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
(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, like Maxpulse

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Merino Muster for the first time in Worldloppet

by Hannes Larsson

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANew Zealand’s Merino Muster has a long history, but it started a new phase in its development when it was accepted last June as an associated member in Worldloppet. This year’s race took place on August 16 and was celebrated by a large number of participants and a beautiful weather.

A few days before the race the participants were invited to a nice dinner in Wanaka down in the valley. Bad weather with heavy snow fall occurred one day during the week but everything cleared up for the race day. The start took place as usual near the Snow Farm Lodge at an altitude of 1500m. A loop of 7 km took the skiers back to the Snow Farm where the shortest race finished. The others skied down to the so-called River Run that they followed for a couple of km before returning to the Snow Farm on an undulating course. At the transit point the 21 km race finished. Followed a 10 km loop in the Hanging Valley with many ups and downs, then back to the River Run and the course used in the second loop.

The 42 km race had 50 finishers. IAWLS members: Josef Kral and Ivana Kralova (CZE) and Minoru Matsuyama (JPN).

In the 21 km race 52 skiers finished. Amongst them Suomi Matsuyama (JPN) who obtained his first Worldloppet Master at the age of 14, congratulations! (see Minoru’s article on this wbsite). His mother Tomoko Matsuyama finished her first Master, congratulations! The day turned into a big celebration for the Matsuyama family, indeed Minoru finished here his 11th Master. Other IAWLS members were Preetam Singh from India, who obtained the 9th stamp in his first passport, and Hannes Larsson (FRA).

54 skiers finished the 7 km race. This makes a total of 156 finishers. In addition, 11 Norwegians started one hour before all others because they had to rush to the airport; their race can be considered as a Norwegian championship.

Hannes Larsson

Merino Muster photos by Minoru:

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Ushuaia Loppet’ successful entry in Worldloppet

report by Hannes Larsson

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The track on aug 7 before the snowfall

In June this year Ushuaia Loppet was accepted as an Associated member of Worldloppet together with three other races. The race scheduled on August 9 was Ushuaia Loppet’s first appearance in Worldloppet. Alarming reports were received about the lack of snow in the area and a FIS competition planned end of July had to be cancelled. However, in the first week of August a sufficient quantity of snow came and the fears about the cancellation of Ushuaia Loppet disappeared. I talked with locals who said that the lack of snow is quite exceptional. Last year they had abundant snow and it snowed even during the summer months December to January.

The race takes place in the Tierra Mayor valley about 20 km from Ushuaia. A bus service is organized for classic and alpine skiers. As soon as possible I will write a piece of Advice for skiers for the IAWLS website concerning travelling, local conditions etc. Cross country skiers receive a warm welcome at the Tierra Mayor ski lodge where restauration is possible. The terrain is quite suitable for XC skiing. Starting and finishing in front of the lodge, the track makes a 12 km loop to the East, then a 9 km loop to the West, which makes the 21 km Silver race. Ushuaia Loppet’s 42 km race repeats the same. Mostly the valley is flat. There are only a few non dangerous descents.

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The Tierra Mayor Lodge

In a briefing on August 8 the organizers announced that due to bad weather predicted on August 9 with snowfall and wind the race was postponed to August 10. On that day there was still some wind and the snowfall continued. Skating in fresh snow made the race rather demanding.

The skiers first stayed inside the warm lodge where they could leave their bags. A few minutes before the start that occurred at 10.15 they were called to the start area. 52 skiers from 11 countries participated, 38 in the 42 km race and 14 in the 21km race. Most skiers came from South America, seven from other countries. IAWLS members that finished the 42 km race were        Josef Kral and Ivana Kralova (CZE), Hannes Larsson (FRA) and Thomas Sutherland (USA).

When the entry of Ushuaia Loppet in Worldloppet was announced in June, most overseas skiers had planned their Summer holidays. In coming years one can expect increasing numbers of foreigners. However, Ushuaia (same as New Zealand) requires a long travel. Maybe one can expect numbers similar to Sapporo and Kangaroohoppet, that sometimes receive up to 60-70 foreigners.

Ushuaia is “The End of the World” and is certainly an interesting touristic goal. The 70’000 city lies in a bay of the Beagle Channel and from this base one can make many excursions in the surroundings.

Hannes Larsson

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Kangaroo Hoppet 2014

20140823_130540 50Sunshine and great skiing conditions: what else can one ask for a Worldloppet race especially after so many race cancellations in the 2014 European Winter. The2014 Kangaroo Hoppet held on 23rd August was an absolute delight; great weather, great snow, lots of keen skiers and lots of encouraging spectators. The days leading up to the Hoppet were very warm with some inte    rnationals feeling very hot skiing whilst only wearing  a minimum of clothes. Race day was brilliant with just enough cloud so the temperature wasn’t too hot but firm conditions (after an overnight freeze) softened by the descent off Heathy Spur and for the second loop.

A well attended Worldloppet Masters’ reception was held at nearby Howmans Gap Alpine Centre with great finger food and drinks all around. The CEO of Falls Creek Alpine Resort greeted us all to Australia’s penultimate cross country ski event.

There were some 1100 participants in the 3 events- Kangaroo Hoppet (shortened to 36km due to snow melt on part of the course), Birkebeiner (21km) and the Joey Hoppet (7km). There’s an event to suit everyone with a special pouch class in the Joey for parents pulling a pulk with a young child.

A new improved staggered start system was implemented this year with waves of 100 starting one minute apart after the welcoming ceremony by the local indigenous representatives. . It seems such a short time between each wave but it greatly relieved congestion in the early part of the course especially on the first downhill. It was also easier for faster Birkebeiner skiers who started 7-10 minutes later to overtake slower Hoppet skiers and for quicker Joey skiers to overtake Birkebeiner skiers.

This year skiers who had completed 20 or more Kangaroo Hoppets (over 40 participants!) were awarded a special silver bib and started right behind the first 100 skiers.

The first 10km of the course out to Sun Valley and across the Rocky Valley Dam wall to Watchbed Creek was relatively flat with only a few small hills. Then the 3km uphill appropriately called the Paralyser is encountered before reaching a large open area called The Park which is where the trail breaks out of the snowgums ( native Australian alpine trees). Another short climb to the top of Heathy Spur where you are rewarded with stunning mountain views in all directions as far as Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain. The course then continues along Heathy Spur mostly descending with one final climb before the exciting Bladerunner descent back down to Rocky Valley Dam and into the spectator filled Nordic Bowl to complete the first loop. The second loop began the same way but instead of climbing all the way up the Paralyser from Watchbed Creek the return is much gentler Pauls Track on the return to the Nordic Bowl and the finish.

Afterwards, skiers stood around in the warm sunshine enjoying a BBQ lunch swapping race stories with skiers from some 26 nationalities whilst cheering in other skiers.

A few of the Worldloppet masters who participated included: Hannes Larsson (FRA), Jan Hurley (IRE), Bruce Wharrie (AUS), Angelo Corradini (ITA), Colin Addison(AUS), Judith Barnes (AUS),  Ken Farrow(AUS), Merv Trease (AUS), Jay Wiener (USA), Ronice Goebel (AUS), Grant McLeod (CAN), Jim Spiers (AUS), Brian Wallace (AUS), Bob Cranage (AUS), Brendon Hyde (AUS), Daniel Cech (CZE), Vratislav Cech (CZE), Miroslav Dasek (CZE), Andre Viry (FRA), Robert Demmel (GER), Angelika Dietrich (GER). Sorry if I’ve missed you.

Social activities are high on the agenda at the Kangaroo Hoppet with Friday night’s Worldloppet reception a great opportunity for Worldloppet passport holders to catch up with friends from many different nations. On Saturday evening there was a race presentation where all participants, family and friends gathered to celebrate the winners, as well as age-group champions in all events. Angelo Corradini presented Worldloppet medals to Craig Alexander, Bruce Wharrie (4th gold) and myself (5th gold).

With New Zealand’s Merino Muster Worldloppet race being held the weekend before the Kangaroo Hoppet it’s a great opportunity for northern hemisphere skiers to escape the Summer heat and have a Winter down under. Ski the Merino Muster, then the Hoppet earning 2 Worldloppet stamps, then head to North QLD for snorkelling and diving at the Great Barrier Reef. A perfect Winter holiday! Hope to see you at the Hoppet soon.

By Marg Hayes (AUS)

Pictures:

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Small Boy’s WL challenge, he got WL silver master

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Team Suomi member before start

by Minoru Matsuyama

Our family WL challenge was started in 2009 from J50, my son finished 25km short race, he was 9 years old. He got first WL stamp on his passport there. We established Team SUOMI from 2009. Team SUOMI is composed of four skiers, Matsuyama family (Minoru, Tomoko & Suomi) with Mr. Hannes Larsson.

After that we checked each WL ski races for my son’s entry, each race has not same regulation, age limit for the short race was different for each races. One is no age limit and another is from 18 years old, 16 years old, 14 years old and 13 years old. We need to buy new ski sets every year according to his growing up year by year.

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Suomi got 10th stamp at Merino Muster

Mr.Suomi Matsuyama finished 20th Merino Muster in 2014, he just got 10th WL silver stamp with this race.

Mr.Suomi and his mother Mrs. Tomoko just get a WL silver Master this summer. Small boy SUOMI is now 14 years old, he may be a youngest WL Silver Master.

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Mr. Angelo Corradini celebrated Suomi’s youngest silver Master

His result is

2009   Jizerska Padesatka       30km FT    DNF

Jizerska Padesatka       25km CT    Finished

2010   Finlandia Hiihto         32km CT    Finished

Finlandia Hiihto         20km FT    Finished

Bieg Piastow             26km CT    Finished

2011   Tartu Marathon          31km CT    Finished

Vasa loppet Kortovasan   30km CT    Finished

2012   Dolomitten Laufe         25km FT    Finished

2013   Kangaroo Hoppet         21km FT    Finished

American Birkie Tour     23km FT    Canceled

Jizerska Padesatka       30km FT    Finished

Jizerska Padesatka       25km CT    Finished

2014   American Birkie Tour    23km FT    Finished

Engadin Ski Marathon    21km FT    Finished

Merino Muster           21km FT    Finished

Team SUOMI we all have WL master titles now, But this is not a goal of us , we are on the way to next target that is GWLS!!  We love WL very much!!

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UshuaiaLoppet in Argentina, Aug.10th 2014

Fresh pictures from the Worldloppet race in Argentina. This year was the first year the race was a Worldloppet race.

Picture from a reception of Worldloppet skiers at the race:

Worldloppet skiers

Worldloppet skiers

Start and finish area of the race:

Overlooking the start finish line

Overlooking the start and finish line

Race start

Race start

All pictures by Tom Sutherland

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Full refund of startfee

It is possible, it’s nothing new, offers have been given but not much has happened.

Both low levels of snow and bad weather have led to cancellation of popular ski marathons during the last few years. Some times cancellation occurs before race day but also many times ON race day, just before the race starts. So what should we do?
The International Association of Worldloppet Skiers (IAWLS) have been working on the case and after this years many cancellations it became more applicable to present the work.

Put in few words, it is possible for race organizers to buy insurance that will give all participants a full refund of the start fee if the race is cancelled; either on race day or before. With this insurance neither race organizer or participant loses financially if the sad cancellation should happen. The cost of this benefit is so small that a realistic example says the start fee goes from 1000 NOK to 1020 NOK. Only 20 NOK (2.50 euro) extra per participant and it’s in place.

IAWLS have been in contact with several international and domestic insurance agencies and their partners regarding this issue and gathered estimates. Depending on the probability of cancellation the premium will reflect this. It could be as low as 2% for the races that rarely gets cancelled and up to 6-8% for those with a high degree of uncertainty. 2% on 1000 NOK is only 20 NOK. We wouldn’t notice this small extra charge in our wallet. Insurances like this are called “bad weather insurances” or “cancellation insurances” and they are not a special rare thing; quite normal and common for those who handle them.

A special angle that comes into account is arrangements with TV-coverage and large sponsorship deals. Sponsors expect TV coverage so the deals become more combined and complex.

Several ski marathons and other large arrangements have been given an offer on deals like this but they have not accepted. If we consider the laws of the norwegian ski federation then the rule is that cancellations on race day means the organizer don’t have to refund any part of the start fee. If cancellation is done before race day then at least 50% must be refunded. We all hope so very much that the race is not cancelled that some choose to believe that the bad weather forecast is all wrong and that weather on race day will be fine. It is allowed to live in hope. On the other side there has been talk that some race organizers speculate on this and wait until race day before they cancel even though it was clear the day before that the race could not be run.

If we look closer at the norwegian ski federations law. Paragraph 214.2.4.2. specifies “sudden appeared weather/climate conditions”. Now, if bad weather is forecasted a few days in advance and the weather ends up as forecasted then this law is no longer applicable and the race can’t hold back start fees. Nice weather the day before race does not change anything as long as bad weather on race day is forecasted and is correct. But this is a different debate. Here we will address the insurance part.

Lars

Lars

Do you need this insurance if you have a “backup short track”? Even with storm, wind and lots of precipitation you can’t arrange a short “Birkie” of 20km. Some race locations don’t even have a backup track. So NO race is 100% safe that the race will run so an insurance is always applicable. The fact that there exists a short backup track may give lower insurance premium. But never remove the need for it.
With all this information available there are many fine things possible. Will there be any changes coming? Let us hope so, in one way or another.

Kind regards Lars Valge
President IAWLS. International Association of Worldloppet Skiers.

REPLY from Birkebeinerrennet:

We presented this text to Birkebeinerrennet in May 2014 and this was the reply we got from race organisation manager, Jo Gunnar Ellevold. Translated by us:

“Hei Lars, thank you for the input regarding possebilities for “bad weather insurances”. We are now working on alternative tracks for Birkebeinerrennet, safetyplans and alternative solutions regarding unforeseen happenings. In addition, of cource, the Birkebeinerløpet and Landsveisbirken that will be on June 14th. I will look more into what is in the concept of bad weather insurance and what criteria the insurance companies put as basis for this. Then it will be a total-evaluation of insurance-possebilities in relation to what safety an alternative track will give us, regarding wind and snowfall. I will get back to you when this is all ready.”

Original text for this case is in Norwegian and given in full below this line:

Continue reading

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Four new Worldloppet-races

Four new races have become “Associate Members” to the Worldloppet Ski Federation. From now on, Marchablanca / Ushuaialoppet (ARG), Vasaloppet China (China), Fossavatn Ski Marathon (ISL) and Merino Muster (NZL) are included into the Worldloppet family and are eligitable to stamp Worldloppet passports.

- Ushuaialoppet (Marciablanca) in Argentina. www.ushuaialoppet.com

- Vasaloppet China in China. www.vasaloppetchina.com

- Merino Muster in New Zeeland. www.merinomuster.com

- Fossavatn in Iceland. www.fossavatn.com

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