Year 2016 is soon to be over and it is time to sum up what we have been up to during this Adventure Racing season. This has been a special year for the team, with three fifths of the team becoming parents during the autumn, and due to that a couple of substitutes during the season.
We started our season in April, when Mattias and Robert, together with Jari Palonen and Corinne Smith raced the 4 day stage race Baise Outdoor Quest in China. The team finished, not fully satisfied, in 5th position overall, but the 2nd place on the 3rd stage was a nice memory to bring back to Sweden.
Next up, in May, was the 24 hour West Coast Adventure Race in the archipelago and surroundings of Lysekil. Aaron, Björn and Mattias together with Kristin Larsson finished 3rd on a very beautiful race course in perfect weather.
In mid-June, Aaron and Björn travelled to southern Scotland for the Highlander Mountain Marathon. This was the last ever edition of this two-day event, with the classic mid camp the night between. The competition was high, with some of the strongest Scottish fell- and mountain runners on the start line. Still, Aaron and Björn was hoping to perform well enough to bring the trophy sword back to Sweden. Unfortunately, one Scottish team beat them on day one. Though Aaron and Björn managed to put in the fastest time on day 2, they finished 2nd overall and had to leave the sword in Scotland…
Two weeks after the Highlander Mountain Marathon, Björn and Mattias started the Haglöfs Åre Extreme Challenge. This race has been a great success for the team during the last years, with heaps of podium finishes. 2016 ended with a broken surfski and a guy lost in the mist coming down from Åreskutan…
In the end of July, Mattias and Robert went to Hemavan to participate in Hemavan24, a 24 hour mountain rogaine with Björn and Josefina in the race organisation. Mattias and Robert had a strong race in great weather and reached the finish line as winners after almost 24 hours of mountain running, nonstop.
Two weeks after Hemavan24, Robert once again went mountain running as he ran the Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon (BAMM) together with Björn. BAMM offered challenging weather at day 1, with snow, hail and strong winds. Day 2 was way warmer and with sun from a clear sky. Björn and Robert put on a strong race, especially on day 2, and took the overall victory.
The week after BAMM, Björn went mountain running again… Björn ran the Kiruna Extreme together with Sebastian Ljungdahl, part of the Hemavan24 crew On a nice a challenging race cource, they had a great race and finished first.
In September, it was time for the first ever Adventure Racing World Series event in China, the Xtrail Expedition in the Altay region close to the border of Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Team Haglöfs Silva was represented by Aaron, Mattias, Robert and Marika Wagner.
The competition at the Xtrail Expedition Expedition was tough, with many of the international top teams on the start line. Being an Adventure Race, It was “short” with an expected winning time of 48 hours. After 34 hours of racing, Team Haglöfs Silva were in the lead of the race, with Thule Adventure team 2nd and Adventure Medical kit (USA) 3rd. One hour later, after a navigation mistake, our team reached the finish line in 3rd place. A strong podium finish, but hard to be fully satisfied being that close to a victory…
Our last race for season 2016 was the Original Mountain Marathon in Glentrool, UK. Once again, Björn ran together with Sebastian Ljungdahl. The OMM, which has been held yearly since 1967, was the origin to the mountain marathon discipline, and probably also a great inspiration to the start of Adventure Racing. The OMM is always organised the last weekend in October, and often welcomes the 3000–4000 participants with thick mist, rain, hail, snow and storms. This year was no exception from that. After two days of tricky navigation in the mist and deep wet bogs, Björn and Sebastian reached the finish line at 3rd position in the Elite class.
In November, a fantastic AR World Championship was organised in Australia, while Björn, Josefina and Mattias being busy changing diapers in Sweden. We could not put a team on the start line this year and had to take part in the Dot-watching online instead. Congrats to team Seagate (again)!
Thanks to everyone who have supported and cheered us during season 2016 (and earlier) season(s). Without you, this would not have happened.
We are now looking forward to the Adventure Racing season 2017. Race schedule is still to be finalized, but the Xtrail race in China and the World Championship in Wyoming (USA) will be in focus!
We wish you all a Happy New Year!
See you in 2017! /Aaron, Björn, Josefina, Mattias and Robert