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Venla 2011 – Decisive GPS-tracking moments

What a thriller finish! Domnarvets GoIF’s Lena Eliasson took the victory ahead of Tampereen Pyrintö’s Anni-Maija Fincke after being behind for 15 of 17 controls. Everybody had prepared for a Finnish victory when Fincke missed the tricky 16th control and Eliasson could slip by to take the victory.

This was a special experience for Eliasson after loosing more than 20 minutes on the last leg for Domnarvets GoIF’s on last years edition of the Venla relay. Read on for the decisive moments in the relay explained based on the GPS tracking.

Note! This report is written only based on the TV broadcast, not based on the full GPS-tracking. The full GPS-tracking will be online Sunday.

Leg 1


The first leg is not were you win the relay, but rather were you loose the relay. Of the top teams, Ulricehamn was the looser on the first leg this year – doing some big mistakes early in the leg. Domnarvets GoIF run very well – taking the lead in the forest ahead of Halden and OK Tyr.


Towards the finish, OK Tyr was strongest in the run-on, and OK Tyr took the first leg with Linnea Martinsson. – I did some mistakes in the start, but am very happy with the race after that. It was a lot of fun running in this terrain.

1 66 OK Tyr SWE 43:57 Linnea Martinsson 43:57
2 15 Domnarvets GoIF SWE +4 Emma Johansson 44:01
3 3 Halden SK NOR +7 Galina Vinogradova 44:04
4 28 Hiisirasti FIN +36 Anastasia Tikhonova 44:33
5 50 OK Kolmården SWE +37 Malin Leijon-Lind 44:34
6 17 Kalevan Rasti FIN +39 Mari Väänänen 44:36
7 10 Bäkkelagets SK NOR +1:34 Kine Gulliksen 45:31
8 143 IK Hakarpspojkarna SWE +1:34 Grete Gutmann 45:31
9 27 IGTISA LTU +1:36 Kristina Rybakovaite 45:33
10 430 Lillehammer NOR +1:39 Audhild Bakken Rognstad 45:36
Leg 2

Out on the second leg Domnarvet takes the lead ahead of Halden.


Domnarvet GoIF’s Karolina Höjsgaard runs very well in this first part of the leg, increasing the lead steadily to the other runners.


Kalevan Rasti makes a mistake to the second control, and looses further time to the lead (after being 37th and the changeover). The same also with Koovee. Halden SK (Ingunn Fristad) does a mistake between number 3 and 4 – looses maybe 20-30 seconds there.


Then Halden’s Ingunn Fristad makes a gigantic mistake – loosing 7 minutes to Domnarvets GoIF.

Karolina Höjsgaard continues well in the remainder of the leg, giving Domnarvets GoIF a big lead of nearly a minute at the changeover.

– I run alone all the way from the 3rd control. It is a very good feeling. I run well in the start, but did a quite big mistake in the end. Then I run to the wrong last control, but did not loose a lot on time on that.

1 15 Domnarvets GoIF SWE 1:24:07 Karolina Höjsgaard 40:05
2 10 Bäkkelagets SK NOR +58 Tone Wigemyr 39:33
3 25 Paimion Rasti FIN +59 Katri Lindeqvist 37:34
4 1 Tampereen Pyrintö FIN +1:00 Saila Kinni 38:52
5 292 OK Kolmården 2 SWE +1:01 Linn Bränneby 39:22
6 4 NTNUI NOR +1:03 Bodil Holmström 39:30
7 30 Södertälje Nykvarn Orienter SWE +1:09 Frida Hellstadius 39:23
8 7 OK Linne SWE +1:10 Inga Kazlauskaite 39:38
9 6 Sävedalens AIK SWE +1:19 Jahren Silje Ekroll 39:33
10 17 Kalevan Rasti FIN +1:20 Marika Mikkola 40:51


Leg 3

On the third leg, Eva Jurenikova looses some time early on the leg. Tampereen Pyrintö’s Riina Kuuselo takes a left route choice on the long leg early in the leg, and earns some time, being only 26 seconds behind on the first intermediate control.


Tampereen Pyrintö’s Riina Kuuselo continues to run well, and catches up with Jurenikova by 2.9 km. Meanwhile Store Tuna’s Tove Alexandersson is running very well. After being 3:15 behind at the changeover, she takes that down to 1:48 at 2.9 km. Halden’s Celine Dodin does also a good run for Halden, taking Halden up towards Top 20 again.

TP and Domnarvet have different forking, but still keep approximately the same speed and avoid mistakes. A the 9th control (4.2 km) Tampereen Pyrintö’s Riina Kuuselo takes the lead one second ahead of Domnarvets Jurenikova.


To the changeover, Tampereen Pyrintö’s Riina Kuuselo is strongest – but Jurenikova hands the map over to Lena Eliasson on the last leg first. Kuuselo was very happy with her race.

– I have mostly rested for two weeks. I did a very good race and did my own route choices.

Everything ready for a tough fight on the last leg then.

1 1 Tampereen Pyrintö FIN 1:55:09 Riina Kuuselo 30:01
2 15 Domnarvets GoIF SWE +0 Eva Jurenikova 31:03
3 40 Stora Tuna OK SWE +1:49 Tove Alexandersson 29:35
4 5 IFK Lidingö SOK SWE +1:53 Signe Söes 29:44
5 50 OK Kolmården SWE +2:08 Anna Forsberg 31:37
6 4 NTNUI NOR +2:11 Line Hagman 32:11
7 8 SK Pohjantähti FIN +3:07 Marttiina Joensuu 31:49
8 17 Kalevan Rasti FIN +3:19 Aija Skrastina 33:01
9 30 Södertälje Nykvarn Orienter SWE +3:20 Katarina Borg 33:12
10 10 Bäkkelagets SK NOR +3:27 Marit Kahrs 33:31
Leg 4

Out on the last leg Tampereen Pyrintö’s Anni-Maija Fincke gets a very good start, steadily increasing the lead to the others. Domnarvets GoIF’s Lena Eliasson looses time around the second control – and then also more on the long leg to the third leg. Eliasson lost a lot of time at the last leg of Jukola 2010 – and although her start in 2011 is better, this does not look good enough for victory.





Then towards the 6th control – described as the most tricky control in the course by the course setter – Anni-Maija Fincke also has to do some searching. For a small moment it seems like Domnarvet might get contact again.


But then Domnarvet does an even bigger mistake.


Anni-Maija Fincke continues to build out her lead, increasing it to nearly than 2 minutes.


At 4.8 km (8th control) we have the following Top 5 list:

1 1 Tampereen Pyrintö FIN 2:25:46 Anni-Maija Fincke 30:37
2 15 Domnarvets GoIF SWE +1:40 Lena Eliasson 32:17
3 40 Stora Tuna OK SWE +1:57 Emma Claesson 30:45
4 5 IFK Lidingö SOK SWE +2:01 Annika Billstam 30:45
5 10 Bäkkelagets SK NOR +4:18 Heidi Östlid Bagstevold 31:28

Then Lidingö runs to the wrong forking, and looses out in the fight for the victory. So does Stora Tuna, so the fight now is between only TP and Domnarvet – although the lead of Domnarvet is 1:30 at the radio at 5.7 km and the victory seems clear.



Domnarvet has slightly higher speed than TP though, and just as it looks like it might get exciting again and TP looses some time to control 14, it is clear that Eliasson has been running with too high risk – making another quite large mistake.


Still, Eliasson actually catches some seconds on Fincke and Domnarvet is 1:23 behind at control number 15. At control 15 we then have the following standing:

1 1 Tampereen Pyrintö FIN 2:41:08 Anni-Maija Fincke 45:59
2 15 Domnarvets GoIF SWE +1:23 Lena Eliasson 47:22
3 5 IFK Lidingö SOK SWE +2:46 Annika Billstam 46:52
4 40 Stora Tuna OK SWE +4:20 Emma Claesson 48:30
5 4 NTNUI NOR +4:23 Mari Fasting 48:11

Just as it looked like TP had a clear victory, the “impossible” happened at the 16th control – a control which looked very tricky on the map – and was so in reality as well. A really big mistake for Anni-Majia Fincke, giving the victory in the hands of Lena Eliasson and Domnarvets GoIF.


Lena Eliasson did nearly not believe what she was seeing when she saw Anni-Maija Fincke at the second last control.

– It feels very good. It was a bit too exciting, because I made a mistake in the start. I did not see Anni-Maija before I surprisingly saw her at the second last control, and then I run all I could to the finish. It feels extremely good. The team is great. We even had Dana Brozkova exchanged with Emma just recently, but still managed to win.

Fincke was of course very disappointed with her big mistake in the end.

– I knew 100 meter before the control exactly where I was. I did not know were the others were, and therefore run too fast and went just close by the control.

Lidingö’s Annika Billstam runs a good last part, and takes the third spot.

1 15 Domnarvets GoIF SWE 2:48:54 Lena Eliasson 53:44
2 1 Tampereen Pyrintö FIN +35 Anni-Maija Fincke 54:20
3 5 IFK Lidingö SOK SWE +3:07 Annika Billstam 54:58
4 4 NTNUI NOR +3:10 Mari Fasting 54:44
5 17 Kalevan Rasti FIN +3:11 Amlie Chataing 53:37
6 10 Bäkkelagets SK NOR +3:14 Heidi Östlid Bagstevold 53:32
7 40 Stora Tuna OK SWE +3:23 Emma Claesson 55:18
8 13 Angelniemen Ankkuri FIN +3:32 Natalia Vinogradova 50:55
9 37 Delta FIN +4:29 Julia Novikova 51:46
10 50 OK Kolmården SWE +5:03 Anna Segersson 56:39
11 6 Sävedalens AIK SWE +5:06 Emma Andersson 52:38
12 3 Halden SK NOR +5:23 Ida Marie Näss Björgul 52:53
13 49 OK Tisaren SWE +5:34 Lilian Forsgren 52:48
14 27 IGTISA LTU +6:53 Sandra Pauzaite 54:19
15 44 Göteborg Majorna OK SWE +8:04 Lina Strand 55:46
16 8 SK Pohjantähti FIN +8:07 Sofia Haajanen 58:44
17 30 Södertälje Nykvarn Orienter SWE +8:10 Ausrine Kutkaite 58:35
18 25 Paimion Rasti FIN +8:12 Inga Dambe 52:11
19 34 Wing OK NOR +10:09 Sara Luscher 53:18
20 33 Kangasala SK FIN +10:22 Outi Ojanen 56:11

About Jan Kocbach

Jan Kocbach is the founder of WorldofO.com - taking care of everything from site development to writing articles, photography and analysis.

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