Sunday 23rd August 2009
The Long Distance Races are being held on the northern border of Hungary, the edge of the competition map following the border with Slovakia for some distance. It is about 75 minutes drive from the event centre Miskolc, the last 4-5 km being on one of the roughest and stoniest tracks imaginable…
The weather has been very wet overnight so the attractive arena is rather soggy and, with five minutes to go before the Women’s Race begins, rather empty. Just before the start of the Women’s race the rain stops and the commentator, Per Forsberg, says it is almost sunny; others wonder in which direction he is looking.
Women’s Long Distance Race
Another Gold for Simone Niggli (Switzerland) after her year off, Silver for Marianne Andersen (Norway) and Bronze for Minna Kauppi (Finland).
Helen Bridle (ESOC) finishes in 33rd position with fellow Brit Sarah Rollins in 28th.
Men’s Long Distance Race
For the Men’s race the weather is mainly cloudy but dry with a pleasant temperature. The runners are very happy that the heat and stickiness of the last few days has gone for this the longest race of the week
GB has its best result of the Championships with Graham Gristwood finishing 9th in a race won by Daniel Hubmann (Switzerland); Silver goes to Thierry Gueorgiou (France) with Mikhael Mamleev (Italy) winning Bronze. Scott Fraser (Interlopers) finishes in 40th position.
Martin Johansson is reported to be doing well recovering from his injury in the Relays on Friday. He is still in hospital, but may be able to travel home with the rest of the Swedish team tomorrow. The doctors think he may be able to start jogging in about 6 weeks time. He has a lot of muscle and other internal injury in his thigh but, it would seem, no deep veins were affected.
Friday 21st August 2009 : 38 nations compete in the Men’s Relay and 25 in the Women’s.
Women’s Relay : GB finish 11th following a good first leg from Helen Bridle (ESOC). Norway take Gold, Sweden Silver and Finland Bronze.
Men’s Relay : GB finish 9th with Switzerland taking the Gold, Russia Silver and Finland Bronze.
There were no celebrations, however, as the results were significantly affected by a potentially serious injury to the Swedish last lap runner (Martin Johansson) whose leg had been skewered by a branch (subsequently reported as being 12 cm deep) . Such was his pain, and potential loss of blood, that runners from the other three leading teams aborted their runs to assist. Anders Nordberg (Norway) ran to the finish to report the accident whilst Thierry Gueorgiou (France) and Michal Smola (Czech Republic) stayed to help, Gueorgiou using his shirt to reduce the loss of blood before helping Johansson to the nearest road where he could be reached by ambulance. In the meantime, the Russian and Swiss runners passed on a different gaffle (fork in the course) so had no idea what was happening. Johansson was taken to hospital and is reported to be recovering well.
After the incident Nordberg, Gueorgiou and Smola jogged the rest of the course and finished in 25-27th positions; at the Finish they were treated to five minutes of applause from fellow competitors and spectators.
Before the prizegiving ceremony the president of the IOF, Åke Jacobson, expressed gratitude to the three sportsmen: “What you did today is a great example of extreme sportsmanship and fair play. You are an inspiration for all of us!”
Thursday 20th August 2009
Helen Bridle (ESOC) and Scott Fraser (Interlopers) finished in 24th and 18th positions respectively in the Sprint Finals. Earlier in the day, Helen had qualified in 11th position in heat W2 and Scott in 14th position in heat M2.
Monday 17th August 2009
This morning in the forests around Miskolc in Hungary, approximately 150 km north-east of Budapest, Edinburgh athletes Helen Bridle (ESOC) and Scott Fraser (Interlopers) progressed to Sunday’s Long Distance final. Further details in the links below.