It’s been a relatively busy past few weeks so I have fallen behind on my blog posts. The weather continues to have daytime high temperatures that are constantly hovering around freezing so we have multiple freeze thaw cycles each week. All of our colleagues here at UEF have voiced their concerns that we are not experiencing a real Finnish winter. We agree – we would like to see the temperature drop and for snow to stay on the ground. In the meantime, people here are making the best of the unseasonably warm weather. Many of our colleagues bike to work, go skiing or skating, and do other types of outdoor activities. The weather never really seems to be a factor.
There have been a number of local winter sporting events. For example, we attended a cross-country ski competition that was held here in Kuopio near the Puijo ski jumps (we have yet to see a ski jumping event).
The participants in the cross country skiing races were largely secondary (high school) students from the region.
There were also occasional families that ran the 2.5 km course.
The past two days (Feb 21 and 22) we visited the harbor area here in Kuopio to watch the Finland Ice Marathon. Racers came from many European countries and a few participants came from the USA as well.
This is an annual race that includes long distance (up to 200 km) skating races and ice cycling (up to 100 km races). There are also community races and events that involve skating with poles or kick sleds. Cracks in the ice were pretty prominent today because we had a light morning ‘rain’ event.
The 250 km race (shortened to 181 km because of warm weather) was won by a Finnish skater in under 7 hr. Because of the size of the track racers were spread out across the course.
Next up – Tallinn Estonia