Small Finnish village races have their own special atmosphere where local schools, sport houses, and athletic fields act as competition centers. There are no guides when you arrive, so it might not feel like a race is going to be run that day. Gradually, a small crowd flows into the scene and there might even be more spectators than runners. There isn’t necessarily a start/finish area, but rather a line drawn in the gravel. Certainly, don’t expect chips for timing, because if there are any bibs at all, they will be from old cross country skiing competitions. Once you are provided a number, you are directed to the small and cramped locker rooms where stepping inside, you immediately smell an odor that has remained for decades. The bitter smell of clothes burned by sweat mixed with fresh menthol liniment is a memory you don’t forget.