12 March 2009

Haanja Marathon

Picture: Me after 7 km

Last weekend, 932 participants took part of the classical skiing marathon (check last post), which was a record for this mass-start event. Last year my place was 106th and I intended to improve that place to about 40th. The course is quite narrow and hilly already from the beginning, but fortunately my number bib (64) gave me a position in the first group and I didn't have exceptional problems forcing my way past the slower ones. The tempo in the beginning was rather fast and I didn't want to fall too much behind either. After the first kilometers it was clear that my skis didn't glide as well as they were supposed to. While I was being passed going downhill, the sight was quite the opposite going uphill. So on the climbs of the first 10 km I was often passing skiers that I had already passed on the previous climb. The first 15 km were difficult, but then I could set my own sp
eed and I felt like a fresh man! Until 22nd km I had no idea which position I had. Then a spectator shouted that I was 19th! Unbelievable! On the next climb I passed two more opponents, but after that was a long even part which I wasn't looking forward to because of my bad gliding. Then I noticed that the other three men I was with, were getting either tired or my speed was to high for them, so I could get a small gap and go my own way. But there wasn't anybody close to catch, so the last 14 km I was alone. I finished 17th, which was better than I expected. My time was 2:01:21, +12:58 behind the winner (Priit Narusk). Results, heart rate and altitude.

Picture: Peeter Pihl having additional grip applied after 16 km

Tomorrow I'm heading to a training camp in Italy, Gargano. More about that when I come back.