Race at Arctic Circle

I am in Rovaniemi, a town at Arctic Circle. A Santa Claus marathon is taking place here today. I am in a half-marathon race which starts at 8PM. After the finish we will enjoy midnight sun which never sets down here in June and July.

The weather here is quite warm, around 15 centigrade but it feels even warmer because the sun shines all the time. The course of the half marathon goes 5km downhill in the beginning starting from Santa Claus Village outside of Rovaniemi. There is one steep climb at 15km point, other than that the course goes quite flat until its finish in the center of the city – Lordi Square.

I have arrived to Rovaniemi early in the morning today on an overnight train from Tampere. After checking in at marathon´s office and at the hotel I went to explore the town a little bit. Its main attraction within the town´s limits is a bridge. Also, while trying to get juice in a supermarket I went to a nearby Elisa shop where I found a beautiful gadget – ASUS Eee PC laptop that I was going to order online because I could not find it in stores. I decided immediately to acquire it for as low as 300 Euros. I am now blogging using free wireless from hotel´s lobby. The setup of the laptop running a version of Linux was absolutely straightforward. Great gadget!

And yeah, today is my birthday. We had a party with friends a few days ago but today I am far away from Tampere. Nevertheless, I am having lots of fun and lets see how it goes on the half-marathon!

Here is another post from Rovaniemi. Today is Sunday and I am having rest after yesterdays`s half-marathon. It went pretty well and I set a personal record with 1:53:16 time. Also, I was able to run the half-marathon at a constant speed. This was because of proper pace – in the beginning I was going 5 mins/km, then after 10th mile I decreased the pace to 6 mins/km, but on the final stretch I was trying to accelerate. It was quite difficult, though as it was in the hilly town center where runners were crossing a number of bridges.

I am very happy with the result. In the middle of the race I got feeling that I would complete the race in under 2 hours, that is achieve my goal of today if I did not make any changes to the pace. Thus, the idea was to save enough strength for the finish. Previously, I was walking toward the finish line as I felt so exhausted. This time, I was nearly jumping when I was crossing finish line.

In addition this was the first event when weather was so nice. In Bronx it was very hot at noon, in Seinajoki it was winter and quite cold. Yesterday in Rovaniemi there was a mild evening sun that was directing runners toward finish line rather than baking them.

I got a wooden medal, pictures were taken. I will update the blog when I have picture of myself.

Date June 28, 2008
Distance Half-marathon
Time (hh:mm) 01:53