Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Worldloppet Master nr 4015

Worldloppet - medal

Gatineau-loppet, American Birkebeiner and Vasaloppet were my last 3 Worldloppet ski races.

I was happily surprised when only 10 days after Vasaloppet I got an envelope, which included diploma and a medal for successfully completing Worldloppet. It was 4015th time since it's beginning.

Based on my subjective opinion and experience from the different Worldloppet events I composed a comparison of different Worldloppet ski races. Part of this comparison has been published earlier on my previous postings (Feb 24th, 2013).

BirkebeinerrennetDolomitenlaufMarcialongaKönig Ludwig Lauf
Distance54 km CL42 km CL70 km CL50 km CL*
When (week)11345
Total ascent (m)1010745757272*
Track condition101091*
Fluency (no jam at track)8867
Washing facilities964-
CommentsScenic route over the mountains. Physically tough.At high altitude. Steep and long climbs.Through tiny villages at Val di Fiemme valley.*Due to exceptionally warm weather and lack of snow, route was shortened to 42 km.
TipsStart slowly, demanding climb at the beginning.Travel 2-3 days before to acclimatize to higher altitude.The start place is crucial. Lots of waiting and standing in queues if start place is in the last groups.Original 50 km route would have been more scenic.

La TransjurassienneTartu maratonFinlandiahiihto
Distance50 km CL63 km CL50 km CL
When (week)678
Total ascent (m)648695527
StartLes RoussesOtepääLahti
Track condition1010+5
Fluency (no jam at track)897
Washing facilities8-9
CommentsVery scenic route. Lots of snow.Well organised. Easy and good route. Tracks in excellent condition.Overpriced. Tracks always in poor condition.
TipsRent a car from Geneva airport, don't take transportation from the organiser. Get accommodation from Mouthe.Tampere maja accommodation in center of Tartu is excellent. Buses to start leave very close.Never again…

GatineauAmerican BirkebeinerVasaloppet
Distance51 km CL55 km CL90 km CL
When (week)7810
Total ascent (m)891819805
FinishMont Bleu in GatineauHaywardMora
Track condition671
Fluency (no jam at track)791
Washing facilities00 (paid only in separate location)3
Transportation77 (too early bus drive to start)8
CommentsNear Ottawa. Route in beautiful Gatineau - park. Can be very cold.Can be very cold. Lot's of short and steep up and downs.Too crowded, no medals, overvalued, expensive
TipsStay couple of extra days and see Ottawa area.Fly to Minneapolis and rent car from there. 3 hours drive to Hayward.Choose open track instead of main race

As requested I added similar comparison table from three well-known ski events in Finland...

PirkanhiihtoPogostan hiihtoVuokattihiihto
Distance90 km CL51 km CL60 km CL
When (week)91112
Total ascent (m)749447777
Track condition889
Fluency (no jam at track)899
Washing facilities-99
CommentsEarly start at 7 AM. Typically dark and cold at the beginning.Hospitality and nice atmosphere. Beautiful route in wilderness up to Petkeljärvi national park.Scenic climb to Vuokattivaara.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Vasaloppet successfully completed

Ready to start at Sälen

On Sunday morning I started on 90 km ski event at Sälen, Sweden. It was going to be tough and long day. Day temperature were forecasted to be around 9 degrees and therefore the skiing conditions were extremely wet and tough.

At the very beginning I realized my skis didn't glide at all and immediately I knew this is going to be tough. First 4 km uphill were pretty much standing on the queue, cause 14 000 skiers were on the track at the same time. It was frustrating to fight with the poles and skis your way to the top of the hill.

There were no tracks anymore and lots of water some places, even ice. Skiing conditions were poor or should I say just horrible. I have never skied on this type of conditions before and now it was 90 km to go...

Finish line at Mora

When I arrived to the finish line I was exhausted and extremely satisfied, this was my 10th Worldloppet skiing race, now I have done it. No more skiing anymore this year...