Race director Indrek Kelk: most important is to have a secure back-up plan
Picture from the Tartu Maraton’s course on the 2nd of February.
Tartu Maraton’s Open Track races and the 5th Relay Marathon are just 2,5, main events 3,5 weeks away. Lack of snow is still a big problem, which makes everybody wonder whether the 44th Tartu Maraton will be held.
Most of the course is covered with thin ice layer and some places even have a little bit of snow on it. „Having the course covered with ice is very important, because then we don’t need 15–25 centimeters of snow, which we would need if there was no ice layer, to build up the ski course again. We need approximately 10–15 centimeters of extra snow, then the marathon could take place on the original course,“ said Kelk.
It is certain that the Open Track races and the Relay Marathon will take place. Question is where. „Today the Open Track and the Relay Marathon cannot take place on the original course. Main alternative is Mammaste, where there is a course covered with artificial snow. We are also expecting a little bit colder weather next week, which should guarantee that the events will be held,“ said Kelk.
Situation is more complicated with the main events, because there are a lot more participants expected. „Back-up plan is to have the main events at Tehvandi, but at the moment we only have 3,2 kilometers long course there. If we want to let 500–1000 skiers to start at the same time, we need at least 5 kilometers long track. Good news is that we start making artificial snow next week at Tehvandi to make sure that the marathon will have a back-up plan,“ discussed race director Kelk.
Also, the cheaper entry fee was prolonged up to the 20th of February. „The question „will the Tartu Maraton be held?” should arise from anyone who looks out of the window. When we can give the final guarantee about marathon’s occurrence, the participants should have a reasonable time to react to it,“ said race director Indrek Kelk.