Day III – 30th June 2017 – The Lost Beach
Third day was the day before the tournament. We planned to relax and get to know the race track.
We couldn’t waste the whole day on just relaxing though! After breakfast we went sightseeing, but quickly realised that in Sonkajarvi there isn’t much to see or do. It’s a really small village with merely 4 thousand people. We saw the only church and went to check out the only museum – the international bottle museum. It turned out they were preparing a new exhibition, which will be available the next day. So we changed our plans and decided to visit that place after breakfast the following morning – before the race.
In school, which was near our sleeping spot, we collected starter packs. For 50 euros of starting fee we got two t-shirts with the Championship logo and our numbers. What surprised us was the fact that we didn’t have to sign anything and no one asked for our ID’s. In Poland in every run you have to sign an agreement, so the organizers can use information about you (for example a picture or your results) and a statement that you take full responsibility for taking part in the race (if you have an injury).
When at 11 a.m. we had seen everything in the village, we decided to check out a beach, which – according to a sign – was supposed to be 4 km from Sonkajarvi. After buying a piece of watermelon, we went for the search. The walk was long, but the weather was beautiful. We found the beach, but it was so hidden, that we weren’t sure if this is the right place. It was wonderful! Hidden behind the trees, practically deserted. Apart from us, there was also another couple and three children. There wasn’t much sand, but neatly cut grass, pier, changing rooms, toilets and even a diving platform was enough for us. There was also a beach volleyball court. Water was terribly cold (which again didn’t bother the kids), so we didn’t swim but the place was peace and quiet and as we were laying there surrounded by nature we almost fell asleep. We were totally charmed by this place!
When we came back, we eat dinner, cleaned and washed a little bit and went to see the race track. It was available for the participants for half an hour. We could try out the track and see how to overpass the obstacles. It was good, we felt better and at least a little bit prepared. Max didn’t have to feel stupid running around with a girl on his back. The obstacles didn’t scare us… apart from the pool. Water was so freezing that we just couldn’t make ourselves to get in it. We decided to improvise and face it for the first time during the race. We also didn’t want to wet our clothes and shoes, because if it wouldn’t dry we would have to start the race in them anyway.
After the training the Championship has officially began. First there was a sprint Wife Carrying Championship, which was on a shorter distance (100 metres, not the usual 253,5m) and the only obstacle was the pool. It was fenomenal! We felt the real spirit of the tournament and debunked the myth, that Finnish people are temperate and doesn’t show emotions. It’s not true – there were loud, cheering their friends and other participants.
After the sprint race we went to check out the “olympic village” – some shops and places with local food. We also went on a dance party, which was in school, but we quickly realised that old Finnish music isn’t our cup of tea.
We came back to our tent, used showers and went to sleep.