After a morning spent resting and getting myself organised I trooped off to the starting area for the Helsinki City Run, Half Marathon, for a day that was not to disappoint. I’ll gloss over the initial mistake of sitting at the tram stop on the wrong side of the street, thankfully not an omen for bad things to come, it was all good.
On arrival I looked around and headed to the baggage area as this seemed the best place to kill the time before my starting wave, the green wave, this took off at 15:30. The scene looked like some impromptu picnic or open air festival without the food or the live music, relaxed bodies lay on the ground and folks chatted or contemplated the activity to come or perhaps like me they looked at the sky and chilled?
The bag creche seemed very well organised with the green bags looking like some alien egg waiting to hatch, the folk collecting and dropping the bags in line must have covered some distance today and it looked like some of them were making the volunteer role a shuttle run session – back and forth, back and forth they ran.
And as I said I chilled
As my start time drew near I changed and headed to the assembly point and made this pre-run video. I look a bit strange in the plastic bin bag uniform but it kept the chill off me and allowed me to run in my vest and kilt without feeling too warm during the run itself. Many of the other competitors wore tights and long sleeves and they must have been warm. I’d rather dress for the later stages than the first km of a run.
And then we were off, the first few km’s were a bit congested with runners settling into their pace and place but that was not a bad thing as it forced me to slow down and conserve energy for the other 19 kms to come.
The course was very picturesque, sadly I did not stop to take pictures but it felt like we were either running alongside the waterside or running through forest trails, with a lovely blue sky overhead and the temperature of 12 centigrade was just right.
The course had undulations and especially in the final stages or maybe I was just becoming a spent force, those last few kilometres seemed particularly tough. I dug deep and called on my inner Finn and the national spirit of Sisu.
The finish appears quite quickly, one minute you are hareing though the trees along a trail path, then you cross a bridge, before a downhill leads you into the stadium and the final 100 metres to the finish.
I attempted to produce a short video as is my fashion but as soon as I crossed the line I started coughing and I tried a few times to be cough free, so here we go…..
and then I tried again but at least between coughs I noticed more stuff this time…..
We wondered through a very well managed finish zone where you received (if you wanted these things) your medal, a bottle of water, a banana, a wafer biscuit thing, chocolate flavoured milk stuff, heineken lager and gherkins – very salty these were.
This is a panoramic shot of that little journey.
I trudged on having had two pickled gherkins out of the three offered, changed, donned by clean official orange coloured event shirt and walked home after making the final cough free video, you’ll notice that the video aspect is wrong but I’ll sort it for next time.
Thanks to the event team and all the volunteers this was a great event and perhaps I will return again.
Oh and the time 1:55:58 and a new PB for this old dog, I’m happy with that, thank you very much Helsinki!
And the cough has gone.