Norwegian Championships in Lead and Speed

This weekend we went to Stavanger with the youth competition team from Bergen to compete in the Norwegian championships. Crimps had his eyes on the prize for the speed competition, and I just kind of wanted to tag along with no real expectations, as my knee is still wonky. 

After a 5 hour drive, we checked in at clarion hotel by the airport for the weekend. A lot of parents came along and provided transport for the whole team over the weekend. We really couldn't have done it without them! After a very restless first night's sleep, we got up early to be at Sørmarka Arena at 8 AM. I think most of us were pretty tired, and also fairly nervous.

The biggest challenge at this competition was probably the chilly temps inside the Arena. Getting and keeping warm was a challenge, but I think everyone on the team did a very good job! The routes looked well made, and I think everyone from the youth team did a good job on the qualifications. Some were even participating in a lead competition for the first time!

I was very impressed by Crimps on his qualifications, and he made it into the finals in 5th place. I think he's in very good shape at the moment, so I'm not really surprised, but it's always a challenge to show your best on a competition day (or at least I think so). My own qualifications went VERY poorly. I haven't climbed much on lead lately, and I had a stomach flu right before the comp. (Excuses. I hate excuses.) Anyway. I forgot a clip, got stressed, climbed up and down a couple of times, got more stressed and fell off early on both of the routes. None of the moves were hard at all, so it was really just stupidity on my side. I'm trying not to beat myself up over it, but honestly I'm really disappointed in myself. Ah well. Shit happens. I'm just tired of shit happening to me. 

After the qualifications were over, we had 7 athletes from Bergen Klatreklubb (BKK) in the finals: Anne, Inga, Solveig, Sindre, Sjur, Mie and Eline. Well climbed!

Speed qualifications took place a while after the lead qualifications were over. We were 7 people from BKK competing. I considered dropping out at the last moment, because speed climbing and wearing a knee brace doesn't really go well together, but I ended up participating anyway. I managed 22.05 seconds (way better than expected, me being a turtle and all), and actually made it through to the next round. Whaaat!

Crimps was very unlucky on both his qualifying rounds, slipping one time and hitting a bolt with his hand the second time. He still made it through to the next round, and we all thought he would make it to the finals. Sadly, he hit the rope on his attempt and ended up at 7.something seconds. Not good enough in the male group... The one from BKK who did the best was Pernille from the youth team. She really turned up the speed and made it all the way to the quarter finals. Wow!

Sunday morning we all went back to watch (or climb) the finals. I joined the youth team in isolation to warm them up properly before the climb. The finals were REALLY exciting. In Younger girls we had two participants, Anne and Inga. In younger boys we had Sindre. Everyone climbed well, but the show was stolen by Edel from BRV who climbed exceptionally well on the younger girls route, and Teodor from Kolsås who fell off the last move on the younger boys route after a good fight! 

Elder girls had what looked like a very hard route. I saw several of the girls ALMOST falling at the second move (luckily no one did), and a tricky sequence mid height stopped most of the climbers. Solveig participated in this group from BKK, and she did a good job reading the route well. One person topped the route, which the setters estimated at around 8a. Mia from Trondheim klatreklubb climbed really well, and cruised to the top! I had a bad view of the elder boys route, and didn't really see much of what was happening over there. I know Hauk from Kolsås won this group, but I couldn't really see what was happening.

After a short break the senior finals started. I moved so I would be able to see the ladies' final (same as elder boys) well. Luckily I found a spot where I could see both routes! The ladies final was an absolute gem of a show. Therese from BRV and Mie from BKK found a spectacular no-hands rest on a gigantic telephone-hold. Therese fought her way up to third place, but Hannah (Oslo klatreklubb) and Tina (Kolsås klatreklubb) had just a bit more endurance. Tina won easily, with a near top (she had to reverse because of a clip), and Hannah impressed everyone with her will to fight the pump.

The men's final looked very technical and hard, and was also really exciting. Crimps slipped off at the first draw, sadly. One mistake has so much to say in a climbing competition.. The last two climbers, Thilo from Kolsås and John Henry from BRV put on a great show for the crowd. They both topped the route where all the other participants had fallen off at mid height or lower. Due to the exact same results in both qualifications and the final, placement was decided on time. Henry climbed ONE SECOND faster than Thilo, and therefore got the gold. It's always a bit sad when the results have to be decided on time, especially when it is this close, but it has to be decided somehow. 

This competition was also the last of the norway cup, and the overall winners were decided. One of our fellow coaches and exceptional sport climber, Eline from BKK won the ladies (hooray!) and Henry won the men's. Congratulations to both!

We didn't stay to watch the speed finals, as we all wanted to get back to Bergen before it got too late. I hear it was exciting though, and the first speed champions of Norway turned out to be Ingrid from Oslo and Eivind from NTG.

Thanks for a great week-end folks!

-Pinches