Having survived Florian’s team building exercise – river rafting through the Rhine Gorge, with the water temperature a blessed relief from the 30 degrees heat, team NZL is now ready for the middle distance qualification on Wednesday morning Swiss time. Our last act prior to that will be the, hopefully brief, opening ceremony at 8 pm tonight.
The race, with estimated 25 minute winning times, finishes near Trin Mulin, some 15 minutes drive from accommodation. Quarantine is in Flims, which is a little closer, although, from there, there is 2.8 km walk to the pre-start. The men’s and women’s fields each have 3 heats (42 in each for the men, 35 for the women) with the top 15 in each heat to qualify for Friday’s final. The men run first with Joseph Lynch (in heat 1) first off at 1000 (2000 NZ time). Matt Ogden (hear 2) is at 1050, and Tim Robertson (heat 3) at 1102. The women will have somewhat longer in quarantine with Kaia Joergensen (heat 2) at 1136, Amelia Horne (heat 1) at 1156, and Lizzie Ingham and Briana Stevens both drawn in heat 3 at 1220 and 1232 respectively.
Having trained on the adjacent Crestasee map (above) it is likely that the terrain will not only be highly technical, but also relatively slow. The key to qualification will be continual checking of map contact and speed control. The later starters are also likely to find a fair degree of tracking, as well as facing the threat of possibly thundery showers.