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Discussion: Marshes!

in: Izzy B; Izzy B > 2016-06-14

Jun 14, 2016 4:24 PM # 
I love Finnish marshes. Some of your fastest bits on that course were through the marsh on the way to 10. That is not what most marshes near Boston are like.... :)
Jun 14, 2016 6:36 PM # 
It's nice to hear that you liked the first training! We'll see tomorrow!
Jun 14, 2016 9:04 PM # 
For those of us in the peanut gallery, not likely to travel internationally any time soon, can you describe how these marshes differ from New England marshes? I assume from your track and the presence of the dashed black lines that there are paths in the marsh and that it's somewhat runnable. Is it squishy? swampy? hummocky?
Jun 14, 2016 9:26 PM # 
Well I would be curious to hear Izzy B relate in her words too, but my impression of scandinavian marshes is that they are usually a bit squishy, and sometimes hummocky, but in a dry bit of the summer they are a bit like running through a nice flat patch of blueberries. You sink in a bit, but there isn't much to trip you up at ground level.

There are some dotted trails in the marsh (possibly marking ski trails in the winter), and often along the edge there will be animal or orienteering trails that make skirting along the marsh pretty quick.

There are places with a yellow area symbol over the marsh. These are great for navigation, as they can be seen from a distance, and are distinctive. They appear as grassy meadows without any canopy cover usually. You get to learn the kinds of plants that can grow there. Also, the marsh symbol that has a dotted blue line instead of a solid blue line (like the bit just south of control 7) denotes a thicker and less pleasant bit of terrain. Those are best to be avoided, just like in New England.
Jun 15, 2016 5:40 AM # 
Izzy B:
I don't think I can describe them better than Ross did. The season also affects the runability and visability of the marshes. Right now they are pretty dry which makes them even easier to run through. Not through, but on. They are very bouncy and fun :)
Jun 15, 2016 6:55 PM # 
We had dinner last night with Isak's cousin once removed, Emma. She loves running, and went to a running camp in Sweden where they specifically learned techniques for running in Swedish marshes. Seems like it would be pretty cool to get that info.
Jun 19, 2016 1:23 PM # 
sounds like you all should join me with my research then since my research is on the effects of landuse and climate change on the hydrology and ecology of peatlands - bogs and fens (aka squishy marshes). I get to go to work on these "squishy marshes". In their natural state the porosity of these soils is 90-95% so when saturated you are essentially running on water.

When I lived in Sweden doing my PhD I would where my O shoes and run between sampling locations to collect
data as fast as possible to combine work and training. :-)

We have lots of these "Scandi marshes" in Nobel where I'm building a cottage and where Wil and Katta Smith live. Super fun to train on for sure.

Finland, unfortunately, has the reputation of having drained the highest percentage of peatlands of any country in the world. Russia has drained the most but they also have the most peat (Canada has second most amount of peat).

Oh and for you academic nerds out there (sorry these ecosystems are my academic passion) my former postdoc (also an orienteer that runs for OK Linne M, Gustaf Granath) and I have a paper coming out in Nature Scientific Reports in a week or so that discusses the increased wildfire risk of these drained peatlands. Russia found out how bad that can get in 2010 and Sweden to a much lesser extent in 2014.

This discussion thread is closed.