13th Võhandu marathon

On April 21 the 13th Võhandu marathon with a distance of 100 km took place. The marathon is along the Võhandu river in the wild and untouched nature. It’s a marathon full of water, joy and pain, physical and mental challenge, water and rainbow, rain and sunshine, and of course, a lot of WATER.

Photo author: Aldis Toome

You can compete with a kayak, canoe, raft and other types of non-motorized means of transport.

The marathon begins in Võru city with a 5 km circle around the lake Tamula for all competitors except the rafts and paddleboarders, who can go straight to the river. We had a 2-person kayak with Kristjan Kullamaa. It was his first time on this marathon so he didn’t know what to fear from this endeavor. But I invited him, because he’s physically and mentally very strong and you can definitely count on him. We were planning to finish the marathon in 12 hours, since my best time so far had been 12 h and 20 minutes. Since it was the first time for Kristjan, the first 30 km went by achieving co-operation. From my past experiences I had learned that you should avoid paying attention to the muscle pain in your back, shoulders and body, which develops already in the first few kilometres, because in the end you’re going to be sore all over anyway and if you’re mentally strong then you can beat the pain. We were motivated every time when we were able to pass by other competitors and on 55 km we made a decision to not let anyone pass us by. I had experienced before that on the second half of the marathon the overall feeling doesn’t actually get any worse. We tried to get through the catering points very quickly and just eat our own food. Kristjan had made some marzipan and I had brought some energy bars made from hemp flour.

The key in getting through this marathon is to get enough energy from food and to stay hydrated. I had buckwheat porridge for breakfast, which helped me get by the first 30 km successfully and powerfully. The marzipan, salted cucumber obtained from the catering points, energy bars and water helped me stay energised for the remaining 70 km.

We almost fell in near the Leevi watermill dam, because we did not follow the guiding arrow provided by the organizing team. Luckily, our kayak had special aprons which prevented the water to come inside.

We finished in Võõpsu, near lake Peipsi in under 12 h, to be precise in 11 h 34 min and 57 sec, so we had even exceeded our expectations for the finishing time. We achieved our goal not to let anyone pass us by and the last 50 km we rowed 30 minutes faster than the first 50 km. Near the end between Räpina and Võõpsu we even managed to pass by four 2-person kayaks. After finishing I didn’t have this half-dead feeling that I’d had in previous years, but changing clothes was truly exhausting and tormenting. Last year I didn’t even want to think about this marathon for a while after finishing, but this year I already started making plans for the next year the next day.

Big thanks to Egge and Jaan-Marten who waited for us in every check-point and supported us mentally and physically. Hopefully they will do it again the next time!

A big thanks and a big bow to the multiple times winner of the Võhandu marathon in the mixed-kayak category – Uko Kõrge, who gave us the kayak, helped us carry the kayak in Leevi and loaded the kayak onto the trailer after we had finished.

You can find additional information about him here:

More interesting projects can be found here:

Follow me in instagram or facebook


Add a comment

Email again: