Jan is a endurance sports enthusiast from Germany with a great passion also for sports marketing and business. He is a a Director at CtC adidas BU Digital Sports and he used to live in Oulu for several years while working at Polar. And now he is back to challenge you to Tervahiihto! 🙂
How did you hear about the race?
I used to live and work in Oulu for several years and that was the time I heard about the legendary Tervahiihto first time. As I am used to do silly stuff, I decided to go big without any proper preparation in 2009 first time: The long one. I never learned to ski, as all the Finnish boys and girls did, I taught it to myself. And guess what – I survived. I made the 70k in around 6 hours, which sounds pathetic for experienced skiers, but I did it. 2010 I repeated it and finished 1 hour earlier! I am away from Oulu since almost 6 years now and I always wanted to come back to do the Tervahiihto again. Here I am!
Have you previously visited Oulu and Tervahiihto? Oh yes, as already stated in the section above. I loved to live and work in Oulu and I met many great friends, people and colleagues there. I enjoyed the Finnish way of living, got addicted to sauna, pilki and the nature. My previous participations were 2009 & 2010. I found a nice picture: Me with the medal in the finish with a proper blueberry moustache 😀
Tell us a little about your background as a skier.
Hahaha, that is the embarrassing part. I am everything but a Nordic skier. I never really learned it, I never had the chance to really do it for a longer time (except when I lived in Oulu) and especially being back here in Germany, I have hardly no chance to train. But I have sisu! And I don’t care about cold weather if I need to train. This pic is from Oulu 2010, when it was -30° Celsius!
What is your favourite workout and why?
I love trailrunning & roadcycling and I also like to participate in competitions. I will never win anything – for sure. But I just like to take part in events, to hang out with similar weirdoes as I am and to beat myself. For XC Skiing I do not have any special training, as I rely on the snow. And this in something which is pretty rare here in Central Europe, or it is too far away to get to the snow. So my best practice for Tervahiihto is watching Biathlon and XC Skiing Worldcup on TV J But hey, I had one fantastic and favourite training session in 2014 with my friend Riina, when I visited Oulu and I even have a pic. I bet Riina will see that and reply something silly!
Tell us about your summertime training
I am running and cycling a lot, this is my training. The picture above has been taken at the “Rad am Ring 24h Race”, a big and international cycling event, taking place at the Nürburgring Formula 1 track. Also a fantastic events, with a good amount of Finnish participants! The other picture show me and my spouse Ira finishing the “Kaisermarathon”, a trailmarathon with 2500m elevation gain on the classical 42k marathon distance. Huh-huh, that hurt!
Oh, and that is another picture of one of my summer favourite events, the “Rennsteiglauf”, a trailrunning race over 74k distance and 1800m elevation gain. Proud finisher, only able to sit. No more walking or standing possible in that moment! Look in my face, that’s how a happy person looks like 😀
What is your favourite place to go skiing?
That’s a simple question – wherever I can get fast and where I can find snow! The easiest to access from the place I live would be Oberhof in Thuringia/ former East Germany. The picture below has been taken 3 weeks ago, when we had enough snow and really good conditions. Plus, there is an indoor skiing tunnel in Oberhof, if there is absolutely no snow. Comparable to Vuokatti Tunnel. Other areas I like are Tirol in Austria (St. Johann and Kössen).
How long are you staying in Oulu, What are your plans for the visit?
We will stay for 9 days in Oulu. I am hoping to meet lots of old friends, enjoy some finnish sauna and makkara, going for pilki and preparing for Tervahiihto, getting some snow kilometers beforehand. I am superexcited to spend a vacation in Pohjos Pohjanmaa!
How are you preparing for the race? Any secrets you would like to share?
Hahaha, that is a funny one! My preparation is to be there on time and not to give up. Anything else I don’t care. From cardiovascular point of view, I am definitely fit. But I have no idea, how my body will handle the muscular pain. And I don’t care 😀 Nutritionwise I will rely on the food stations, I know that you guys are very well equipped. Just make sure that you keep something in the backhand for the slow dudes, as I will be! Ah, and I will give my skis to the wax-service before for sure. That is a must-do for a greenhorn like me!
Are you skating or going classic style? skating
Who are your toughest competitor`s in Tervahiihto?
Myself will be my biggest competitor, My only target is to finish that thing properly. And…if I will see any old friends or colleagues on the track, that will be competition enough. Varovasti – trashtalk session: I am not talking about Tero, Eeva, Toni or any sportsgods like you. But if I will see Keke, Sakke, Riina or Riku in the race… fasten your seatbelts, Hullusaksaalainen is back 😀
Oh, and I heard that Sakke Palsola will be in the race, too – would be fun to compete with him, but I fear that he is a million times better that I am. Maybe I can get two Kärppä-Tickets for the match vs. JYP during the week before Tervahiihto?! That would be SO awesome!!! If so, I will stay behind Sakke 😀
What´s your secret ”weapon” against them?
I will beat them with psychological games. Trash talking them to bits, swearing in Finnish language and throwing evil looks at them will do 😀
Are you joining AfterSki event in Restaurant Rauhala?
Absolutely yes! I hope that we can make many new friends in Oulu. I consider Oulu being my second home J I can’t wait to get back and meet up with all the known and to-be-known-soon friends!
Warm welcome to Oulu Jan! Ihana, kiitos weri mäni!