The Finnish Center at Saima Park

Fitchburg, MA


Voit Lassila Cross Country Invitational

Saima Park was the scene on November 1st for the annual Voit Lassila 1.6 mile XC races for the area Middle schools.  This race has previously been held at Cogshall Park in Fitchburg.  The race director, Chris Woods decided to change the venue from Cogshall Park to Saima Park because of the course.  At Cogshall the running is done mostly on the roads, which makes it more of a roadrace rather than a XC race.  Chris had some mixed feelings about the change because of the long history of racing at Cogshall Park.  After the races at Saima, he was convinced that the right decision was made.

At Saima Park, the racers ran on grass, the track and along the ski trails.  Chris originally indicated that there would be about 160 – 170 runners.  A PLEASANT surprise was in store for us.  There were 404 entries.  This was restricted because only 10 schools were invited.  I can well imagine that if more schools were invited that the numbers would grow.

In addition to the large field of boys and girls running, there was a good-sized contingent of parents on hand to cheer the runners.

Irene Kamila, and  June & Henry Flinkström served refreshment such as coffee and coffee bread, Gatorade, Bottled Water, and Gatorade power bars.

We look forward to a long association with the Voit Lassila Invitational races.

The Invitational races are named for a local Finnish athlete by the name of Voitto Lassila.  He was a pole-vaulter and an excellent gymnast, and was always trying to help young people.  He was in charge of all the athletics at the Reipas Athletic Club when it was still active in the Raivaaja Building on Wallace Avenue.  He later was in charge of gymnastics at B F Brown School in Fitchburg.

/Karl Makela

Click on the individual images below, to view a larger,  more detailed version of it.

Away they go..!

...have to get that guy in front of me!

Exit from Athletic Field on a short downhill

Heading up towards the Athletic Field

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This page was last updated on: 10/23/17

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