At Sauna Championships, 100% Chance of Perspiration

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2009 1:41 PM CDT
A Finnish sauna.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The English entry at the recent World Sauna Championships in Finland didn’t turn in “Britain’s finest hour,” team member Tom Whipple writes for the Times of London. The premise is simple: whoever lasts longest in a brutally hot sauna wins. The Brits were at a disadvantage—“The problem with training is that no sauna in Britain is this extreme,” another team member says.

Just one Brit, going up against Finnish opponents who “strut around like rock stars but look like Metallica roadies,” got past the first round. Even seasoned veterans were put off by the Finns’ hellish sauna. One, who trains at 320 F, says he’s “used to racing the 10,000 meters. But this is more like a sprint.” A Finn won.