Special Registration Issues

Special issues with races that may get fully booked. Register early.

RACENAME – Registration status for 2015 (and reg.closed for previous years)
Vasaloppet – Open&full 16.3.14
(open&full 17.3.13, full 15.3.12, 30.5.11 and 24.8.10)

Marcialonga – Opens&full July 1st 2014.
(open&full 5.6.2013, 15.10.12, full 18.5.11 and 7.9.10)

Birkebeinerrennet – Opened 23.4.14
(open 18.4.13, full 19.4.13, opens for foreigners early: 21.9.12. General opening & full 25.10.12, full 1.11.11 and 5.11.10)

US Birkie – Opens 2.06.14. Full 23.10.14.
(Opened 3.6.13, full 10.10.13, Full 15.10.12, full 21.11.11 and 18.12.10)

Jizerska – Opens 1.5.14
(Full 8.11.13, opened 1.7.12. Full 19.12.12, full 1.12.11 and 22.12.10)

Tartu Skimarathon – Opened
(full 7.1.11)

(All date formats are dd.mm.yy and indicates main race if multiple races in one event)

For Marcialonga: Book very early (before March 15th?) and get your startnumber via your hotel in the valley. Italians have their own early booking periode. Scandinavians can also get startnumbers in travelpackages from their major travel firms.

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Ushuaia Loppet 2015

In June 2014, at the WL general assembly, Ushuaia Loppet was accepted in Worldloppet as an associated member. That left little time for interested skiers to prepare the travel to the “End of the World”. The news about this race spread and the 2015 edition on August 8 attracted a large number of foreigners: 12 from Finland, 11 from Norway, 6 from Sweden, 5 from Italy, 4 from the Czech Republic, etc. The 42 km race had 95finishers and 21 skiers made the promotional 21 km race. We strongly recommend that Ushuaia Loppet includes in coming years the 21km race as a Silver Master race in the Worldloppet calendar.


We described this race in 2014. It takes place in the Tierra Mayor valley some 20 km from Ushuaia. Transport can be arranged from the hotels. The terrain is very suitable for XC skiing, However, we think that the organizers should consider replacing the new (not present in 2014) difficult winding descent at 17 and 38 km (the 21 km eight-shaped loop is made twice) by a less demanding one. In popular races the descents should be such that no braking is necessary, i.e. good visibility allowing the skiers to enjoy the speed without being afraid of falls and collisions. Ushuaia Loppet is a FT race. Classic tracks were available all along.UshuaiaLoppetDW-12

The days before the race, conditions in Tierra Mayor were disappointing. The glide was so bad that we had enough after ten km. But on the race day we had a superb glide: after a period of above-zero temperatures it had frozen overnight and the track had an icy crust. Although the snow softened on the second lap, it remained quite acceptable.

On Thursday night the bib pickup took place at a downtown hotel. It was followed by a reception with drinks, welcome speeches and advice. Most participants would probably never have come to Ushuaia but thanks to Ushuaia Loppet they had the occasion to see this remote and historic place. Many of them made a boat trip on the Beagle Channel (named after the ship on which Darwin sailed) and admired a multitude of birds and sea lions as well as the “Les Eclaireurs” lighthouse.

The winner’s (Carlos Lannes, ARG) time was 1:51:55

Some results of  IAWLS members:

Lauri Jortikka               AUS  3:18:33

Josef Kraal                    CZE  3:30:24

Ivana Kralova               CZE  3:30:25

Eero Leppänen              FIN   4:19:28

Marjatta Lehtonen                  FIN   4:19:41

Hannes Larsson            FRA  4:48:41

Preetam Singh               India  5:04:45

Corrado Ampezzan       ITA    5:05:02

Lino Davarda                ITA   2:49:44 (shown in the picture wearing a helmet  with the WL flags)

Tom Sutherland            USA  2:54:55

Text by Hannes Larsson

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Free Worldloppet receptions for all

The executive committee have been working on a case regarding the Worldloppet receptions each race is encourage to arrange.

The issue is the cost to participate in this reception. We have gotten feedback from members on this. Complaints.

We feel that the Worldloppet receptions should be free to enter, for all. This is because we feel that the spirit of Worldloppet is to bring together as many skiers as possible. Skiers from all nations who enjoy cross country skiing, and skimarathons. A social get-together is key here and it should be as easy as possible to participate. No cost to enter. Therefore free admission for all.

This does not exclude charging the servings of food and drinks at the meeting. But it must be optional to buy food and drinks. Like any restaurant or café it’s possible to serve only those with a ticket or who have payed. This should be easily done and not an argument to avoid free entry. We are not asking for free food and drinks here. Just free entry.

We don’t question that the cost they charge is maybe low and that it is a low price considering the amount of food given. That is not the case here. The case is to meet fellow Worldloppet skiers in a social get together without paying for greetings and conversation.

Two races. US Birkie and Finlandialoppet needed attention on this.

US Birkie.

We contacted them because their webpages said nothing about free meeting. After some communication we got a confirmation that ‘YES’ it is possible to attend their Worldloppet reception (breakfast) for free. Only those who also wanted to eat from the buffet should pay. Birkie promised us in February to update their webpages with this information. It’s not done as of July so we have sent a reminder. Birkie confirmation in email Aug.2014 was: “However if skiers would like to attend and not purchase breakfast that will be possible and although not advertised was possible in the past“. Success ending, just update the webpage asap. [It’s updated now]


We contacted this race also regarding this issue because they have a Worldloppet reception but it cost to attend. It cost for all. Food is included but there is no option to enter this social Worldloppet get-together without paying for food&drinks. You can’t enter for free, stay for conversation and not eat. Some Worldloppet masters contacted IAWLS and told they skippet the reception because of this. That is sad because those skiers love skiing and Worldloppet. The reply we got from Finlandialoppet on our proposal was sadly a ‘NO’. They will continue the practise of charging all participants on the Worldloppet reception. 15 euro. We in IAWLS ECM hope this will change some year. So not a successful ending. Yet?

Worldloppet organization.

We communicated with Worldloppet and asked them for the possebility to make it mandatory for Worldloppet race to have free attending to Worldloppet receptions. That idea did not go any further. WL want to let each organizer do it the way they prefer.

The free attending to all Worldloppet receptions will also go into our/IAWLS charter on next charter-update.

One somehow related issue is that our charter, ‘IAWLS race charter’, states that Worldloppet receptions must be for all Worldloppet passportholders, NOT just “masters”. This is not the case for several Worldloppet races. We feel it should be.

Engadin Skimarathon is one great example with their Worldloppet reception. It is all free, including food and drink. Even wine and beer. Very nice.

Mvh Lars Vagle. IAWLS.

We quote some parts of Worldloppet Constitution:
“Objectives of the Association.
To promote friendship among skiers of different nations.
To promote the popularity of cross-country skiing by organising quality long- distance popular races throughout the world.”

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Fossavatnsgangan 2015

(french text first, english text follow below)

Cette année à l’occasion de son 80° anniversaire la Fossavatnsgangan ski marathon, faisait son entrée dans la grande famille de la Wordloppet. Pour l’occasion près de 700 coureurs ont fait le déplacement venant de 25 nations différentes.

 Deux distances proposées 25 km en libre le jeudi, 25 km et 50 km en classique le samedi.

 Pour accueillir l’événement la localité d’ Isafjordur ( 2600 habitants) s’est mise au couleurs de la Worldloppet toute l’avant course était centré sur le petit local faisant office de PC course au centre du village, remise des dossards ( de bonne qualité) renseignements divers notamment sur les transports(gratuits) pour accéder au site de la course (10′ de car).

 Le paysage est fantastique, les restaurants dispensent une très bonne cuisine ( poisson du jour!) et les Islandais (es) très sympathiques.

 Le site de la course se situe au dessus du village avec un petit bâtiment d’accueil offrant toutes les commodités, le stade de départ( et arrivée) à 290 mètres d’altitude, bien préparé et décoré avec tous les drapeaux des nations participantes, le traçage de très bonne qualité avec une neige de cinéma !

 La course de 25km style libre du jeudi s’est déroulée sans problème si ce n’est une chute de neige avec vent moyen sur la deuxième portion du parcours. Départ donné à 17h de l’avis de beaucoup de coureurs, trop tard( ce qui prive certains coureurs de la réception des masters) Mauvaise surprise, au premier ravitaillement sur une petite table pliante que de l’eau et ce juste après la première grande montée, deuxième ravitaillement eau et boisson énergétique. Le balisage est pratiquement inexistant mais suffisant avec le beau temps.

Samedi 2 mai jour de la « grande course » le temps a changé, neige et vent violent, les organisateurs prennent la décision(justifiée) de modifier le parcours du 50km en deux boucles de 25km. Départ à 9h en ligue sans problème vu le nombre de partants (environs 400) le temps est terrible, vent violent et neige. Les ravitaillements restent minimalistes eau, boisson énergétique,chocolat et banane. Au deuxième tour pour les derniers coureurs, plus de ravitaillement, même plus d’eau. Sur le parcours retrouvailles avec les 25km partis à 10h15 au lieu de 10h ! Pas d’assistance matériel, ni fartage ni de bâtons de remplacement. Le balisage est toujours inexistant se qui pose un vrai problème sur le haut du parcours ( environs 537 mètres)surtout pour les coureurs plus lents qui se retrouvent seuls sur la piste. Les secours assurés par des motos neiges semblent aléatoires.

Autre problème, les barrières horaires pas adaptées à ce type de course qui disqualifient des masters confirmés.

Malgré ces défauts de jeunesse, qui seront très certainement rectifiés pour les prochaines éditions,cette course reste magnifique et dépaysante, il faut y aller et y retourner.

 Merci aux organisateurs et bénévoles pour leur travail et leur accueil.

 Nombres de classés :

 25 km style libre 64 classés

 25km style classique 144 classés

 50km style classique 383

 Prochaine édition 30 avril 2016

FOSSAVATNSGANGAN 2015 (english text)

 This year on the occasion of its 80th anniversary the Fossavatnsgangan ski marathon, made his entrance into the great family of Wordloppet. For the occasion almost 700 runners have traveled from 25 different nations.

Two proposed, 25 km in free technic on Thursdays, 25 km and 50 km classic on Saturday.
To accommodate the locality of Isafjordur event (2600 inhabitants) began to color Worldloppet and PC race was centered on the small local  in the village center, bibs (goodquality) various information including transport (free) to access the race site (10′ bus).

The scenery is fantastic, the restaurants provide great food (fish of the day!) And Icelandic  very friendly.

The race site is located above the village with a small reception building with all the amenities, from the start (and finish) to 290 meters, well prepared and decorated with the flags of all participating nations, tracing of very good quality with a movie snow!
The race 25km freestyle on Thursday took place without problems except snowfall with average wind on the second portion of the course. Start at 17h in the opinion of many runners, too late (which deprives some riders from the receipt of Masters) Bad surprise at the first stop on a small folding table than water and it just after the first major climb, second station, water and energy drink. Markup is almost non-existent but adequate with good weather.

Saturday, May 2nd day of the “great race” time has changed, snow and strong wind, the organizers make the decision (justified) to modify the route of 50km in two loops of 25km. Departure at 9 am in massstart with no problem given the number of starters (around 400) the weather is terrible, violent wind and snow. The refreshments are minimal water, energy drinks, chocolate and banana. In the second round for the last runners, nothing more supplies, even no water. On the reunion trail with 25km left at 10:15 am instead of 10 am! No help support, or waxing or replacement pole. Markup is still nonexistent is posing a real problem on the top of the course (around 537 meters), especially for slower runners who find themselves alone on the track. The relief provided by snowmobil seem random.
Another problem is that time barriers(cut off) not adapted to this type of race that disqualify confirmed masters.

Despite these teething problems, which might all be rectified for future editions
this race is still beautiful and exotic, you have to go and return.
Thank you to the organizers and volunteers for their work and their home.

Number of classified:
25 km freestyle 64 classified
25km classic style 144 classified
50km classic style 383
Next edition April 30, 2016


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Perfect happiness at Demino 2015

After the set-backs due to bad weather in 2013: snow storm and very hard ski conditions, or in 2014: last minute cancellation due to lack of snow, everybody wondered, with some apprehension, what 2015 would bring to us. Concern increased when seeing on the roads from Moscow to Rybinsk that the snow was more than scarce, inexistent! But arriving to the Demino ski stadium (in reality pronounced Diomino) the nice surprise: sufficient snow on perfectly groomed tracks and cold nights, meaning an ideally cold snow in the morning.

Fast snow, good glide, still frozen at the start (at 11 AM) and during the two first hours of the race, somewhat softened in the afternoon but still very pleasant to ski. We enjoyed a marvelous sunny weather during the whole week-end!

Pure happiness, both for the 50 km skating race on Saturday and the 25 km classic race on Sunday. A 25 km loop (to be made twice for the 50 km) , without real difficulties: only two small hills at 18 km (and 43 km), a wide course making overtaking easy in both races, a pleasant course winding through woods and hills, a start (for the skate) in several waves with 5 min intervals,, no jams in the slight uphill after the start. In short: no faults.

And this is evidenced by the times: 1h39 for the winner! And for me, having made exactly the same course in 2012, an improvement of almost half an hour (2h56 against 3h22 in 2012). I found again, with the same satisfaction, the small rigid plastic bottles with water, tea or energy drink. A brilliant invention as well for the comfort of the skiers (no soft goblets that collapse in the hands, easy to catch without removing the handstrips) as for the environment: these small bottles (of about 0,2 l) are easy to recover and wash. All race organizers should follow this example.

Although the snow was fast (at least during the two first hours), the last skier needed more than 7 hours and was waited for and congratulated with as much or even more eagerness as the first.

At the finish a nice meal, served in the spring weather with +8°C at 2 PM on tables set outdoors a few m after the finish line. Further well solved details: the clothing bags also placed near the finish line and the guarded ski parks.

Gifts and kisses plus two medals: the one for 2015 and one as premium for 2014, skiers’ names and time shown immediately on a giant screen. Bibs as beautiful as comfortable. In short: a no faults organization. With a special mention for the reception of foreigners and Worldloppet Masters. A warm, big room reserved for foreign skiers with a permanent buffet of pasta and salads. And the equipment under guard, Saturday and Sunday. A very nice reception (with pasta party) on Friday night for all Worldloppet passport holders. And the summit, for all Woldloppet Masters, the bib was printed front and back with their name (in latin characters) and the number of Masters. Something never seen before!

The small defects of the previous editions (a somewhat long waiting time at the bib pick-up, stormy explanations needed to avoid paying the required complementary insurance) had been solved, no such worries at Diomino 2015.

Only remark: why does the 50 km classic race seem to be reserved for Russians participating in Russialoppet? No information on the website nor in the race rules, nevertheless some thirty skiers were registered and finished the 50 km classic race on Sunday.

Whether we consider the legendary hospitable welcome of the Russians, the particular geopolitical circumstances of the end of winter 2015, or the evident aim of the organizers to merit the label Worldloppet and attract more foreigners, never mind: this was for me, beyond all question (snow and weather helping), the most beautiful success of the season 2015 (and beyond), In any case, the 9 French skiers who embarked on this beautiful adventure will not contradict me. In particular those who had registered last year and whose fee in 2015 was offered gratis. Not like in Norway…

Boris Petroff

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Sapporo Ski Marathon: A beautiful experience

Text by Alessandro Carcano

To do a Japanese race was always in our mind and this year my brother Silvio, my mother Maria Rita, myself Alessandro and our friend Lino we decided to go to Sapporo. After a long fly from Malpensa through Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific we arrived in the afternoon at the Chitose terminal. We took a train (chip and convenient) and in a few minutes we arrived in the city center. Only 2 minutes walk from central train station and we found our hotel, the Aspen; it’s a very nice hotel, I can recommend it.


We spent all Friday to visit Sapporo with a positive impression: clean and order everywhere. Even if Japanese people speak English very little, they are always smiling and available to help you. The most interesting things are the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, the Odori Park with the Snow Festival under construction, the TV tower, the Clock tower and a lot of malls.

On Saturday we took the underground (very easy to do a ticket at the automatic machine) to reach the Dome, headquarter of the race. Immediately we found a bib number pick up dedicated to foreign athletes with people speaking English, German and Russian language. They explain us everything we asked, they showed us the start/finish zone and all facilities inside the Dome. We never found a welcome like that! We were positive impressed! In the afternoon, at the Wordloppet party, we met Minoru a very passionate skier. The week before he received a special award to have finished 10 passports! And also his wife and son are on the good way due to the fact they finished their first passport.

On Sunday morning the underground is full of skiers. Inside the Dome is possible to leave a backpack and at the start line the plastic bag for last jacket. The start was very ordered and the Japanese skiers were very fair during the race. Unfortunately the weather was continually changing: from sunny to snowy with strong wind and vice versa. The ski track (one 50 kms lap) is not boring: up and down, left and right oblige to pay attention also due to kind of snow: powder and dry that on uphill amplifies the necessary effort.

At the finish, smiling girls (Natsuyo in primis) gave us the medal. All of us we were very happy for the reached target after a long journey. After the race we was able (after a little training) to eat the misoshiru soup with chopsticks!

In the evening we dined with Minoru’ family and his friend. It was a good occasion to eat traditional dishes in the traditional restaurant. Thanks Minoru! But the most important thing was to see 4 Italian and 4 Japanese people linked by a common passion: the cross country ski!


The Wordloppet should be also that: not only to do a race but also to know other people and share each other the interests and growth future friendships.

Unfortunately, the day after it was the time to leave and come back home.

Fantastic and memorable records it will remain in our mind forever.

The last comment is for who never did the Sapporo International Marathon but want to do it: don’t be scare about trip or language!

A greeting to everybody from Italian Team (Alessandro, Silvio, Lino and Maria Rita).

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Report on Bieg Piastów

By Boris Petroff

Warm temperature at the 39th Bieg Piastów

What should I say about the 2015 edition of Bieg Piastów? Lauds, as most often.

The 50 km classic race on Saturday took place at a temperature around zero degrees but fortunately it didn’t snow and waxing was simple: violet or multigrade klister covered with stick to avoid freezing. That is valid for tourists, champions don’t wax any longer!

Indeed the course of Bieg Piastów is relatively flat: only two long but mild climbs at 9 km and a more difficult one at 40 km. A lot of double poling on tracks nicely frozen. To be noted: very beautiful tracks, with a flattened area each time this was preferable (descents, tight curves). Bravo!

A beautiful edition with more than 1500 participants from 27 countries, a start with some ten waves separated by one minute 50 seconds, just enough to avoid bottlenecks after the start. I don’t understand on which bases the start waves were attributed. Starting in wave 3 I don’t complain but faster skiers than me started far behind…

This year a few breaks in the clouds allowed admiring the scenery. At km 21 the course passes near the finish line where spectators and friends can encourage the skiers. Food stations were well equipped but maybe insufficient in number: nothing between kms 9 and 23 in spite of the first hard climb.

Only one regret: no waxing station at km 40 when the slope steepens and the wax gives less grip on a snow that had become warmer.

A question. Why announce 50 km when there is certainly one km more?

On Sunday, the two short races: 30 km FT and especially the 25 km CT attract more and more skiers. Bieg Piastów is a popular race, open for a wide public, participants are calm people and this is quite fine. Nothing to reproach on the 30 km skate event; a hillier course than on Saturday, excellent tracks… the fastest skiers (less than 3 hours) escaped the snowfall! It was worse for the slower skiers who had to confront a falling snow and an unpleasant head wind. Nothing to reproach, if not… why announce 30 km if it was only 27 km?

The 25 km classic race that started one hour after the skate event on a different course allowed less experienced skiers to finish a beautiful real competition. Everybody did not have a technique or a power of a champion, but everybody was however a real champion whose happiness at the finish was catching in spite of the continuing snowfall that the skaters more or less escaped.

To be noted that on Friday more than 1000 skiers participated in the classic 15 km race!

In summary, a race worthy of Worldloppet, with a very beautiful reception of Masters on Friday evening, nice gifts (cap, scarf, towel), a correct meal at the finish, the good idea to assemble everything in Jakuszyce, including the bib distribution, frequent shuttles between Szklarska Poreba and Jakuszyce.

But many skiers did not receive stickers in the bib package, the local sign-posting is insufficient and the empty clothing bags not given with the bibs and difficult to find. Details.

For information some good addresses in Szklarska Poreba:

-For accommodation: a B&B cordial, comfortable and cheap: Pawlowka: pawlowka@o2.pl

-For a celebration dinner: the restaurant of Hotel Kristal

– For a fantastic warm chocolate: the coffeehouse Fantasia

– And for tasty and cheap pastas and pizzas: Tomato,Pizza

P1320252 P1320208 P1320165 P1320092

Some results:

51 km classique

Peeter Tarvis (FIN) 3h54, Airvi Tarvis (FIN) 4h36 ; Thomas Huber (GER) 2h57 ; Iwana et Joseph Kral (SWE) 5h00 : Corrado Ampezzan (ITA) 6h02 :Boris Petroff (FRA) 3h43 ; François Héroult (FRA) 4h04 ; Gérard Ménétrier (FRA) 4h05 ; Clémence Daloz (FRA) 4h55 ; Bernard Touffait (FRA) 5h49 ; Joseph Luce (FRA) 5h54 ; Stanislav Grabowski (POL) 4h08 ; Jerzy Sobiegraj (POL) 5h11 ; Leonid Golubkov (RUS) 3h13 ; Jay Wiener (USA) 4h52

30 km skate

Boris Petroff (FRA) 2h04 ; Bernard Touffait (FRA) 2h39 : Marie-Hélène Touffait (FRA) 3h47 ;  Jerzy Sobiegraj (POL) 2h36  ; Leonid Golubkov (RUS) 1h30.

25 classique

Stanislav Grabowski (POL)  2h11 ; Thomas Huber (GER) 1h29 ; Corrado Ampezzan (ITA) 2h55 ; Nathalie Courtine (FRA) 3h23 ; Nathalie Héroult (FRA) 2h54

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Report on Gatineau Loppet 2015

By Boris Petroff

Sunday February 15

“This is the 37th Gatineau Loppet and I believe it is the coldest ever experienced!” Yann Michaud, the new Gatineau President is categorical: “especially with the cold wind that penetrates the bones”. The limit for the start is here -25°C. The temperature was -23°C at the Mont Bleu School on this Sunday, but with this strong wind some people talked about a felt temperature of -35°C.

And with this cold snow that sticks to the skis (it was snowing the whole previous day), the glide is rather bad. Claude Laramee, the race Director, stayed during two hours at mid-race: ”You can’t imagine the number of skiers that I stopped when I saw the slightest trace  of freezing on cheeks, ears, the nose… I warmed them with my hand and when they were OK I let the go…” Thank you Claude: you have saved many: in the race one does not notice freezing and later it is too late.

The previous day the organizers had made (the good) decision to reduce the skating race to 42 km instead of 51, 22instead of 27 and 8.5 instead of 10.

Andrey Chetnev, a Russian from Moscow, although accustomed with cold finishes like a machine in 3.30 , his beard covered by an icy layer, only the eyes are still sparkling in spite of the fatigue: “Trudno!”. Hard, in Russian, is the only word he utters at the finish.”Trudno”, especially as he had already skied on the previous day the 51 km classic race with -18°C but with the continuously falling snow that stung the face in descents. And fortunately the return was easier with a tail wind.

210 skiers finished this memorable race, some 50 pulled out in the race and more that 100 did not start, DNS. Including me, having not recovered from the Saturday race. Same for two other French skiers, Michel and Jean, though tough men (Jean Quillot is a senator of La Transjurassienne, which means that he has skied all TJs since its creation in 1980) having skied the Ultra Trans the previous week (the two long distance races of TJ) and wanting to keep energy for the Birkie in Hayward the following Saturday. Competitors of our friend Hannes Larsson whose book “Cross-Country Skiing Around the World” is available at the ski show and thus reminds about his presence, since he is temporarily deprived of Worldloppet races.

Ivana and Josef Kral who also are Worldloppet chain skiers are more courageous than we, and finish the two races, as always, hand in hand.

Saturday February 14

For the classic race the new course started at Parking P17, more comfortable because of a wider start area: the buses could park and keep the skiers in the warm. A SWIX board dating from the previous century announces the temperature of air and snow and recommends POLAR. For many years I haven’t used this black stick.

The grip is average and the glide bad: I have never skied as much diagonal as on this course where the snow did not favor double-poling. The times show it: 3.30 for the winner Ian Murray (who won on both days), almost an hour more than last year’s winner:

The snow continues falling and covers the tracks, all except one, on which all skiers are lined up and leave it only for a short instant for overtaking an even slower skier. In spite of the ski-glasses and the mask the tears are freezing on the eyelashes and dim the eyes.  I carry warmers in the boots and in the gloves, a mask and layers and layers of clothing. I am fine, not cold, but feel a little stiff.

These 51km are grand: across the Gatineau Park, but tiring this year. After 10 easy kms almost fast on a narrow forest road (difficult to overtake in classic) we reach the “Promenade”, sort of a highway on snow very wide but not easy to use with the powdery snow that leaves only one groomed track. Then comes again the forest and its narrow path with a succession of climbs and descents. How pleasant it must be with a fast snow and beautiful weather…

Distance posters are set every km, and they do not pass rapidly.. Fortunately the food stations are frequent (every 10 km) and well furnished: that chicken soup, what a treat! They say that we are passing lakes with swimming and picnic areas: I really don’t long for that this morning! I’ll return in Summer;;;here a poster informs that canoeing is forbidden. No worries, I will wait, for the moment being I keep my mask tight on my face in spite of the steam that freezes, to avoid snow vortexes. The kms on the “promenade” seem endless to me, especially that long hill at 30 km swept by the wind, and I wait impatiently for the forest and the steep climbs that are herringboned. Even the last 5 km, supposed to descend seem endless: at last the sound of loudspeakers wakes us up. I thank and admire the volunteers who stay almost motionless in the cold to guide us or to give us a cup of warm drink. “I am experienced says Louise, a charming dynamic blonde, Gatineau always happens on the coldest week-end of the winter!”. During more than two hours she stays stoically on the finish line to congratulate every finisher naming her/him by the name.

In summary

Made difficult this year by the adverse conditions, this Gatineau merits however lauds. Through its course: a beautiful crossing in classic on Saturday, an animated loop on Sunday.

Through the reactivity of the organizers who had to change the courses on Saturday night and mark the new ones. Through the beautiful ski show open from Friday to Sunday which allows meeting people and making buys. Through the pompom hat offered at the finish, nice and well cut. Through the warm tasty meal served at the finish and the nice reception of  Worldloppet skiers on Saturday evening, placed this year under the sign of Beijing that made the promotion of the 2024 Olympic Winter Games!

Just two minor points:

-no stickers for the skis, too expensive for the tight race budget,

-Bibs of running race type to be pinned on the bib, not comfortable in winter on clothing that does not like pins.

All this does not lessen the charm of Gatineau, the biggest ski event in Canada… and no doubt the only WL race (with Marcialonga and the La Ciaspolata ) hat features snow shoe races ( on 5 and 10 km).

gat15 start gat15a WLParty gat15 arrive gat15 boris

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