The Venla relay is won by Fredrikstad SK from Norway

The Venla relay 2019 concluded with a win by Fredrikstad SK from Norway..

The beginning of the relay saw several changes in the first place position, but Fredrikstad SK was consistently one of the fastest teams..

Sabine Hauswirth from Halden SK took the lead in the first leg with an outstanding performance, leading by over a minute. The second leg, however, resulted in Halden dropping back from the lead by five minutes.

Tampereen Pyrintö, the undisputed winner of Tiomila, struggled during the first leg. Lotta Karhola arrived at the first changeover 5.50 behind the lead, but Simona Aebersold bridged the gap during the second leg, bringing Pyrintö up to sixth place. .

The lead was held by IFK Göteborg, with second leg runner Kirsi Nurmi arriving at the changeover 1.52 minutes ahead of the rest. Third leg runner Elin Månsson held the lead. Fredrikstad SK was in second place and Saila Kinni from Tampereen Pyrintö now in third place, although a good four minutes behind the lead.

During the anchor leg, Kamilla Olaussen from Fredrikstad SK caught up with Sara Hagström from Göteborg and took the lead with a better choice of routes.

Olaussen increased the gap towards the end of the race and the four Fredrikstad runners crossed the finish line  together undisturbed..

Fredrikstad’s first three legs were run by Marianne Riddervold Kahrs, Marie Olaussen and Marianne Andersen. Fredrikstad was close to the lead throughout the competition, arriving 12th to the first changeover and 3rd to the second. Fredrikstad has never won a Venla relay before.

The was a fierce competition for the second place. Venla Harju from Tampereen Pyrintö managed to bridge the gap to Hagström from Göteborg from four minutes to just 15 seconds. Unfortunately the finish line loomed too soon to catch up, and so IFK Göteborg finished second with Tampereen Pyrintö third


Tampereen Pyrintö team: Venla Harju (vas.), Saila Kinni, Simona Aebersold ja Lotta Karhola

Comments from the winners:

Marianne Riddervold Kahrs: I did well considering the shape I am in. I do not train as much as the other girls in the team, as I have a full-time job and children. I am very happy with today’s performance.

Marie Olaussen: This terrain suited us perfectly. It was just as we expected – the main requirements were precision and speed.

Marianne Anderssen: I usually run the first or second leg, never the third. The race was very controlled. I made a small mistake, but managed to minimise it, so all in all it was a good race.

Kamilla Olaussen: I caught up with Göteborg after about three kilometres. We chose a different route, so I wasn’t sure if we were in the lead or not after that. I was quite nervous as I made a few small mistakes towards the end.

I have been very motivated and trained a lot, but some injuries restricted my improvement. I have had two good seasons now and am looking forward to the world championships.

Best Finnish team: Tampereen Pyrintö:

Lotta Karhola: The pace of the race was faster than I expected from the start and I felt physically ill. I forgot to pay attention to my compass and after the first slope I suddenly realised I could be anywhere. I went through the other forks and found my own control after about four minutes. After that I tried to relax, but I had another uncertain moment at the fourth control.

Simona Aebersold: Absolutely amazing to be top three at a Venla relay for the first time. I have trained a lot in this terrain, so third place feels great.

Saila Kinni: We are happy with third place, as we are the best Finnish team. My own race was OK, not my best performance, but sufficiently good for today.

Venla Harju: It was nice to get going. I found some of the controls quite challenging, but I was expecting the terrain to be slower-going. I encountered a lot of paths in the beginning.

Online results

Photos: Mika Kiviluoma