The Results of the Yesterday’s Tartu Marathon Open Track, Main Event Next Week, Goal: Beat My Previous Year Time

Tartu Marathon organized the open track event yesterday. The actual marathon itself will be next week, but this one was also with the exact same track, distance, service points and the official times were taken. So, it was a perfect chance to test ones marathon fitness. I passed the 63 km-s with the time 5h and 13mins, which was better than I expected. I’ll go to the main event on coming Sunday with the main goal of beating my previous year result.

Tartu Marathon is an Estonian largest, i.e. most crowded, ski marathon with long traditions — it is having its 50th anniversary this year. Among other things this year has a record number of participants for last 20 years – the organizers locked the registration when the participant count hit 6500 (all-time record was at 1980 when there was about 10 thousand participants). It got locked as otherwise it would go beyond the logistic capabilities of the event sites. There are two tracks with different distances: the main track with the length of 63km-s, and the half-marathon with 31 km-s for those willing to participate but feel 63 km-s too heavy. Most of the crowd still goes to the longer track – according to current list of entries there are already more than 4600 registrants to the 63 km-s.

Last year I participated the main event with the result of 6h and 44min-s. This winter I think I have done a bit better training (an earlier post here about this: Preparing for Tartu Ski Marathon — Saturday Morning in the Forest, -21 C Degrees). The main event is heavily crowded and the hassle caused by that definitely slows down the tempo. As I didn’t participate the preceding open track event on previous year, I don’t have a safe comparison, but it feels I have a good chance of achieving my main goal, i.e beating my previos year result.

Here comes the list of checkpoints with the yesterday’s times taken on my wrist-watch (yesterday the official time was taken only on finish), the according official times of the last year main event, and the according distances from the start:

Checkpoint Yesterday Prev year Distance
Matu 0:50:43 — on the main event this gets most of the hit due to crowd 1:08:22 12 km
Ande 1:45:51 — includes 5 mins spent on treating a heel blister at Matu 2:13:15 23 km
Kuutse 2:31:02 3:08:27 32 km
Peebu 3:07:45 — another hit on the main event as the 31 km track start crowd hassle joins here 4:00:30 39 km
Palu 3:43:33 — on training a week ago I stopped here with time 3h an 55 minutes 4:50:30 47 km
Hellenurme 4:16:19 5:30:01 54 km
Finish 5:13:52 (official, not wristwatch) 6:44:01 63 km

I’ll do the next post when the main event is also passed, so check back next week. Meanwhile, see you on the start-line on Sunday! 😉

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