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1:01:15

August 22, 2005
That was my time in yesterday’s Helsinki Roller Marathon. In conditions that were a bit slick (it rained prior to the start), I can say I am rather impressed with this time! My goal is to get it under an hour next year.
 
The "half" marathon was not a true half-marathon in terms of distance (20km, not 21km for a half), as organizers were not able to secure routes the true marathon distances. We got to speak to one of the organizers and he said it was difficult to get the total support from the police because the HRM is not a huge event such as the HCM (Helsinki City Marathon) or the recent World Athletics Championships.
 
In any case, the true diehards of this sport were really fast! On racing skates, the first guy in from the full marathon distance finsihed in 1:17:xx. The HRM attracts a lot of the best skaters from all over Finland and even a few people from abroad. Even though there were several reminders that "tämä ei ole kilpailu" (this is not a competition), I have to say these guys on racing skates sure made it into a competition! It was great to see so many people out, they covered all age ranges and all skill levels
 
See more on skating (on ice too) at the Finnish Speed Skating Association http://www.luisteluliitto.fi/ (Click the tiny "In English" link on the right side of the page).
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