In the early morning hours while running the NUTS Karhunkierros 166km earlier this spring I doubted I’d attend the NUTS Ylläs Pallas 160km I had signed up for. Vaarojen Maraton 130km was completely out of question, I’d either downgrade the distance or skip the whole thing altogether.

Yet here we are, NUTS Ylläs Pallas finisher medal somewhere in the drawer and counting the days for the Vaarojen Maraton. These three races form the Ultra Trail Tour Finland serie and anyone completing the three races during one season receives an UTTF vest. This is my goal for 2019. To get a stupid vest.

130km is easy compared to 160km?

In theory, sure! While the upcoming race is shorter than the previous ones it feels more challenging. The route is very technical with slippery rocks and roots. The race starts in the evening and there will be a long dark night unlike in the other races. Likelihood of rain is high. The race is mostly self supported and the aid stations are water only apart from the midway point.

This is not to say this race is worse, it’s just different. Unless you like it easy, then it’s worse.

I feel somewhat confident about having a chance to finish the race. Training has gone fine and no nagging injuries at the moment either. Naturally anything can happen on such a long run. Looks like I’m currently ranked 11th on the UTTF but even if I finish I expect to rank lower after the race. It’s not my strongest course and one gets 1.25x the points for it.

All the 130km runners are given a GPS tracker so you can follow the race in real time. The link will be added to the Vaarojen Maraton site. Give me a call when you see me deviating too far from the trail!