Republic of Estonia is a former Soviet republic and one of three Baltic states of northern Europe. The country is celebrating 100 years of independence this year with a series of events for everyone’s appreciation.
The Tallinna 10K and Maraton 2018 was one of the centenary’s official events and the largest sporting event organized in Estonia with 23,940 runners in four race categories.
The marathon category itself had 2,539 runners while the 10K probably had many more.
I already pre-registered online and paid 50 euros for the marathon. When I was able to confirm our flights for Friday evening, I also pre-registered at the last minute and paid 25 euros for the 10K.
We flew out of Brussels International Airport in Zaventem on the LOT Airlines flight after work on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 20:35 PM. The flight took two and a half hours, and we were landing by 23:55.
The airport tram 4 to Tondi was 2 euros per person and took 17 minutes and nine stops before we got off at Paberi. We crossed the street and walked a couple of blocks to reach the Radisson Blu Olumpia Hotel. We were asleep very quickly after a long day!
We slept in the following morning, and woke up to a very expansive view of the city.
We took our time having breakfast at the Senso Restaurant.
We walked about 10 minutes to get to the Freedom Square where the expo was open from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM to pick up my bib. Here’s a view of one of the city streets.
Richard found a guy he could identify with.
The marathon expo was in full swing when we got there. There were product exhibitors and race promoters, as well as an Olympic torch exhibit.
We posed for the pre-race photo.
It was a short jaunt to the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Our first stop was the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. This was not really an old cathedral since it was build in 1900, but it was the typical Russian Revival design.
We walked a bit further to reach another part of the Old Town.
The edge of this part of town looked out to the city skyline.
We also visited the Danish King’s Garden where the sculptures of three featureless monks were installed.
This must be a popular attraction since there were lots of tourists in the area. One street vendor was cooking and selling spicy nuts.
We were back in the hotel by 13:00 PM to rest and be ready for the 10K at 17:00.
The start line was also at Freedom Square.
There were many runners in this category. I didn’t feel pressured and just ran with the crowd. The cool thing about this race route was going into a building!
I finished the 10K in 1:10:45.
Richard met me at the finish line and we slowly made our way back to the hotel. An early dinner at a restaurant in one of the malls we passed by was in order for the longer race the next day.
It was still light outside so we continued our walking tour to see what we did not see in the morning.
I got permission to take photos of these locals.
We made sure to stop by St. Catherine’s Passage, a narrow medieval passageway to the St. Catherine’s Guild, an arts and crafts section of the city.
The marathon on Sunday started at 9:00 AM with a seven hour time limit.
There were lots to see along the way.
Nourishment was also available at the aid stations, including energy drinks.
I crossed the finish line in 5:52:30
We went back to the hotel to take a shower and get ready for the flight back at 18:05, landing at 19:40 in Brussels. We had lounge access but we were also served dinner on business class on the way back. Sweet!