Picture from the course on the 26th of January.
44th Tartu Maraton is exactly one month away. Marathon organizers hope that the original course will be available for skiing, but still it is high time to think about other options as well.
The chief of course Assar Kütt said that at the moment there is about 5 centimetres of snow on the course, which is not enough for skiing. „We need aproximately 5–10 centimetres of extra snow, then we could make the track again,“ Kütt said.
Race director Indrek Kelk said that the situation could be better, but it isn’t hopeless. „There’s no reason to be happy. Only consolation is that we have one month left. Previous years have shown that the situation can change very quickly,“ he said. „We will continue our preparations and just hope for the best.“
Kelk said that the Open Track and the Relay Marathon will definitely take place whether on the original course or Mammaste’s artificial snow course. The situation is more complicated with the main events because there are a lot more participants. „We haven’t thought about specific back-up plans yet. We will wait with it until we have no choice,“ Kelk said and added that there are four possible scenarios for the main events:
A) Marathon will take place on the original course;
B) Marathon will take place on the original, but truncated course;
C) Marathon will be held somewhere else where there is a little bit more natural snow than on the Otepää-Elva course;
D) Marathon will take place at Tehvandi with a combination of artificial and natural snow.
At the moment a total of 4584 participants have registered for the 44th Tartu Maraton. „Let’s hope that we will get some snow and we can race on the original course. Then a total of 4500–5000 participants will be realistic. But if we have to use somekind of a back-up plan then the amount of participants will propably be around 4000,“ said race director Kelk.
44. Tartu Maraton takes place on the 26th of February. Tartu Maraton is a classic race and also belongs to the FIS Worldoppet CUP.
Info and registration here.