This years race was a delight. Sunny, cold, good tracks and well done arrangements.
Both classic and freestyle races were held in Obertilliach as usual the last years. For those staying in Lienz the shuttle buses worked fine on race day. On the Friday it was more complicated to get from Lienz to race office in Obertilliach. You had to do train+bus to get there, and take off times were few. This should have been better.
There have been less snow than usual this January in Europe and the racedate of this race is relatively early. But they made it. With snowcanons they made a 11km loop which was done four times for full marathon. This loop was one of the best shortloops I have been skiing and it was not a downer to do it multiple times. This loop had two versions, 9km and 11km, and there were some mixups the last few days of what loops to do when, but on raceday track-guards showed the way and it all went ok. It was also nice for the experience that outside the tracks there were 5-10 cm natural snow in the fields, making the scene all winterish. Temperature was in the morning around -14C. It went up to -10 or so at race start and later in the day almost zero in the sun. Large parts of the track was in shadow so the snow stayed cold. Making glide on skis a bit slower.
Warm tent was next to arena and the food they served was good. Included in startnumber was a bowl of pasta with meat and a beer. At the biathlon stadium there is also a good restaurant and bar, and a great view from the terrace.
This race do not have that many participants as other WL races. It should have as it is a good race in a good location. Usually there is a sprint-competition on town square Lienz on Friday evening but this year it was not held. Hopefully it will be back next year.
Some IAWLS members participating: Hannes Larsson, Josef Kral, Ivana Kralova, Grant McLoad, Lars Vagle. Results are online here https://services.datasport.com/2017/winter/dolomitenlauf/
Text by Lars Vagle