I was happy to return to Nuuksio Talvipäivä 6 hour Rogaining for my 5th time. This was their 5th event so I have been there every time. The temperature was just below freezing, there was little to no wind in the forest, and sun was even shining for at least a few minutes! The snow situation was better this year (20-40cm) than last year (70cm +), although the northern part of the course this time somehow had more snow than further south on the map – I don’t know how that is possible, maybe because of the topography.
Below is a snapshot of my results at this event since 2018. (Apologies for the formatting! This table appears normal on the mobile version but not web. I don’t know how to fix it yet).
|Year||Result (total teams)||Note|
|2018||10 / 73||I could barely read the map at this point. Where are we?|
|2019||1 / 65||For the win with Jouni Nurminen! He can navigate like Magellan.|
|2020||2 / 86||Second place. Everyone’s last race before Covid pandemic. My race report is here: https://jeremyinfinland.com/2020/03/15/nuuksio-talvipaiva-6-hr-rogaining-2020/|
|2021||Cancelled because of Covid pandemic||———|
|2022||3 / 49||70 cm of snow = slow + I had a bad hamstring problem (I had to skip KK166km this year because of it)|
|2023||1 / 32||For the win with Lari Koivu! Event was organized quite late this year, hence the small number of teams. 2023 Results here: https://navisport.fi/events/133ef736-0b51-4d00-81d5-16ad7058bbd8/results|
Lari and arrived a bit late because we had a long drive in fresh snow so we didn’t have as much time as some teams for planning. Luckily we figured out an optimal route in about 45 minutes and marked it on our maps. Our thinking was to maximize points early on in the event when we still had energy. I wasn’t sure how my body would perform today because 5/5 people in my family were sick the previous week or two. In fact, after running last Monday, I took four full rest days before this race. I didn’t feel well but I didn’t have a high fever like my kids, probably because I had the flu vaccine a few months ago. Fortunately, my body held up for the race. Today (the next day), however, I am really tired and not feeling great.
In 2022 I started with 1.5 liters of water/Tailwind sports drink because we were planning to stop at a water station after a few hours. Unfortunately, we were running short on time so we had to skip the water station, so I was out of water after 3 hours. Luckily, Jouni had 500ml for me and then I just suffered with thirst until the end. Perhaps I started a bit dehydrated that year? Or the deep snow made me thirsty?
This year, in 2023, I knew there would be no water station so I started the race with 2.5 liters and a water filter for emergencies – some streams were accessible although the lakes were frozen and covered in snow. For some reason I only needed 2 liters total this time.
I ate a packet of white chocolate covered cashews, a few Nosht bars, and one Werthers caramel candy. This was more than enough food for 6 hours (along with sports drink).
Thoughts / Result
Lari and I got 1st place by a fairly comfortable margin, but it was a smaller crowd this time due to late planning. Nevertheless, I think our plan was one of the best I have seen because it maximized the points and followed an excellent route. Using string with marks for every 5-10 km, we approximated that we would run about 37-38km overall and we ended with around 35km. My watch read just under 35 and Lari’s was just over. In the planning phase, I always add a couple of kilometers on to the approximation in case we get lost or the trails snake around a bit, so this time my original measurement of about 36 was quite close to reality.
At the end of the race we agonized about whether we should try to get one more control (n. 42) but decided against it. I think it was the right decision because that might have caused us to miss a higher point control near the finish (had we been sprinting back). In our last Rogaining together a few months ago – which we also won – in Porvoo 4hr, we arrived at the finish line after sprinting for many kilometers with exactly 0 seconds to spare, at exactly 4:00:00. That was torture. For the uninitiated, it’s a really bad idea to be even a tiny bit late in Rogaining because you lose many points. This event in 2023, we arrived with more than 15 minutes to spare: it was nice not having to sprint super hard at the end of a long day.
Lari and I make a good team because we are similar in speed (Lari is almost always faster) and navigation (Jeremy is usually better, but Lari is catching up). Moreover, we are willing to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes.
Thank you to OK77 the organizers and thank you for reading. Will I be back in 2024? Yes!
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