All posts by bente

IBM Diversity Race – Team of Stars

I am so very proud! You have each and everyone of you conquered and exceeded your fears and believed in yourselves that you can complete a ski marathon race!

You have worked really hard with blood, sweat and tears of pain and joy to exceed yourselves! With only 3 months preparation – we made it together!! Some of you have rarely exercised before, and now – these months, you have worked up good stamina to ski with speed – “like the Swedes” as you say!  :)

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We started with SATS core sessions, indoors a couple of weeks, to get the body ready for moving on skis.

  • We went across the country to Gothenburg SkiDome where you had your first experience putting your skies on, and trying out snow indoors!
  • We went plenty of times skiing in Stockholm area, at Täby Konstsnöspår, Stadion and Granåsen – Bålsta.
  • We went on two long week-end Ski Camps to Långberget and Orsa Grönklitt.

Accumulating it all together, between December and March, you skied the distance from Stockholm to Hamburg – that is 950 km of preparation!!!

Stafettvasan was truely amazing!

Manjunath (leg 1) and Sorin (leg 2) woke up at 4:00 AM (!) in the morning together with Micke, Emma and myself. We stayed att Hotel Dalecarlia in Tällberg about 1 hour from Mora. We ate breakfast together and I saw you off. Emma loading up her car with Manju, Sorin, Micke and ski gear!

Manjunath on his way to Sälen (Leg 1)
Manjunath on his way to Sälen (Leg 1)

The start was around 9:00. There was one minor detail that was very important, to place the chip that registers time down on the ankle. There were some nerves playing part and when the start sparked off, little did we know Manju had his chip in his pocket! Everybody with the Vasaloppet App installed saw no time elapsing for Diversity Race! I got worried!

I know Manju! He is a fighter, very responsible and one of the best you meet along path of life. I knew he was fighting among 2000 other participants going uphill 3 km – straight up the hill! BUT! I had to call him, to tell him he had to turn around, go back to the start, to get the chip registered!!

I called once…. twice… three times… He answers: “Yes Bente!” and I say: “Manju, you need to TURN BACK…! Your chip has NOT been registered!!” Now picture this: while everyone are fighting to conquer the ever lasting hill, this guy from India, goes against the stream, shaky skiing, going downhill, one hand on the phone. Swedes are screaming “You are going the wrong way!!” 😀 😀 😀 Nevertheless, Manju got the chip registered with some help and was off on his way! It started to snow heavily…

Sorin completed leg 2 with 5:56/km in heavy snow fall!
Sorin completed leg 2 with 5:56/km in very heavy snow fall!

Next breakfast for me, was about 8:30. I met up with Madhumita (leg 3), Sanjog (leg 4) and Bakki (leg 5), and Sabari would take them to Mora to join Carl and Martin. Our awsome reserves Prasad, Prabakhara and Rajat were all there waiting to join.

I took the family members in my car. It was time to go to Evertsberg and get Madhumita prepared for leg 3. We were there in good time. It was snowing heavily… worst conditions possible!

Madhumita going to start leg 3
Madhumita going to start leg 3

We followed you all through the race, cheering you on in every checkpoint. IBMs checkpoint at leg 5 was a true party with Bruce Springsteen loud in the speaker and cheering the contestants on!

IBM Checkpoint leg 5
IBM Checkpoint leg 5

We finally met up at the finish line, waiting for Bakki! We waited, and waited. When the time said 11 hours and 30 min we spotted him with a headlamp far, far away! We all jumped the finish line area, jumped up and down, hollering “Bakki, Bakki, Bakki” and ran to greet him!

Stafettvasan Finish Line
Stafettvasan Finish Line

Champagne squirted! We had made it! We had worked hard together for so long! We were a team! The greatest team of Stars!

Celebrating at Hotel Dalecarlia after the race
Celebrating at Hotel Dalecarlia after the race

The big skills to have is curiosity, being brave and never stop moving forward!! You have these all in you! This is why you made it!! We are so proud of you! I’m so happy that our sponsors made this possible for us! “Unforgettable memories and unbreakable bonds!”

Thank you all! You are our Stars!!
All the very best, Bente Acking

Last ski camp before the race

Wow! What a long week-end we’ve had!!

We booked a big cabin on top of the Grönklitt mountain. Some came by train to Orsa, some by car. The first night, after shopping all groceries, Bente took us down the mountain to the tracks. It was dark, quite cold (-6 degrees), and headlamps were on our heads.

Anna Toll (Bentes friend from the soccer days) joined us as ski instructor this ski camp. Anna is one of the greatest athletes! She had been in Grönklitt the week before, skiing a marathon 42 km in 3 hours!! She was so commited and attentive to everybody, skiing back and forth helping and guiding everyone. She lifted the whole team and contributed with lots of energy and good vibes! Thank you Anna!

Anna Toll
Anna Toll

The first night we had one broken pole and one unfortunate injury. The first track we skied was very technical, and dark!

Next morning, after breakfast we went down the mountain to meet the photographer from Photomic. She shot some good shots and thereafter we went skiing long distance (20 km). We gathered for lunch at the cabin, rested a bit, and went down to the tracks again to ski another long distance session (20 km).

Playing arround
Playing arround

This evening the rest of the team joined us and we were 11 people sharing a cabin for 12 people. Yes, there was alot of food to cook! :) One of the planned participants, has a late cancellation due to being ill.

Saturday morning we got up early, and were out in the tracks playing around some, to get more comfortable with our skies. We skied without tracks and jumped around, running up the slopes, breaking downhill etc. Thereafter long distance skiing, and it started to snow heavily! We went for lunch at the cabin.

Playing arround together
Playing arround together

After lunch we split up. Some went long distance skiing, some went down to Orsa to get groceries, a knife and wood for the open fire activity planned for the evening. We gathered and started carrying 2 20 kg bags, and 20 kg of wood for 3 km. The snowing had turned into a snowstorm and it was about 20 cm new snow. The tracks were now barely visible due to all the snow, and the wind picked up! We decided it was not going to stop us! And we went for it!

Thank you Prasad
Thank you Prasad

The destination was a beautiful shed with a fireplace overlooking the lake. We put all the wood and charcoal in a big pile, and poured lighter fluid all over it! The wind blew out about every match stick, but finally we got it going! We had hot dogs, sweet potatoe, bananas with chocolate and marsmallows.

Fire for food
Fire for food

Next morning, Sunday, we cleaned out the cabin as a team, checked out, and some went back home, and some went skiing another 20 km!

Thereafter home bound!

Asleep in the car
Asleep in the car

The team skied in total 267 km! We are now all prepared for Stafettvasan 4th March!! :)

Hello from the mountain top!

Yesterday Bente picked us up in Alvik, Stockholm with a mini-buss! We had a great trip up north to the mountain Långberget. We checked in and got settled in our cabins.

Today, after breakfast, we all gathered at 09:00 at the stadium as Kelly from IBM was our ski instructor for the morning.

We got to practise going downhill, and when the rest of IBM left, we kept on practising, so we would feel confident in the slopes ahead.

This morning we skied 7 km before lunch and then the wind picked up, so it’s now mixed snow and rain blowing sideways. A good time to take a break and eat!

Champs in -12 degrees C!

We have been practising ski technique at Täby Konstsnöspår/Arninge Golf Club last Sunday afternoon and tonight. It was very cold tonight, -12 degrees Celsius! We were missing 2 people from the team, otherwise everybody joined tonight!

The biggest question was how to keep warm. My answer was “do not stand still, keep moving all the time!” so the team did get some distance done. Follow the top 5 on our homepage diversityrace.se.

First ski camp @SkiDome Göteborg

We are at our first ski camp in Göteborg SkiDome! What an amazing day! The day has been fantastic! The participants have progressed from never having skied before, walking carefully on skis, to running up the hill and daring to go down the hill with speed!

We were missing the delivery of Rottefella bindings which Sportwin and SWIX jointly helped us with so we could pick them up at InterSport inside the SkiDome! Amazing people!

Thank you Joakim Adolfsson from IBM Skid & Cykel for your great ski instructions for the team, and for showing us excellent ski techniques!

#madshus #craft #swix #rottefella #photomic #ibmdiversityrace

Training sessions @IBM Gym

Our first training session was in the IBM Gym at Kista, Stockholm. Everybody came to practise and our coaches Emma and Mikael had the whole team exercising really hard!

We got good use of the IBM bottles from Marie Nilsson, our IBM Diversity Leader.

After the training we made sure to do some thorough streching! :)