micke-midlife on May 22nd, 2009

whyno10kinhelWe love competitions in Finland. In no other country - as far as I have observed - are held so many national championships than in this little nordic place. The trick is to invite someone from Estonia or Sweden to lift it to a European Championship event. And if someone from Russia, east of Moscova could come around we have a full blown world championships.

That there are the traditional annual events in the throwing disciplines like rubber boots or mobile phones has already widely spread. And given the relatively young history in the 1800’s where a lot in Finland still was based on farming and hunting, it’s no surprise that the world best Javelin throwers are from around here and all the other almost best ones want to diversify the throwing business to be world best in something as well.

Further we enjoy comparing who’s best at sitting in the sauna, i.e. who can be in there the longest. A robot arm throws water on the stove every 30 seconds, which evaporates pretty much right away when it hits the stones into the dry air with a temperature of about 90 degrees Celsius (water boils at a hundered, for all you who think in Fahrenheit). That’s a lot of fun in there as you can image, it’s also fun to see the paramedics to carry out those reddish cooked crayfish-like bodies of pretty much dehydrated competitors. It’s no toture as long as they do it to themselves.

A lot of competitive fun during summer times around here. IMD, the Swiss Business School and research institute has just released a latest ranking on countries’ competitiveness and Finland came in 9th out of 57 economies, after the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, our other nordic friends the Danes and Swedes (oh no we lost to Sweden, again!!!) Australia and Canada. We earned that spot due to the infrastructure being top notch, also our regulation environment and business efficiency is among the top 5, it’s the economy where we suck, we just don’t make money.

With so much competitions around in the summer, why do we have the simplest and oldest ones only held in the winter? As far as I can see, a standard 10km roadrace is missing from the race calendar during the months of May, June, July and August, right? There’s the Aktia Cup winter series, that was well covered here on 400days, which lasts from November to March. Then there are a number of quarter marathons as sidekicks to smaller rural marathon events. But no standard 10k road races on a flat course where all the runners with their stellar goals for this season could get their reference (and perhaps find some explanations why it didn’t work out … again). Why?

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