Revolution on the Tartu MTB Marathon – wave starts and the opportunity to choose a starting group that suits you


The feedback from the participants of Tartu ski marathon and road race rattaralli on the replacement of the mass start with wave starts has been extremely positive. It has given the organizers an idea to test wave starts at the upcoming Tartu MTB Marathon as well. The new starting arrangement gives the participants the opportunity to choose their own starting group according to the expected finish time.

24. Tartu MTB Marathon. Author: Adam Illingworth.

What will change?

The longest distance (89 km) has four starts at five-minute intervals. The elite group starts at the front, which is the only group you can't choose your own - there are riders with an elite and U23 cyclist license or cyclists who finished last year among the top 100 men or top 20 women. The other participants can choose the starting group according to the expected finish time. The half-distance (40 km) has three starts at five-minute intervals and the 21 km distance has two starts, also at five-minute intervals. The starting group is selected according to the expected finish time.


"The main purpose of our marathons is that it should be as enjoyable as possible and producing joyful excitement and positive emotions. It's clear that completing the course as safely as possible and without the risk of falling is one of the most important factors in shaping the emotions associated with a cycling marathon. Our practice so far has shown that if the participants can choose the starting corridor themselves, they have a better emotion. In this way, they have the opportunity to go to the course with people of similar speed and ability and, if they wish, among their friends or family. Cycling in the company of your friends is always safer and less stressful, because you can take each other into account better," explains Indrek Kelk, the chief organizer of Tartu MTB Marathon.


Hawaii Express 25th Tartu MTB Marathon starts on September 17th with kids races in Tartu Tähtvere sports park. On the main day, September 18th, riders of 89 km and 40 km will start from the Tehvandi stadium, and riders of the 21 km distance will start from the Palu service point. All participants finish in Elva.


As has been the tradition in recent years, this year you can also take part in the marathon virtually between the 9th and 25th of September. Distances are 89, 40 and 21 km.


More information about the Tartu MTB Marathon can be found HERE.