Day 5: Holmenkollen 30k (inner loop perspective)

by Liz

After our usual morning routine, we arrived at Holmenkollen for day 2 of our forerunning festivities. The team worked as a well oiled machine now, after having done a similar routine yesterday. After trekking all of the wax boxes and skis up to our personal wax room, we were left to watch the Norwegian Youth Relay races and pass some time. It was disappointing to see that the entire stadium was engulfed in a thick blanket of fog, but after a short time it thinned and we could see the stadium perfectly from our watching point. I observed that when you put a large group of high schoolers in a fairly small area to wait, many things can happen.

  1. They will decide to build a snow-tree topped with a snow-star
  2. Some people will proceed to ruin all of Liz’s adorable little snowmen family which she had spent a long time creating and were living a very peaceful life. 🙂
  3. A group of people will create a huge American snowman, complete with an American flag cape and American Flag arms.
  4. Erik and Tim will have a beat-off (beat boxing battle)
  5. Malcolm will rap about zippers
  6. Perrin will rap about skis and trees
  7. Liz will display her amazing talent at rapping (just kidding I am terrible 🙂

After all of these (and more) had taken place, it was time to meet and get ready for our exciting forerun! Because people weren’t able to forerun the nordic combined race the previous day, everyone was allowed to forerun! This meant that there was a huge group of people, which made the event exciting and interesting. After meeting and going over some general rules, we made our way down to the stadium.

As we walked, we could feel the eyes of over 1,000 people watching us. The forerunners split into the previously decided groups and headed out into the pristine course. I was assigned to ski in the inner loop, which meant that I foreran the 5k loop that looped into the stadium twice and went over and under many bridges. This loop had less climbing, but was more technical than the other loop. As a pack, we strided through the stadium and up the hills, winding around the complex trails. The pace was brisk but not unbearable, and I looked around at the fans lining the trails of all skiing abilities.

We looped back into the stadium and took a difficult hairpin turn before heading back into the woods once more. The cheering crowd was excited to see the world cup athletes almost ready to depart. As we descended down the final hill into the stadium, I saw the world cup skiers heading up the trails we had previously skied on.

The jumbotron was lit with the faces of our idols as we climbed the final hill and double poled into the finish. The crowd was alight with excitement as we crossed the finish line and formed an excited group in the space where the skiers would soon collapse with exhaustion. Full of adrenaline and excitement, we climbed back up to the wax room, chatting about the amazing experience we had just had.


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