Describing how special last weekend was for me is a hard job – not only because I am mostly freeriding this English language. But… lets give it a try.
I guess family is the word that encapsulates my feelings best. Everybody who skates can truly understand this and uses it often to describe the good feeling of doing the thing you love together with people you really damn like. But the hälden-race was even more than an all around nice hug for me. It felt like hanging around with the brothers and sisters I’ve never had – 90 of them.
I wasn’t in the best condition to drive 7 hours to a race with a big big infection of my gastro-intestinal system. Damn right I am talking about THAT, on the internet. Goodbye future job-opportunities. My berlin friends handled it the only possibly way – making jokes about it the whole time. Haha.
So we five arrived Thursday evening on the camping ground, where some friends already built up their buses and tents so we had a calm and cozy evening. Friday started on schedule with the registration at ten o’ clock and the freeride shortly after. Leathers were recommended but not forced and the weather was sunny without being too hot. Due to the fact that they had two really good shuttlecars which could drive a loop around the track, we had so many runs! Like I have never had on any previous event,
especially not at a race!
Even with taking a lunch break and heading to the toilet maaaany times I had around 15 runs! So everybody had the chance to really get to know the course. Best conditions for a race with the family.
Fee, Anni and I mostly rode together and had good times. I tested a lot of wheels to figure out which one I should use during the race because this road was kind of tricky in the corners. Then I had my first bad accident, when some new wheels just highsided and I fell hard on my back in the last corner.
I woke up with a fucking brutal pain in my back. I couldn’t sit, couldn’t stand, couldn’t breathe properly. This was hard shit. So painkillers were the answer. The freeride started and we could ride for the following three hours.
Rumors said that the we would start in 4-man heats, adrenalin rushed in and it was true. I was concerned about falling while pushing because this road was really damn tight.
The qualifications took place through racing not time-trials which was awesome because then we had another half day to just race race race.
The clouds were generous giving us all they had. It was pouring, it didn’t stop. The juniors, buttboarders and women started first on the racing day were already soaking wet before even hitting the starting line. With just two warm up runs on the wet course the race started. Oh boy! I’ve never had so many crashes on a course.
I worked my way up in the heats which wasn’t an easy thing to do because I had to compete with Fee the whole time. So the semi finals arrived. I pushed my way out of the pack and was in the lead position but then I came way too fast into the first left corner. I slipped away and Anne K. and Fee overtook me. Anne fell and her board drove into Fee’s so they both were lying on the (fucking tight) track and I couldn’t brake fast enough so I just decided to fall so as not to not hit them. I took my board up first and was back in front again. When I took the S-Corner I slipped again so Anne S., who was in last position before, overtook me.
I was back on my board, pushing it hard and reached Anne. She was standing with her board transversely on the track so we both crashed again. At this point the audience in the corner went just crazy. I heard friends screaming, people were shouting out “PUSH PUSH PUSH” all I saw in my head was the phrase “gobackonyourboardgobackonyourboard”, this was when I found out that one of my wheels was tangled in the safety net of this corner. So I was tugging hysterically on my board to get it out when the audience became even louder – Fee was back and overtook me. So I finally got my board out and finished second in the semi final heat. Reaching the finish line I realized how hard Anne’s board had hit my left ankle. I wasn’t sure if I could race one more heat because I couldn’t even stand on it. But the adrenalin helped me and I decided to do the final heat, I could see a doctor afterwards anyway.
So Fee, Anni, Tina and I made the final round. I pushed hard at the start and was able to lead again. Unfortunately it had stopped raining and so the course was patchy all over. We didn’t know which corner was dry and how the surface looked after the corners. So it was even more risky than before.
I felt like I was on drugs. I went cautiously along the right sweeper which gave Fee the opportunity to pass me because she was tucking completely. Lucky for me she was too fast for the S-Corner so she slipped away and I overcame her. I made it to the goal unbelievablely shortly before her. She was stuck to my ass the whole time. What a race! You can really tell by the pictures how wasted I felt already but WOHOO. I won my first race!
The unbelievable feeling of this really numbed all the pain. Anni finished third but unfortunately had to leave before the winners ceremony.
In the meantime it had gotten fucking hot again so the guys got the chance to race on a dry track. I was lucky to just sit there and cheer for my friends. I saw really bad crashes short distances from the finish line.
I was glad for Hertler to win the men’s race because he is a brutal machine on the course who really fought hard for this. And Oli took the second place which makes just two Olson&Hekmati team members on the Podium and even FIVE out of the best eight! And Eugene one of the really old veterans of the scene took the first place in buttboarding. High five for Lukas who won the Junior’s Race!
What an event. I am still stoked. On my first evening back in Berlin I saw this awesome Disney Movie “Lilo&Stitch” and found this lovely quote which describes it perfect: “This is my family. I found it, all on my own. It’s little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.”
Photos without watermark - Paul Brosig.
Words by Glori