Tahko was one of my main goals for this year and fortunately I was able to participate. I've done it once before, in 2008, when I rode 120 km (2 laps) in 9 h 34 min. The original plan was actually to ride 180 km (3 laps), but that particular series was cancelled in the beginning of June. Since 240 km (4 laps) is too much for me, I chose to ride 120 km instead and to do it under 9 hours.
Greenman booked lodging for a small group from Turku, mainly riding with MTB-Turku, and in three cars we started from Turku towards Tahko in the Friday morning.
Matti H uses a straightforward form of carbohydrate loading.
Our means of transportation.
Going for an evening ride.
Greenman und sein Panzer-Pugsley
More carbohydrate loading, this time with pasta.
The next morning. The final carbohydrates come from porridge.
I have no pictures from the race itself, but here and here are some.
The race started quite well for me. The trails were in very fast and dry condition. I started out a little too fast, and the first lap went in 3 h 34 min. After that I slowed down a lot, in part because I rode the first lap to fast and in part because it was getting too hot for me. The second lap went just at the border of cramping for the most time. A few times I had some bad cramps, but by walking a little I could handle them. My final time was 7 h 48.45 min, which I'm quite satisfied with. My new tactics of eating just a small amount of energy during long rides seems to work. I had no nausea and for the most part I had fairly much energy, though there were some low moments. I drank about 4 liters of sports drink, maybe 0.5 liters water and ate one power bar and two energy gels as well as a few cookies, which really is not very much for this long a ride. All in all, the ride went very well. Maybe I could improve it a little still in cooler weather.
After the race.
In the Sunday morning we started to drive back to Turku by car and arrived some time in the evening.
A few more pictures are here.