My experience of 10MILA 1981 – and 32 more 10MILA – Conny Forsberg

Then – 10-mila 1981

I was 15 years old and finally I was going to run 10-mila. I wasn’t old, but I still got to run with the seniors, which felt great. Just like the years before when I was in the audience I started my day by collecting fir branches, to make my “bed” soft and dry. I remember that procedure as fun and important for everyone’s well-being. We didn’t know it when we collected it, but it turned up later that it was extra important this year. Lightning of fires and cooking was the elder’s tasks.

The juniors in my club were kissing junior girls from other clubs, OK Skog and Marx was sleeping in the tents next to each other and had political banners. I felt like a part of the adult world.

I was entrusted the 9th leg. It felt great when I heard it in our clubhouse a week earlier, but when my father woke me up in the night it felt like a nightmare. It was cold, dark and I was extremely nervous. I had run a couple of night courses before, many of them with company. There were no night cups during the winter these times. We trained on lighted trails or biking trails during the dark season.

Anyway I started my 9th leg. Still in total darkness, but I was accompanied by two other teams. I started in place 110, which was great for us in Västerås IK. I felt nervous.

In the beginning I felt confident having company, but soon I realized that they had another forking. I was unwilling to run alone, so I followed the other runners a little bit longer then necessary, even though I knew I should run right to get to my control. At last I stopped myself and found my control without any trouble.

When I look at the map now, I don’t have any other memories from the rest of the race. I can see on what I’ve pained that it went quite well. The next memory is from the end of the course. I can really remember the feeling that I actually made it. I can hear my club mates cheering for me. That kind of cheering that contains a positive surprise because you have ran faster than anyone expected.

I advanced to 90th place and I only lost a few minutes on the leaders. That made me feel good. I also remember that my father promised me 100 Swedish crowns if I ran 10 more 10-mila. He probably hoped that I should keep running orienteering. I’m not sure the money is the reason I’m still running, but this year I’ll run my 33rd 10-mila in a row.

Now – 10-mila 2013

I’m sitting beside Lasse Gerhardsson, 10-mila chief. He tells me about the arena, GPS-tracking, Night Trail Run, 10-mila Korten, foodcourt and lots of other finesses that are going to attract people to come to the competition. I am impressed by all the ideas and all the innovation; I like the development but…. I still wonder what’s making me look forward to my 33rd 10-mila? Is it the new arenas that keep my interest alive?

The more I think of it, I realize that it’s not really the competition specifically, more the time before the competition that is most important. It’s the chat in the changing rooms during the winter, the 10-mila trainings and the pepping of the juniors. It’s all things that happen before the competition. Last year, my club Långhundra IF had a team in the men’s relay for the first time in 15 years. It was great and inspired us a lot. This year we maybe come to start with two teams.

I hope that Lasse’s and others developments of the competition make great results. I hope that Trail Run catches sponsors and that the arena catches the audience. I prefer a great story rather than Facebook updates, so I look forward hearing a whispering forest speaker.

See you in the night

Conny Forsberg, Långhundra IF

Connys map. Click on the picture to view a larger version

Connys map. Click on the picture to view a larger version