Photo: Kaimo Puniste
Team named SuusaAkadeemia Eliit (Mart Kevin Põlluste, Priit Viks, Raivo Sala, Timo Simonlatser) won today’s 5th Tartu Relay Marathon in Haanja with a time of 1.38.54. Second place went to Areal Team (+2.55) and third to Team TT / Bambona (+6.48).
Due to the lack of snow on the original course the Tartu Relay Marathon and the Open Track races were held on Haanja’s nine kilometers long course. The race format of the Relay Marathon was 11 km + 9 km + 9 km + 9 km. After the first exchange SuusaAkadeemia Eliit’s lead over Areal Team (Uku Vislapuu, Aimar Hussar, Sander Linnus, Allar Soo) was just ten seconds. But the second exchange increased SuusaAkadeemia Eliit's lead over Areal more than a minute thanks to Priit Viks (former Olympic athlete). And although third skier of Areal Team managed to reduce the deficit a little bit, the former top class sprinter Timo Simonlatser finished well before Areal.
„We had a great lead before my exchange, but I wasn’t taking it too easy. I had a great feeling today and held the speed up, because obviously it is nice to compare your lap time to others,“ said SuusaAkadeemia’s anchor man Simonlatser.
It is worth mentioning that the Areal Team had all of the top three finishers at last year’s Tartu Marathon’s Cube ranking. „At the beginning I tried really hard and managed to reduce the deficit about 20–30 seconds, but soon I got tired. In the end I took it easy. In conclusion it was an okay race,“ said the member of the Areal Team and last year’s Cube series winner Allar Soo.
In this year’s Tartu Relay Marathon there were a total of 37 teams competing. The Open Track races (38 km, 20 km, 11 km), which had a total of 150 participants, took place at the same time in Haanja. As of today, the 44th Tartu Maraton will take place on the next weekend in Otepää, Tehvandi instead of the original Otepää-Elva course.
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