In the middle of nowhere

I have participated in another half-marathon in a village called Kyronjoki in Finnish or Stukachio in Swedish.

As this event was only a month after a half-marathon in Seinajoki initially I thought of it only as the next step of preparation to run a marathon. I did not aim at any high goal such as breaking 1:50 time. During April it was colder than expected, the temperature was near freezing. However, on the day of the half-marathon it suddenly became much warmer, near 20 centigrade.

I brought a jacket and pants with me but ended up running in shorts and T-shirt. While I was warming up I realized that running in such conditions might allow me to achieve a higher result than that in Seinajoki, to even improve my personal record. Thus I decided to do my best in this half-marathon.

I was preparing to sustain cold weather for two hours. I have eaten a lot before the half-marathon. However, running in sunshine does not require that much energy reserve. It can make you throw up if you get overheated.

The course in this half-marathon is nearly flat thus it looks easier than it is. What makes it difficult is lack of any shadow during the entire course. In the summer the organizers plan the route in the shadow because everybody knows that overheating is dangerous. This time it was spring therefore nobody thought of overheating. But the conditions were quite tough – no shadow, no wind, direct exposure to sunshine for the duration of run.

A marathon in Kyronjoki is quite popular event even though the place is located quite far from any major city. When people began to gather I noticed that their average age was greater, these were really mature people. Typically, lots of young people participate, but in this event it was not the case. I guess this competition is known for its toughness.

Surprisingly, I have finished with the same time as earlier – 1 hour and 50 minutes. This course it totally different from Seinajoki, however. I have completed the first half of the run in the same time as in Seinajoki, in 50 minutes. However, this time I decided to take a break, I was walking for a couple of minutes. Then I spent another 10 minutes getting back to the pace in which I was running previously. Lots of people have overtaken me. I found out that it is convenient when people run past you as you can try to run after them. They give you an idea of how fast you need to go.

Anyway, in the end of the race I picked up the speed necessary to finish with a high result. However, during the race I thought many times of slowing down or stopping completely. It was a tough run.

How is it possible to finish two different races in the same time? The following anecdote came to my mind. Soviet spies obtained the sketches of top-secret Western jet. The engineers started building it but they got a locomotive instead. They thought for a while, then disassembled the construction then assembled it again in a different way. But still it was a locomotive. They were totally confused and did not know what to do. They sent the spies again to get additional sketches that would allow to make a jet. The spies indeed brought back additional instructions. It was a tiny pamphlet that had only one sentence in it: After assembling a locomotive use chisel to shape it into supersonic jet.

Official results are here.

Date April 25, 2009
Distance Half-marathon
Time (hh:mm) 01:50