10:23 PM on Monday, May 27, 2019
NUTS Karhunkierros race report
My training towards Karhunkierros did go pretty well, except for some few weeks with a small injury that I fortunately recovered from.
But let’s focus on the actual race. We (Roope, Pauliina and I) drove to Ruka on Wednesday for remote work and “ingesting” the NUTS feeling until race day. Roope started his 166km perusmatka on Friday noon and after that I could focus more on my race that started at 07 in the morning.
We watched the gps live feed of the race and also tried to sleep, but the race nerves were on. Breakfast was good (we made it ourselves) and went by bus to the start.
The race started with tech issues for me, my Suunto spartan watch didn’t find a gps signal so I had to reboot the watch and thus lost the first km.
For the first 40km we were a tight group of about 10 people that took turns pacing each other at an “ultra pace”. We reached the first stop (27km) in about 4h. Just before km 41 my new running friend hit the wall and left behind with other runners. I continued on my own for quite some kilometers and found a couple of guys that had the same pace as me.
At some point around 55km I had to drop them since my legs started to hurt in the muscle behind the knee. But I kept on going at my own pace.
The aid stations had a good amount of different things to eat and I also changed shirt twice into a new dry one. I had shorts that actually were warm enough although it rained all the time. On top of the shirt I had a thin jacket that kept most of the rain away from my core.
My plan was to run the race in about 4h + 5h + 3h + 2h = 14h time.
I had three small soft flasks for gels that each fit 5gels and then some extra gels in the running pack. Additional energy consisted of coca-cola, energy chews and candy. Gels from Maurten, GU and Cliff Bar
In half of the water bottles I had either Moonvalley or Maurten drink powder.
I started to use the running poles just before the last aid station - I should have taken them into use earlier.
With about 20km to go Markku Moilanen (even he a new friend) caught up with me and we continued to pace each other all the way to the race finish. I don’t think I (or he) could have continued the same pace without us pacing each other.
We had the same humor and could encourage each other to push the uphills and “run” downhills. It was actually fun to overtake 33 and 55 km runners on the uphills and downhills.
We crossed the line together after 13h 52m running in rainy weather. So I even completed according to my own time prediction.
The scenery was really beautiful for the first 50k. After that it was just feeling a bit like autumn with lots of fog and some wind.
Thank you to all aid stations and volunteers. I even had to ask for help to get my gloves on.
And also thank you to all fellow runners that I shared the trip with. Trail runners are so friendly and helpful.
I was surprised that I could overcome my low moments and just continue even though the legs hurt - they actually got better by just running. And my Salomon s/Lab ultra + injinji sock combination worked smoothly, not a singel bilister. But after the race I found a hole in shoe above my big toe, probably from a root or rock.
Thank You Robert and Pauliina for the race trip company and you also completed both 166 and 55km. Big kudos.
KK83 race retro
- My longest race so far, previous 57km
- It was basically raining the whole race (14h) but it wasn’t really that bad for me.
- Shorts was a good choice. Long tights would have been too warm
- Changed to a new dry shirt two times and used the same jacket
- New balance running jacket (not that water proof) with hood saved the race by keeping the core warm
- Buy bigger gloves
- Use trekking poles sooner
- Pace was as planned, 4h, 5h, ~3h, ~2h
- Kept on “running” although knee muscles were hurting, eventually they got better
- A (new) friend helps you through the race when you can pace each other
- I basically walked all uphills
- And tried to run all downhills except the last really steep stony ones
- Gels in bottles works great
- More energy chews and less candy
- Salomon s/lab ultra shoes worked great although one got a hole on the top front
One of many bridges
The first group
Found a mate
And some mud