Slimmed-down Tartu ski marathon event to go ahead later this month ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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Cross-country ski tracks. Source: Pertti Juronen

Whereas last year's Tartu ski marathon had to be canceled due to lack of snow, this year's event does not have that problem given the recent weather, but still has to meet the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the latter, no mass start is to take place, but competitors will be started in staggered batches instead.

The 47th Tartu ski marathon is scheduled for Sunday, February 21, with the event's organizer Indrek Kelk telling ETV current affairs show "Ringvaade" that: "The first important change is that there will be no single mass start, but groups of 500 starting every 15 minutes."

The first of these groups will start at 9 a.m., the event's traditional start time.

Kelk said there will be sensors on the start line which will detect when skiers start to cross the line – triggering the start of the next group – while social distancing even on skis will be possible, he said.

Other changes include the cancellation of the open event, relay race, 16-km race and children's event, due to coronavirus considerations, leaving only the flagship main marathon as the sole race of the weekend.

Härimägi, part of the usual Tartu Ski Marathon route, as it currently looks. Source: Tartu Marathon Club

International competitors are not taking place this year either, meaning a domestic victor should be assured – something that has not happened in 16 years in the men's event, and six year's from among women skiers, BNS reports.

Last year's event was replaced by a hike after the snow failed to materialize.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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