Dave, Liam and Jeremy - the first bit being learning to plan courses, the second practice at hanging them. 'Dave's Spectacula Extravaganza' (hung by Lindsay), 'Jezza's Jolly Jape' and 'Ive's Five Cliff Dives' were well planned courses, and all the controls were in the right place, so obviously the training has been working. While the hangers were out it got wet and cold, so we huddled under a couple of dense trees.
In the evening after we'd all got back we had carbonara, and Paul managed to persuade certain people to watch something other than #Orange is the New Black . After a brief interlude, we had stacks and stacks of waffles, halfway through which Helen decided we needed to do a 2.5 minute plank. So we did, then ate more waffles. Paul produced some final details for tour champs, then everyone went to bed .
When we got up today it was raining, disproving Helen's claim that it doesn't rain in Norway. John had planned the morning's training on the eastern part of Mossemarka, which was generally easier running than previous days, but still technical terrain. Everyone was told to bring a map bag, but Helen and Rory still forgot, so we had to use John's lunch bag and the kite bag as well. As it had been raining all night, the vegetation was very wet, so effort soaked from below as well as from above. John and Jeremy both saw elk, but they got away too fast to photograph.
By lunchtime it had started to brighten up, and we did the afternoon's exercise in the sun. This was based a bit further north, and consisted of a few loops planned by Jonathan. This area had a lot of marshes, which made running a good bit slower, and there were a lot of midges near the start, which made standing around a bit horrible. The orienteering was just as good though, with some tricky courses in both sessions.
When we were all finished, we went back to the hut and Paul and John figured out enough #Swedish to turn on the sauna. Most people took part in the sauna, but some didn't.
After that, we sat on the big rock outside the hut drinking tea from bowls and basking, while Rory prepared #carbonara .
In the evening, we tried to get Netflix to work but couldn't, so everyone except Paul went for a walk while he wrote the report. They are yet to return, and are classified missing, presumed eaten.
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