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Why did Finland dominate early 20th century distance running

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  • Why did Finland dominate early 20th century distance running

    domination of the record books from 3k to 30k, until about halfway through the century. why? (feel free to mention sweden too)

    discuss. i have zero insight into this.

  • #2
    Re: Why did Finland dominate early 20th century distance run

    Fins are big on endurance events. They still are among the worlds best endurance skiers. Many of the great runners did winter nordic training. Also their traditional diet was beneficial to this event. Also the world at the Olympics was Western Europe and North America and Japan, so countries like Ethiopia and Kenya never sent their runners to the Olympics.

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    • #3
      Re: Why did Finland dominate early 20th century distance run

      >
      domination of the record books from 3k to 30k, until about halfway through
      >the century. why?

      Still doing pretty well through '76 Olympics :-) Won 1500, 5000 & 10,000 in Munich and 5000 & 10,000 in Montreal.

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      • #4
        Re: Why did Finland dominate early 20th century distance run

        They ran the fastest.

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        • #5
          Re: Why did Finland dominate early 20th century distance run

          Good question...why are there no modern day Nurmi's or another Viren or Vasala of more recent times? I haven't noticed any Finnish distance runners in the past few years that are even remotely competitive internationally.

          And it's not just Finland, where are the Swede's and Norwegians? I did notice the Norwegian who ran very well in the 5000m at Bislett (13:08.56), but other than that...?

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          • #6
            Re: Why did Finland dominate early 20th century distance run

            Where are the Swedes and the Norwegians?
            Norway is a country of 4mill people and at this point Track and Field is not "cool" When that happens in a small country like Norway we get the current situation where almost nobody runs under 1.50 in the 800. Bakken is just a blip on the radar. Sandvolley ball and all kinds of trashsports are "cool". Even Cross country skiing is loosing some of its status. Young people thinks it is "uncool" to get up at 6 in the morning to get out and train.
            In Sweden it is somewhat different as tradition in sports count for something more than it does in Norway. But even in Sweden distance events are not very popular. In both these countries Soccer is king. I imagine it is pretty much the same in Finland.

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            • #7
              Re: Why did Finland dominate early 20th century distance run

              Not only that, why has no American ever held the world record at 5000M or 10000M? Lack of TV coverage?

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              • #8
                Re: Why did Finland dominate early 20th century distance run

                At last,something posted I know about!Having trained with,and around a number of Finns in the early 70's I think I know this one- steady quality mileage,constant year round speedwork and very good support[sponsorship and Government-Finns received a living stipend]Also only aiming at championships and not running for money.Dave Bedford [world record 10000m] is also interesting,unable to break 2 mins for 800m,he trained hard and clever-and always looked towards medals and titles.March-win the National XC,July the AAA etc.Then the Europeans,Commonwealth,Olympics and International XC.

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                • #9
                  Re: Why did Finland dominate early 20th century distance run

                  All the saunas were being repaired?

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