Northwoods Adventure: Finlandia Ski Marathon
For thirty-five years, each February at the Buena Vista ski area, the Finlandia Ski Marathon attracts cross country skiers from all over and this year was no different. Finlandia has become an annual tradition for the area, and helps make Bemidji a winter destination.
Despite the unseasonably warm conditions, this year’s Finlandia still went on but being able to adapt to all types of weather can make holding the marathon a challenge.
With the February heat wave we are experiencing, there were some concerns about the race course conditions. That is why an early starting time was put in place.
Even the course itself had to change. Shortening the race course was done because portions of the course had melted away. So the course was shortened, making planning and strategizing a necessity to make sure the course was ready for the big day.
Throughout its history, the Finlandia marathon has only been canceled a couple of times, but never because of cold temperatures or two much snow. It’s the warm weather that can control weather a race happens or not.
For the competitors, the marathon course was slick and fast, Craig Cardinal finished first in the pursuit race and said that the course conditions changed by his second lap.
On a day that was more like spring than winter, the race between a heat wave and a winter sport gave victory to the Finlandia Marathon.