|Tampere is squeezed between two amazing lakes!|
|Jackson has a new found love for selfies, mostly because the Tampere tourist website suggested them|
|Debating which bus to get on|
|The most popular question to ask us at the race: why are you here?|
|Tyler bought a cool Jami42 hat. Well, he thinks it's cool at least.|
Our post race meals continue to impress and we happily ate homemade soups, bread, coffee and delicious crepes after the race. As it turns out our intimidating Norwegian competitor, Morthen, was quite friendly and we enjoyed a two hour conversation with him, his wife, and two young kids while we ate lunch. He has raced many world loppets and other ski races all over Europe. When he and his wife had their second child a few years ago he brought his skis to the hospital so that he could be sure to make it to the Finlandia Hiihto race later in the day. If you can't tell, we idolize him - and are very impressed (and sort of surprised) with how supportive his wife is!
On Sunday, Jackson went to watch World Cup skiing at the Lahti Ski Festival and Tyler enjoyed some restful down time. I arrived early enough to watch all of the pre-race preparation, which is a little more intense than it is in college skiing. Each skier warms up with one, or in the case of some of the Norwegian stars, several wax techs as they try to choose the fastest pair of skis for the day. The Lahti world cup was a pursuit race, meaning that halfway through the race, the skiers switched from classic to skate skis, so ski choice was even more rigorous than usual. Although a lot of fans came, there was more room to spectate than there was at the Holmenkollen Ski Festival and I had a chance to practice some action photography. I indulged myself, taking over 2000 pictures over the course of the day. The success of the American women over the last few years, and especially this year, has made being an American fan at these events really exciting. Despite the Finnish commentary, American skier Jessie Diggins’s name could be heard over the loud speaker many times, and she received the loudest cheers of any non-Finnish athletes. The races themselves were exciting but, unfortunately for the host country, ended in Norwegian podium sweeps for both the men and women’s races.
|American Jessie Diggins, Number 7.|
|This is really a photo of what Tyler looked like 7 years ago and what he will look like 20 years from now.|
|Finn Hagen Krogh (8) and Martin Sundby (Leader), Norway|
|Noah Hoffman, USA|
In Finland, there are about 5.5 million people and about 2 million saunas. We’ve been lucky to enjoy several of them, including one in the house of our current hosts, Anssi and Emmi, who live in Helsinki. The steam, or löyly (which is Finnish word to describe sauna steam and is distinct from the word höyry, which describes steam in all other contexts) can create an intense experience, but saunas are integral to experiencing Finnish culture and probably good preparation for races, at least mentally. We travel to Lahti, Finland in a couple of days, which is where our next marathon, the Finlandia-Hiihto, is held.