Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bronze Medal!!!

Today Jim won a Bronze Medal (3rd) place in the 3000 Meter Steeplechase event for men 55-59 years old at the World Master's Track and Field Meet! He ran his fastest time of the year and just missed second place by .24 seconds! Jim has a great kick and would have caught the guy if the event had been 3010 meters! Jim is thrilled with his "hardware" and I am so proud of him! Jim is on the left in the photo below.

Jim didn't run until 1 PM, which left the morning for me to entertain myself since he planned to lay low in our hotel room until it was time for him to go to the track. I had hoped to rent a bike but the tourist office that may have done that was not open on Saturday! Go figure! So I walked along the lake shore, thinking that since there was a nice bike trail that there may be a bike rental place, but I didn't find one, which ended up being fine. The World Masters Marathon was held this morning and I got to see a lot of it because I ended up walking along the course a good ways. I walked up to the main track stadium where the 3 ski jumps are located and got to see some ski jumpers practicing on the two lower hills. Apparently the large hill is not used during the summer because there is a large community pool at the bottom of it and today many people were swimming. So if you enlarge this photo (click on it) you may see the ski jumper in the air above the landing area.

After 2.5 hours of walking, I decided it was time for me to head to the track and find Jim. He was sitting in the shade, but still had an hour or so until his event. So I went and found a seat in the grandstand that was in the shade and got some knitting done. At 1 PM, on the dot, the gun went off for Jim's race.

After all the photos and congratulations and usual post-race talk, Jim took his cool-down run towards the main stadium where the awards ceremony would be held in about an hour's time. I took a nice scenic walk to get there. The medal ceremony was very nice and they even play a short segment of the national anthem from the winner's country, in Jim's race, the winner was a guy from The Netherlands. Second place went to a man from Japan. So here are the photos of Jim getting his medal. He was, and is, one happy guy!

After all the running festivities, we walked back to our hotel and then on to the train station, where we had a wait of about 35 minutes until our train departed for Helsinki. In the photo below I am snacking on a very popular Finnish snack, fresh peas!

I bought some, along with some yummy raspberries in the market square in Lahti before going to Jim's race. The Finns just sit and shell the peas and eat them raw and I now understand why~they are delicious!

I also got a fair amount of knitting done today, while waiting for Jim to run and on our train ride. Here is a photo of me making good use of my time until our train pulls into the station.

The hour-long train ride was uneventful and very pleasant. But things were busy when we arrived at the Helsinki station.

Our hotel is right next to the train station, which is most conventient. After Jim got cleaned up we wandered down to the harbor area, had a beer at the outside tables of a restaurant and then went in for a nice, celebratory dinner.
Tomorrow we take the 10:00 AM ferry to the country of Estonia for some day-long sightseeing. We will be back to Helsinki at 6:30 PM, because I then board an overnight train, at 9:20 bound for Rovaniemi where I can step over the Arctic Circle. I return on the overnight train on Monday night, arriving on Tuesday morning. Busy, busy, busy!
Hope all is well.


Liz said...

Congratulations Jim! Looks like you guys are having a great time over there.

Bob said...

Congratulations Jim! Good form over the barrier - those long legs come in handy. Enjoy the remainder of your trip.