After the 46th Tartu Maraton held on the 17th of February we asked our participants feedback about the future of the ski festival.
A short websurvey was sent to the participants of Tartu Maraton (2015-2019) and to the participants of the other 5 events of Tartu Maraton Cube (2017-2018).
Response rate of Tartu Maraton participants during 2015-2019 was 22%.
Here is a short summary of the survey results. In addition to the charts we bring out main ideas and suggestions from the open ended responses. In the end of every question there are also organizer’s comments.
1. In case both the classical and freestyle technique race would be held in one and the same weekend (CT on Saturday and FT on Sunday), You ...
In the open ended responses there were tens of people who said: Tartu Maraton is a classical race with long history and it should remain the same. The respondents see this as a benefit and changing the tradition would lose the feeling of extremely big ski festival. Although – there were some respondents who liked the idea of CT and FT marathon.
In general two races in such a short time period is considered too exhausting.
Although in the responses the only options for the classical race was Saturday, the commentaries of this question show, that the majority of participants prefer only Sunday and only classical race.
The table below shows the number of comments, were a respondent very concretely mentioned, which day and technique hi/she prefers.
Comments by organizer: Over the years there have been different opinions: should Tartu Maraton be only a CT race or should it be both, CT and FT. According to the comments in this survey, the majority of participants prefers CT and traditional Tartu Maraton.
As a result, the ski festival 2020 will be held according to the same conception and program as this year. A week before the main event an Open Track and Team Relay will be held and on the main marathon weekend children races on Saturday and classical distances on Sunday.
However there will be some smaller changes in connection with the Open Track event, which will be announced latest in autumn 2019.
2. Which channels give you most of the information about Tartu Maraton?
We asked to rank 6 channels according to the importance, where 1 = the most important and 6 = the less important channel.
In summary, the most important channel is our homepage: www.tartumaraton.ee. Homepage was mentioned as number one channel by 57,25% respondents, 24,39% mentioned social media and 8,64% newsletter as the most important communication channel.
3. Did you visit Tartu Maraton EXPO this year?
Generally the feedback to the EXPO was good or very good. The location as well as the good prices were mentioned the most.
In addition the following suggestions and comments were made:
PROGRAM: The political debate and partly too loud music were brought out as the main negative sides of the program.
SPORTS MARKET: Visitors would have liked even more exponents and a broader range of goods, including second-hand ski equipment and more Tartu Maraton brand products.
Comments by organizer: The EXPO this year had a new conception and program. We really liked the number of visitors, which shows the importance of the EXPO. It is positive, that the majority of participants were satisfied. In addition we also got many new ideas how to improve the EXPO itself and make it´s program more interesting.
4. General feedback about the event
Main feedback (things said the most):
- Thanking and praising the organizers (a lot of good words about the medal, feeding tent and volunteers) – Organizer’s comment: Thanks a lot for the kind words! It surely inspires and gives us more motivation to hold up the quality in our next events.
- In addition to the alcohol free beer, the volunteers should also give water and/or sports drink in the finish – We plan to give alcohol free beer, water and tea at next year’s Tartu Maraton’s finish.
- Many skiers used freestyle technique – Yes, we’re aware of the problem, because every year there are some skiers who us FT. What we can do in the following years is to communicate more the obligation to only use CT in Tartu Maraton’s main events. If some skiers want to use FT then they can take part in our Open Track race.
- There should be group starts (maybe 3 or 4 groups) instead of one big mass start – A couple of years ago (when there were even more participants in Tartu Maraton) we made a poll where we asked from the participants do they prefer one big mass start or group starts. Most of the participants preferred the mass start saying it makes the event feel bigger and more significant. And because of the same reason we, organizers, also think that way. Yes, because of the infamous Ansomäe descent right after the start, there’s a valid point to use group starts, but as of now please read the last part about descending more safely.
- There should be trash bins next to the starting corridor’s entry gates – Next year there will be!
- Due to safety, Vintage skiers should start at the back of the starting corridor – Most likely next year it will be like that.
- Busses (departed too early in the morning; requests about the end stop in Tartu) – When we decide on the departure times we also consider possible difficult weather conditions and traffic jams. Depending on the year, yes, it could be that the busses arrive too early to the start areas in Arula and Otepää, but: it’s better to be safe than sorry.
About the second part (end stop): In addition to the traditional end stop in front of the Aura Water Centre, next year we’ll also make a stop near the Vanemuise Theatre, as requested.
- About the descends (at the end of the descends the tracks ran together) and participants’ skills (e.g. how to hold poles when descending etc.) – This year’s Tartu Maraton’s course wasn’t groomed by our long time Course Master. Thus, it’s understandable that the men who replaced him don’t know our course’s details and nuances as well as our traditional Course Master. That’s the main reason why, for example the tracks ran together at the end of some descends.
A lot of participants said that the skiers should practice more before the marathon, especially descending. That’s very true and if possible, we recommend to take some skiing tips from professionals in training groups. Also, there are a lot of tutorial videos and articles on the Internet about how to improve skiing skills