It was a tagged bunch of Swedes who arrived to Prague Airport around noon the first day of competition. At the airport we were met by ECSA's president who is also the Czech Mr. Jan Hlinka. With full control, immense hospitality and lots of laughter, he took care of us throughout the event.
The organizers had arranged bus transportation from the airport northbound towards the more hilly landscape around the town of Teplice (less than 2 hours route). In addition to us Swedes were representatives from Belgium, Poland, Lithuania and the Czech Republic with on the bus.
After registration and payment for Board and lodging (65 euros), it was time for the first of three races over the weekend, an English mile (1.6 km). David had arranged the purchase and printing of large joint jerseys Swedish squad seemed good in the line-up, which consisted of about 90 runners half of them from the Czech Republic.
First the girls ran a race, and then it was the boys ' tour. The competition was fierce this year. We found that the British runner who was the fastest in years only reached 6th place. The races had classes (K, K40, M, M40 and M50), and Sweden was 4 and 3 seconds from the podium in the classes M and M40.
Mile-race was held on a tough back loop in a dense beech forest adjacent to the hotel. The loop run three laps in 28 degree heat. Most ran slower on this mile than the mil race the next day in spite of the fact that the mil race had 260 meters of altitude (4 turns with 65 meters per lap).
After mile race, it was time for dinner, a tour of the town of Teplice, and a few hours of sleep before the next day's races. The guest rooms at Hotel Panorama can be described as fastidious purely ornamental.
Well the purpose of the weekend wasn't that lie inside the room and doing nothing, it was the opposite, movement and socializing! On Saturday morning it was time for the main course, 10 km, it would run four laps on a forest trail that was about 2.5 km long. Forest loop was not gracious and began with a very steep slope. When, for the fourth time ascended this monster to Hill, was anything but pale in the face but more like a tomato. However, it was a nice loop and good basis to run on, and of course a great feeling to cross the finish line where drink and recovery expected.
We took in this race the best placements. David was actually defending champion and Kenneth was 2nd in the M40 (four total). The race was held for the 32nd time, however on a new course, so David is now holder of the course record.
After lunch and even sausage grilling an hour after lunch for those that requested it was time for the final Knockout competition that run two laps in the heats of four runners on an 80 m course around signs and cones.
After the first lap knocked a runner out, and after the second lap knocked another one out. The two remaining met runners from second heat until a winner was crowned. Balloting was used for heat. There was much discussion about track selection and tactics. Knockout competition was no big Swedish branch. Best did Jonas who survived two sprints. The best got Sprint eight times. On the women's side needed five pins to decide a winner. After the end of the competition, it was time for the buffet. Food was laid off and the award ceremonies were held.
The Norwegian delegation had not won any athletics competitions as their goal was to win the party by, offering drinks and make sure it played music to get us on the dance floor.
Much of the proceeds were to meet with all these people and on more or less good English hang out and talk about similarities and differences in each country. We would like to thank the ECSA, the Czech Customs authority and Swedish sport federations which made it possible for us to participate in this arrangement.
Moreover, the organizers welcomed Sweden back next year with the words "Bring lots of Vikings next year ".
Many Thanks from Team Sweden