Huippuliiga and Esi-Jukola

PictureLast weekend I went to Finland for a flying visit. I left Swansea at midnight on Friday morning and arrived back at 2am on Monday morning. In all I probably spent more than 24 hours of the weekend in a plane, train, car or bus.

I had travelled out to meet up with Lillomarka team-mates Gaute and Nico where we would compete in the Finnish league (Huippuliiga) sprint on the Saturday, and experience the Jukola 2015 terrain by running the Esi-Jukola relay on the Sunday. It looked like a great weekend of races and fitted in perfectly with the World University Championships, giving me two quality competitions just over a week before the first races begin.The biggest decision of the weekend came before the start of the sprint. Should I wear a T-shirt under the supplied (small) number vest and risk boiling in the heat or run the race showing a lot of belly. I didn’t have to option of a vest as I had not packed one and so I chose the latter and I can’t say it is my best look. Can we not have safety pins?

Unfortunately, despite having good speed for the majority of the sprint race, I was also a prize muppet for a significant proportion and finished in 13th place. Perhaps I was still tired from the travelling, perhaps I wasn’t disciplined enough or maybe the sun reflecting off my stomach distracted me, who knows. However looking at the splits shows that there was promise in my performance and hopefully the race will serve to iron out some of the kinks before next week.

Results
GPS tracking

The relay went much better, possibly because my belly wasn’t on show? I ran a solid first leg, really enjoying the terrain and handing over just under 2 minutes behind the breakaway leader with a sneaking suspicion that I had run the longer forking at some stage in the race. Nico ran a great race pulling us up to the lead and with Gaute fighting on the final leg Lillomarka remained contention right until the end, finishing in 4th place.

Results
GPS tracking

Next stop is the Czech republic for the World University Championships.


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