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Published 9 Feb 2003

Kickers Taste a Vintage Wine in Läpinjärvi: Jan Elmgren
| results

Last Sunday the Finnish Kicksled Marathon Championships (FKMC) were held in the South of Finland on a 4 kilometer ice track without any sharp turns or technical sections. The event in Läpinjärvi was well organised by hometown hero Ville Vickholm. A fun relay event grabbed the spectator’s attention on a smaller inner track, while the drama of the marathon was played out in the background. Overall a clever arrangement. The weather conditions were ideal, if somewhat windy.

The first half of the men’s marathon (sorry I can’t say more about the other events as I was only a spectator to my own race) consisted of a cautious, even passive, group of five watching each other (Ville, Alpo, Hannu, Jan, me). Interestingly, every one of these five has had at least one taste of victory this season so all five could be considered contenders, although if I had been a betting man I would have split my money between Jan and Alpo.

In the second half it was Hannu who would be the first to show his hand, sprinting off effortlessly to put a few hundred meters on the following foursome. This was not a panic situation since there was plenty of race remaining. But it showed that Hannu has returned to form and that the pack was certainly vulnerable to attack. But who had the legs to make a move that would stick? Jan was THE man (and, by the way, his partner Anne was THE woman in her race).

As the pack of four began to inch its way up to Hannu, Jan made a decisive and bold counter attack into the wind. Perfectly timed. Oh boy, he was moving! We were dogs chasing a car. Gaps opened up. Hannu and Alpo mounted a chase, while I was unable to bridge up and Ville faded badly in the final laps (probably exhausted from his duties as race director). My wife, witness to the spectacle, said Jan “was kicking like a crazy man foaming at the lips” continued to open up his lead and hold it to the finish, showing his clear superiority.

BUT, hold your horses, there is more action to come! The Finnish 10k and relay championships are just around the corner, and the World Championship Multia Games are in one month. Jan is like a fine wine getting better and better with age, Alpo’s potential is unlimited, Ville will surely be training, Hannu is Hannu and, KENSU is nipping at Ketkupolka’s heels, and folks it will be interesting. Wait and see, or even better, come and see.

Richard Van Camp
Potku uutiset)

Results | Finnish Championship kicksled 2003 (open) | Marathon 42,195 m
Conditions: windy - location: Lapinjärvi, Finland

1) Anne Muiniekka Vantaan Veturi 2.17.30
2) Heidi Räihä Porvoon Akilles 2.21.49
3) Minna Nybondas Porvoo 2.55.16
4) Sonja Räihä Espoo 3.05.10

1) Jan Elmgren Vantaan Veturi 1.41.01
2) Hannu Vierikko Ketkupolkka Helsinki 1.41.40
3) Alpo Kuusisto Ketkupolkka Helsinki 1.41.41
4) Richard Van Camp KENSU Jyväskylä 1.43.08,
5) Ville Vickholm Ketkupolkka Lapinjärvi 1.45.06
6) Antti Lehtinen KENSU Jyväskylä 1.50.11
7) Timo Rinkinen KENSU Jyväskylä 1.50.12
8) Markus Holmlund IF Femman 1.50.26
9) Esa Mononen Ketkupolkka Helsinki 1.53.18
10) Markus Porthin Ketkupolkka Helsinki 2.09.11
11) Lauri Sahlbom Porvoo 2.55.16
12) Juhani Saunamäki Tuusula 2.57.30
13) Mika Saunamäki Sipoo 3.15.53

Men over 45 years
1) Väinö Nurvo Ketkupolkka Helsinki 1.55.11
2) Kari Puska IF Femman 2.06.10 ike

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