It’s a Saturday morning in Helsinki, and what’s more unusual than a Saturday morning marathon is a Saturday afternoon marathon! I’m in town for the Sportyfeel Helsinki City Marathon.

It’s 10am and I’m already feeling the direct heat from the sun. The forecast is for sustained 19c throughout the race (the sun won’t set till about 10pm tonight).

My training has been… lacking for this race. Since January I’ve been primarily on the bike, which have led to tight hamstrings. I’ve also not been doing enough endurance, but enough excuses.

An afternoon race is proving to be expensive – I’ve spent the morning filling in this summer’s race calendar with “B” races – secondary races to help prepare me for my three main events (LEJOG, Pembrokeshire Ironman and Pirin Ultra). I’ll hopefully fit in a sprint triathlon, a half Ironman (70.3) distance, and maybe a cyclosportive or two before LEJOG in late July.

I’m following a few race rituals before this event: abstaining from alcohol the day before, restricting the types of food I eat (just croissants today), keeping my caffeine intake sensible (two filter coffees), drinking beetroot juice, saving this season’s latest trainers for the race itself, even having my laces set up in a particular way… Every little helps right?! I guess in a few hours I’ll find out whether it was all worth it!

A small park in Helsinki

Mmm, beetroot. Don’t try this for the first time just before a race!

Carb loading the night before (the Bree’s not mine!)

Keep running!


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