Pars Turbo 2020:Fast, Furious and Hot. An Amazing Race Organized By The Pioneers AR Team.
This weekend I had the privilege to compete in my first race after moving to Sweden. For this TURBO edition of the PARS I raced with Marie Krysander whom I raced with at the Adventure Racing World Championships 2018 in Reunion Island. We teamed up when both of our teams split and managed to make an amazing new team that took us to the finish line with a full course!
The PARS Turbo race had 7 stages plus a prologue and an epilogue for a total of about 64.2 km (if you didn’t get lost) of running, mountain biking and kayaking. After analysing the race, we felt they would be very fast stages with a lot of transitions, so we worked out a strategy around that. We decided to race with running shoes on all the three disciplines so we didn’t have to change or carry different shoes during the course and to have all our energy bars and water already packed for each discipline in our running vests, bikes and life jackets. These two strategies worked well and we managed to make fast transitions!
Before the race we decided that I would do the main nav on the course and that Marie would back me up, but I didn’t know what was ahead! Swedish forests are all the same, the paths are almost invisible and the speed navigation of the teams was amazing. The Swedes reputation for navigation is well deserved.
The race started at a marathon pace, and after the prologue we arrived second and left last for the MTB after figuring out the new map they gave us and putting it on the bike. We began chasing the pack very fast so it was quite hard to look at the map. Then everybody started to get into the forest on one of the invisible paths so we followed them but then decided to stop and start to run our own race. I realised I had lost my compass as it fell off my MTB map holder so we went back and Marie found it.
The nav was quite slow as we found the first CP’s while I was starting to get used to the map and the terrain. Marie seemed more comfortable with the map so we decided to pass the map holder over to her bike! After that we were flying as Marie did an amazing Job navigating all the course.
The rest of the first MTB stage went smoothly and also the next running stage which we did pretty fast with no nav mistakes and we started to catch some teams. Then we left on the MTB with a swimming stage in the middle where we had to swim to an Island to mark a CP, it was very refreshing due to the hot weather. When we got to the bike drop for the next 8 km running section the pace didn’t slow down and somewhere around the middle of the stage my energy went a down so Marie gave me a Gel and a pull which really helped me recover and get back to racing again.
Then it was MTB to the paddle section and then onto the water which had me I bit nervous as the boat I’m used to paddling is much more stable than the one I was going to use. We used Maries Surfski and had a borrowed Surfski from Nordic Kayaks, a NK nitro + which is an amazing and very light racing boat. We decided that Marie would use this one and that I would use hers as she was more used to unstable but fast boats.
It took me some time to get used to the Surfski and Marie pulled me at the beginning but then it turned out to be one of the most exiting stages of the course with four checkpoints and some bushbashing inland to get them.
After the paddle there was a ride to the Epilogue and then the finish line! We didn’t really know in which position we were during the race and where having a lot of fun doing our own race but at the end it turned out pretty well being 6th overall and 1st in our category.
You can find the full results all of the race pictures by Domotion Pictures on the event Facebook page.