For the first time, the 107-kilometer historic Riga-Valmiera race starts with the “bronze” quality mark awarded to it by the International Ultrasonic Association (IAU) last autumn. For the second time, the charity will have the status of a national championship, with 155 participants, including 50 women, fighting for the medals of the Latvian Athletics Union (LVS) in the 100-kilometer distance.
The start of the charity run Riga-Valmiera will be given at midnight on Saturday, July 11, at the Freedom Monument after the joint singing of the Latvian anthem at midnight exactly one month after the end of the state of emergency in the country. This was enough time for the participants, who were registered on less than half an hour on January 1, to be able to tune in to the start and complete the final stage of preparation for the longest running challenge in Latvia. Not only the upcoming event itself, but also the possible extraordinary government meeting on the day before the start is a bit worrying. Therefore, this time the winner will be everyone who will go on the track, not to mention reaching the finish in Valmiera, touching the door jamb of St. Simon’s Church.
This year The guardian angel of the event is Gustavs Marcis Spilva from Vecpiebalga, whose quality of life more than 3,000 euros have been collected before the start. The small Vidzeme resident will meet the leaders at the finish, where for the sixth time, in cooperation with the Ziedot.lv foundation, there will also be a donation box to collect the missing funds needed to purchase special equipment to start school.
The inscription “Freedom for Latvia” will decorate the participants’ numbers for the 12th time. After the singing of the common national anthem, the mayor of Valmiera Jānis Baiks and the first Spartatlon finisher Sigita Vāce will start at the Freedom Monument. Jānis Ābols will go on the track with the first start number, who was drawn last year among half a hundred volunteer helpers, which is one of the keys to success in the success story of the race.
Since 2014, when the race was resumed after a 21-year hiatus, it has experienced 12 different winners in six years. Most likely, this time the tradition will be broken, because in the competition of 50 women will be the main favorite Diana Javiza from Salacgriva, who will fight her own track record achieved last year – 09:26:49.
An interesting fight will be for the second place, for which the new domestic fashion brand “Fox Pace” promises a special prize. The main contenders will be ultra-racing debutant Rita Anopa, Aija Linė, hardened in the 24-hour world championship, and Kristīne Troņenkova, who was immediately behind the trio in the spring “Superhero Backyard Ultra”. After the expansion of the family, Gunta Neija returns to the ultramarathon, who ran 100 kilometers for nearly 10 hours at the World Championship (10:06:42). Linda Laurena and other runners will improve their result last year.
In the men’s competition, the strength of the long-distance players will not be enough to win, because this time the fight to beat the 1992 George Jermolayev track record (8:01:38) will be especially fierce and unpredictable. Almost the best possible team of ultramarathonists will start and once again the decisive moments will be in the almost vicious Witch and Stalbe. The first place after the Murjāņi climb and 45 kilometers has been decisive for the initial race leaders in recent years, but after 75-80 kilometers, the leader, who has been running alone for several hours, is starting to lose the pace (around 4:30 min / km) needed to finish in eight hours.
The starting list includes the current champion Ainars Kumpins (08:10:50, 2019), the previous winner Konstantin Biktimirov (08:18:11, 2018) and the second place finisher Sergey Masloboyev (8:43:55, 2019), six-time finisher Dmitry Nichipor (8:43:21, 2018) and Pēteris Grīviņš (8:32:11, 2017), who has a better result (7:32:43, 2017) in 100 kilometers than Ainārs Kumpiņš (7:37:46, 2019). True, there was no certified track in the Valka race three years ago.
Together with younger runners, the Latvian record holder Jānis Actiņš (8:56:02, 2016) will go on the track in 24 hours, who four years ago was in the top three and this spring has put a solid base in training with 71 half marathons in 71 days.
The first winner of the renewed race, Valdis Ņilovs (2014), will be unpredictable. The dark horse will be Kristaps Magone, who last year trimmed the Sigulda Mountain Marathon and the last Valka “Impossible Race” a month apart, covering 101 kilometers in less than eight hours (7:59:26).
Promising Alvis Danovskis and Jānis Arseņikovs promise rehabilitation for failure last year. Arnis Paškevičs (9:34:59, 2018) has started in the 100th kilometer of the World Championship, Mikhail Golubev will improve his previous years’ result. Yard utramarathon winner Anotns Kranga a year ago captured photo moments at the 100 – kilometer mark, but this time the same will be among the participants of the race.
Aivars Bondars, Ritvars Kalniņš, Didzis Brauns and Mārtiņš Sirmais, who have run more than 200 kilometers in the competition, will use every opportunity to overtake the tired initial leaders, climb higher in the results table and shuffle the cards. fan tote.
The historical race took place five times in 1989-1993 and tonight the track will be the only runner of that time. Viktors Suborins – co-author of the track record and two-time winner (08:03:45, 1991 and 08:44:03, 1993). So far, no modern ultramarathonist has run at his speed.
In previous years, nine hours were enough to run in the top three. This year the weather promised by weather forecasters is favorable and even with a half-hour faster result you can stay out of the winners.
Due to a new track record, the organizers of the competition have increased the number of watering points from six to nine. In turn, the crews of the State Police will accompany a group of leaders along Brīvības Street and “Latvijas Dzelceļš” will close the freight train traffic in Garkalne for a couple of hours during this event.
The leaders will accompany the car to the finish line with a clock on the roof to know the time spent on the track. For the first time, a prize for the absolute track record is offered to motivate runners – leg muscle regeneration massage boots. The results of the competition will be available online (rezultati.ultrataka.lv), as well as video broadcasts on social networks from checkpoints and Valmiera highway.
All participants will start in safety vests with reflective elements and will have a headlamp on their head. However, drivers are asked to be careful when going in the direction of Valmiera on Saturday.
The track was certified last year and in the autumn won the (IAU) bronze quality mark “Bronze Label”. Every five kilometers, starting from the Mushroom, there are yellow markings on the highway. Latvian champions in 100 kilometers will be determined near Kocēni at the turn to Limbaži. In turn, a pair of “Inov8” shoes will be the fastest in the final seven-kilometer “sprint stage” of both sexes to the door jamb of Simon’s Church.
In the finish area, where participants will receive a bottle of kefir and apple strudel instead of a commemorative medal, those present will be delighted humor rock group “First course”, who will perform at St. Simon’s Church at 17.00. Musicians released the new single “Follower” a week ago.
The concert will be followed by an award ceremony, in which LVS President Arnis Lagzdiņš will participate and not only the fastest, but also those who will finish at the end of the 19-hour control period will be present. After the lottery and thanks to the volunteers, a special bus Valmiera-Riga will leave the St. Simon’s Church stop “Kliņķis”.
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