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Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:19 am

Master Masters Athlete
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Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:06 pm
Posts: 192
Location: San Diego

Something like 5,000 athletes are competing at Lahti. That means 5,000 stories about how they got there, what they did on the track or field, and what they experienced off the track. So I can't begin to tell the story of this meet.

So here's my humble invitation: Post your stories here.

Consider this a chance at preserving masters history. While memories are fresh, tell how your events went, how you were treated and what you saw and experienced around the meet.

You don't need to be a superstar. Your story can be just as interesting and instructive as a gold medalist's. Go for it!

Thanks for your cooperation.

Ken Stone

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Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:13 am

Senior Masters Athlete
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:29 pm
Posts: 18

I'd be happy to share my story about Lahti worlds. Not the whole story, but a few highlights. I've been planning to run here all year, as I lived in Finland in 1979 and 1980, and hadn't been back since. I'd hoped to be competitive in the 800 but it wasn't to be - I'm actually 5 seconds slower this year than last. However, my wife and I came over for 2 1/2 weeks and have had a great time in Helsinki, Lahti, up north, Stockholm and now back in Helsinki.

Because I knew I wasn't very competitive this trip has been much more about remembering my time in Finland and reuniting with the Finnish people. What a great job they've done preparing for and running this event. The venues are beautiful and clean, the buses run on time, the staff are plentiful and friendly, the heats seem well-organized and officiated - all we could hope for.

We stayed in Lahti with a Finnish family who welcomed us into their home although we didn't know them before arriving. They made breakfast for us, and hung out with us at night playing games and speaking broken English to our broken Finnish. My wife and the lady of the house became great friends...although they could barely communicate they have a lot in common. We'll stay in touch with the Lumertos and several other families we met.

I enjoyed a lot of real Finnish food including riisi piirakoita (rice pies) with egg butter, viilli and rahka (like yoghurt but different), salmiakki (salt licorice), new potatoes with dill and moose gravy, pulla (sweet bread), various kinds of berries and berry flavored foods including puolukka and lakka, which we don't have in the US, and some other things I've forgotten. Yum!

I enjoyed meeting the other athletes. Almost everyone was friendly and gracious, even and especially those who are world champions, and I had the good fortune of meeting quite a few of them. The chance meeting with Steve Peters was interesting and eventually funny, and my new nickname for Ken Stone is now "naughty Ken", per Dr. Peters. Tom Hartshorne and I hit it off, and he was very helpful with his advice and was stories...I could go on and on, but that's more than enough from me, a middle of the packer here.

Oh, and I made it through the qualifying round!

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