I just got back from my own personal skating “Tour of Nordics”, or several days of skating in Sweden and Finland. My trip started with the Vikingarännet north of Stockholm, Sweden. This event is an 80km (50 mile) fun skating tour over the lakes north of Stockholm. About 2,700 participants took part. I was still adjusting to the time change and had very little sleep but had a really enjoyable morning nonetheless as it was quite an adventure to skate a point-to-point course with so many people. The ice was pretty good, albeit rough for the first portion of the tour so I was happy to skate in my Nordic skates (nearly all the participants skated in Nordic blades and more than half skated with ice poles). Next up was a session at the 400m oval in Stockholm, which is near the stadium for the 1912 summer Olympic games. For this I wore my clapskates, or the traditional speedskate boots with a blade where the heel isn’t fixed, and enjoyed some good technical speed skating. I then journeyed to Kuopio, Finland and skated a 25km preliminary skate, and then finished the week with a 200km skate at the Finland Ice Marathon. It was a lot of skating considering my only time on the ice this year was a single short track session—my “training” consisted of cycling, a few cross-country ski days, and then in the last couple of months I made sure to have a once-a-week inline skate of increasingly longer distances. (Check out the photos on the “other photos” tab.)
Editor - Jim
This blog weighs in on topics such as long-distance skating, the Illinois canals, cycling, and a variety of related (and occasionally not-so-related) topics. I'd like to correspond with others interested in skating the Hennepin and I&M canals.