Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Race Report: Finlandia 2007
Finlandia MTB has been by far my favourite race/event. This year it was my 6th participation. My first was in 1999 when it was organized by the same people who organize Finlandia-hiihto (cross country skiing), and the race course was different and easier from the course of previous years. I returned in 2003 believing that the course was still the same but it wasn't, and it was a huge suprise. I wasn't prepared at all, I only had hydration pack with water and probably one gel. The result was the biggest bonk of my life. I was so out of it that I had to lay on the ground at one point of the race, but I forced myself to finish. That experience was so special to me that it is probably one reason why I like to suffer and I like long races. The course is also really hard with steep hills, and I like it a LOT. No wonder why I have participated in every race after that killer race in 2003.
2004 the course was really wet and muddy. 2005 it was a lot drier but I wasn't in form. Last year the course was super dry and fast, and I was in form, but technical problems ruined my race.
This year it was time for another mud fest, very much like in 2004. Also, this year it was first time with my wife as my support person.
The course was also changed but not too much. In fact, the course had some old parts from 1999. This years course is probably the best so far. I had a pretty good start to this race and found my own rhythm quickly. It took about 2:02 for the first lap. That was a little too fast for the second lap, my time in the finish was 4:30:45 in 74th place. I didn't take any risks on the technical and slippery sections. But it was so great to ride this event again, I'm really happy man.
Another photo from the start.
In the group... (courtesy of Jari V.)
Another shot... (courtesy of Jari V.)
A happy man in the finish with the medal.
My bike after the mud fest.
Thanks for my wife for supporting me, and thanks also to TWD and volunteers for organizing a great event! Next year again!