Tartu Maraton 2017

During the weeks preceding the date of the Estonian Worldloppet race alarming reports told about the lack of snow and the organizers’ uncertainty about the race course. Finally they confirmed one week before the race week-end that the races will take place in Otepää (the usual start place) on a 6 km loop of artificial snow and that the 63 km race will be replaced by 34 km and the 31 km race by 16 km. Registered skiers were requested to choose which one of the six starts (three on Saturday and three on Sunday) they preferred. It was possible to register also at the bib distribution on Friday.

On both race days the weather was good, a little below zero at the start on Saturday and mostly above zero on Sunday. The artificial snow resisted perfectly the wear of 2000 skiers making the same loop up to six times. The announcement «two and a half laps for the 16 km race and five and a half laps for the 34 km race» was a little confusing. We discovered the perfectly marked course on the spot. There were two loops, 2 km and 4 km. The 6 km loop consisted of one 2 km loop followed by the 4 km loop. At the end of every 2 km loop and every 4 km loop we passed the Tehvandi ski stadium. Everybody started with a 4 km loop. Then the 34 km skiers had to do five times (2 + 4) km and the 16 km skiers two times (2 + 4) km. The km markers showed the remaining distance of the 4 km loop and the 6 km (2 + 4) km loop. Skiers just had to count the laps. I followed Corrado Ampezzan’s advice, put six pieces of tape around one of my poles and strapped off one tape at the end of the first 4 km loop and at the end of each following (2 +4) km loop.

The course was nice with a few easy climbs and descents. It became of course a little repetitive, we could almost have skied the last laps with closed eyes. But we enjoyed the race and congratulate the organizers for their good job.

Corrado Ampezzan’s incredible adventure

Corrado Ampezzan is from Cortina, Italy. The race was important for him because it was intended to give him the tenth stamp in his16 th Worldloppet gold passport. He was under stress because his ski bag containing also his boots and waxes did not arrive in Tallinn on Thursday PM with the flight from Riga. They were supposed to arrive during the night between Friday and Saturday. But that was too late for waxing the skis and Corrado was obliged to rent skis in Tartu. He was grateful to Epp Paal, the WL CEO, who drove him to the rental shop where he also chose the boots and poles. The skis, waxed for the race, were picked up by Corrado on Saturday morning at the start. They worked perfectly but at one point Corrado fell and broke one of the bindings. This looked as the end of his race. He skied on one ski a few hundred m and there he saw a young man on the side and called him with the few words of English that he was able to utter: “I need help!”. The man was willing to lend him his skis but there was a problem: Corrado had Salomon bindings and the man had Rottefella bindings. In the misadventure there was a lucky end: both had boots of size 43. They exchanged their boots, Corrado finished the race on the Estonian’s perfectly waxed skis and obtained his 16 th gold Master title. When Corrado brought the skis to the rental shop he was informed that his saviour was nobody else than Tartu Maraton’s director Indrek Kelk. Future contacts will reveal how Indrek came home on one ski.

Hint to Worldloppet races: post your director on a strategic point of the race ready to intervene when a skier in distress needs help!

Hannes Larsson


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Transjurassienne 2017 (eng)

A beautiful and Harsh… Transjurassienne

After the strange cancellation of the 2016, each of us wondered what would happen to the 2017 edition?

Especially since the beginning of winter the snow has been scarce in the Jura massif.  And the mild weather during the first days of February complicated the situation:

Thanks to la Transju organizers who reacted promptly and offered us an original, superb race and perfectly snow-covered, obviously as difficult as the normal course.

The Technic director, Pierrot Vandel, made it a point of honor to extend this folding race to 50 km…at the price of many loops in the Massacre forest and the Combe du Lac. At one point there was false joy when nearing Premanon and hearing the commentator at the finish line, when a new loop was to be seen… we are definitely beating around the bush, groaned a skier by my side, impatient to be finished…

Identical race for the 50 km Transju’Classic, la Transju’Marathon and la Transjurassienne skating.

Departure near Switzerland, in the village of Bois d’Amont, with a release of skiers in several groups, like Marcialonga, skis at hands.  There was no jostling either in classic or skating despite the 2 500 participants racing on a track just wide enough.

Fortunately, it was sunny with mild temperatures because there were hardly any places to find shelter on the starting area.

It takes only a few small bumps and about 10 km to reach Les Rousses and its incredible popular success: a stretch in the village full of enthusiastic spectators, like we have not seen in a long time. Better than la Marcialonga and Moena, which speaks for itself! (and the same at Premanon…where it was at last possible to finish La Transju… with a beer in the hand…)

Then for 40 km it was a succession of harsh climbs, rather easy downhills and rare flat areas near Le Fort des Rousses and la Darbella near Premanon, the climb in the Massacre Forest to the chalet de la Frasse (not as long, neither as hard than the traditional climb of Chalet des Ministres from the original course), then the beautiful downhill back to Lamoura and an eventful return to Premanon…

The 25-km left from La Darbella, went straight to Lamoura and then took same tracks as the 50 km race all the way to Premanon: undoubtedly a demanding itinerary for the unskilled skiers launching themselves for the first time on a long distance cross-country ski race…

A course of absolute beauty which did not lack many km to return to the departure stadium. I know, La Transjurassienne is a linear course…and personally I regret it. It is so much simpler to go back to the starting point! No unnecessary transfers (and probably costly). One day maybe la Transju will, like la Finlandia, opt for a loop?

Exceptional feeding stations

With an experienced racer memory (more than 340 long distance Nordic ski events to my record) I have never seen such delight. Dry fruits, cakes, Comté, meringues, dry sausage, energy bars etc, etc And of course tea, energetic drink and fresh water.  Really at the top! Next time I’ll bring a backpack…

What else to say about the 2017 Transju

A beautiful sports and commercial village in Morez for the bib distribution, no waiting line.

A hat… hum Phrygian or Andean,,, more aesthetic than convenient as a gift, a beautiful 2016 recycled into 2017 medal, a friendly and multilingual Worldloppet welcome, an organized Team despite the 2 strenuous weeks of intense labour. Thanks to Gaelle and everyone else.

A Worldloppet reception which was, I was told, exceptional with La Polka du Jura dance. Unfortunately, with accommodations scattered far from Morez and The lunettes museum, the hosts of the reception, didn’t have as many participants as they deserved.

Sufficient shuttles were organized to the start and to go back home after the arrival… but heavy traffic to reach La Darbella and Premanon.

Certainly, at the arrival site in Premanon, it was sometimes necessary to wait about half hour to recover locker bags and eat. And the dining room, although large, seemed quite small at certain peak hours.

But at least the Bolognese on Saturday and the cooked ham on Sunday were good and the cheese mirrored our love for the Jura.

On the sport side, the best have won (even the winner of La Transjurassienne, Alexis Jeannerod, waxed his skis: a long time since we’ve seen that, just proves the difficulty of the course).

Others suffered at times: for the classic style, it was hard to find the perfect wax (snow at 0 degrees, cold and dry at some places, hot and humid at others), for the skating style (especially for the afternoon departure on the 25 km) a melting snow rendered a bit slippery.

And new performances by Hannes Larsson and Lioudmila Kolobanova who double the two short events!

On Sunday about 40 skiers wore most elegant kilts to promote the donation of bone marrow.

Total happiness for this 2017 Transjurassienne which promises a 2018 jubilee: the 40th Jurassian winter for this French Worldloppet Event, created in 1979…

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Jizerska 2017

J50: a real popular race (French version follow after english version)

The Jizerska Padesatka celebrated its 50th anniversary this year!
Very popular success with more than 6,000 competitors during these three days of competition and a beautiful snow often wet and hot but in large quantity.
Popular race if any: on the classic 50 km, the bigger race of this J50, nearly 4100 arrived. If the faster runners finish in less than 2 hours (1h55 very exactly), the last ones will take 7:30 to cross the finish line. 71 men over 70 and 3 women of the same age will have completed their 50 km.
Magic of classic skiing where even the slowest, the least technical can participate in the competition, take pleasure and surpass!
Nearly 500 participants in the 30 km skate, 700 to 25 km classic, 450 to 10 km classic (the last putting … more than 4 hours to make its 10 kilometers …).
And I am not talking about the kids who gave themselves to heart on Friday morning on loops of 1 to 4 km … and left with the same big glass medal as the best long runs.
A nice atmosphere of fun fair, family ski and at the same time the best skiers of Visma classic were there to fight.
A perfect organization, buses in large quantities to connect Liberec and Bedrichov, well-arranged departures, friendly refreshments, smiling volunteers, a landscape that turned out at the end of the day under a warm sun, famous goulash on arrival, A great tent to change: nothing to say about this 2017 edition … which made well forget the difficulties of the previous year run without snow!
The organizers of the J 50 saw just by shifting their race 6 weeks: it was rather hot, of course it rained on Friday morning and snowed strong on Saturday but the snow was abundant and it is on the real course of 50 Km with its beautiful detour on the hamlet of Jizerska that held this 50th Jizerska.
Waxing initially provided by the stands of Swix. Wax enough easy to find: skare covered with red klister. Tracks correct almost to the end …

And the reception of the WL Masters, it probably deserves the first prize of the receptions WL: reception with champagne, wine and beer at will, real hot meal and brief speech of welcome of our friend Blanka Nedvedicka … Only downside: necessary to found Kralovka to enjoy it…

J50 : une vraie course populaire (French version)

La Jizerska Padesatka fêtait son 50ème anniversaire cette année ! Très beau succès populaire avec plus de 6.000 concurrents pendant ces trois jours de compétition et une belle neige souvent humide et chaude mais en grande quantité.

Course populaire s’il en est : sur le 50 km classique, la course reine de cette J50, près de 4100 arrivés. Si les premiers terminent en moins de 2 heures (1h55 très exactement), les derniers mettront 7h30 pour passer la ligne d’arrivée. 71 hommes de plus de 70 ans et 3 femmes du même âge auront bouclé leur 50 km.

Magie du ski classique où même les plus lents, les moins techniques peuvent participer à la compétition, prendre plaisir et se dépasser !

Près de 500 participants au 30 km skate, 700 au 25 km classique, 450 au 10 km classique (la dernière mettant… plus de 4 heures pour faire ses 10 bornes…).

Et je ne parle pas des gamins qui s’en sont donné à cœur joie le vendredi matin sur des boucles de 1 à 4 km… et sont repartis avec la même grosse médaille en verre que les meilleurs des courses longues.

Une belle ambiance de fête foraine, de ski familial et dans le même temps les meilleurs skieurs de Visma classique étaient là pour en découdre.

Une organisation parfaite, des bus en grande quantité pour relier Liberec et Bedrichov, départs bien échelonnés, des ravitaillements sympathiques, des bénévoles souriants, un paysage qui s’est révélé en fin de journée sous un soleil chaleureux, goulache fameux à l’arrivée, une grande tente pour se changer : rien à redire sur cette édition 2017 … qui faisait bien oublier les difficultés de l’année précédente courue sans neige !

Les organisateurs de la J 50 ont vu juste en décalant de 6 semaines leur épreuve : certes il faisait plutôt chaud, certes il a plu le vendredi matin et neigé fort le samedi mais la neige était abondante et c’est sur le vrai parcours de 50 km avec son beau détour sur le hameau de Jizerska que s’est tenue cette 50ème Jizerska.

Fartage assuré au départ par les stands de Swix, fart au demeurant assez simple à trouver : skare recouvert de klister rouge Traces correctes presque jusqu’au bout…

Quant à la réception des WL Masters, elle mérite sans doute le premier prix des réceptions WL : accueil au champagne, vin et bière à volonté, vrai repas chaud et bref discours d’accueil de notre amie Blanka Nedvedika… Seul bémol : il fallait monter tout là haut à Kralovka pour en profiter.

Quelques résultats :

50 km classique :

Léonid Golubkov (Rus) 3h09 ; Erki Täht (Est) 3h09 ; Boris Petroff (F) 3h26 ; Tate Vanhamaki (est) 3h48 ; Hervé Courtine (F) 4h17 ; Matti Korpella (Fin) 4h30 ; Allan Hope (Australie) 5h05 ; Daniel Montgermont (F) 5h09 ; Joseph et Iwana Kral (Tch) 5h10 ; Risko Kemilainen (Fin) 5h25 ; Doug Jackson (Australie) 5h39 ; Annie Ponsonnet (F) 5h40 ;Yuichi Anada (Jap) 5h55 ; Joseph Luce (F) 6h35…

30 km skate :

Léonid Golubkov (Rus) 1h51 ;Boris Petroff (F) 2h02 ; Tauri Hainsoo (Est) 2h13 ; Irena Prochazkova (Tch) 2h16 ; Ludmilia Golubkova (Rus) 2h49…/

25 km classique :

Kari Julhä (Fin) 1h52 ; Tauri Hainsoo (Est) 2h04 ; Irena Prochazkova (Tch) 2h28 ; Risko Kemilainen (Fin) 2h47 ;Anne Mason (Can) 2h53 ; Joseph et Iwana Kral (Tch) 3h01 ;  Annie Ponsonnet (F) 3h03 ; Nathalie Courtine (F) 3h25

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Transjurassienne 2017 (fr)

Une Transjurassienne belle … et rude.

Après l’annulation étrange de 2016, chacun se demandait ce que serait l’édition 2017 ?

D’autant que la neige se fit rare sur le massif du Jura en ce début d’hiver. Et qu’un redoux dans les premiers jours de février vint encore compliquer la situation !

Mais les organisateurs de la Transju surent parfaitement réagir et nous offrirent une course au tracé original, à l’évidence aussi difficile que le tracé normal, superbe et parfaitement enneigé.

Bravo les gars !

Pierrot Vandel, le Directeur technique, se fit un point d’honneur de rallonger jusqu’à 50km ce parcours de replis… au prix de nombreuses boucles dans la forêt du Massacre et dans la Combe  du Lac. Il fallut même déchanter lorsque, à quelques pas de Prémanon et tandis qu’on entendait déjà le commentateur sur la ligne d’arrivée, on découvrit une nouvelle boucle à parcourir… « Décidemment, on tourne autour du pot » râlait un skieur à mes côtés, pressé d’en finir enfin….

Parcours identique pour le 50 km de la Transjuclassic, la Transju Marathon et la Transjurassienne skate.

Départ à deux pas de la Suisse, sur la commune de Bois d’Amont, avec un lâcher des skieurs en plusieurs blocs, type Marcialonga, skis à la main. Pas de bousculade ni en classique ni en skate malgré les 2500 partants sur une piste tout juste assez large. Heureusement qu’il faisait beau et doux car il n’y avait guère de places pour se mettre à l’abri sur l’aire de départ.

Juste quelques petites bosses pour atteindre au 10ème km Les Rousses et son incroyable succès populaire : une traversée de village noire de spectateurs chaleureux, comme nous n’en avions pas connue depuis longtemps. Mieux que la Marcialonga et Moena, c’est tout dire ! (Et pareil à Prémanon… où il était enfin possible de finir sa Transju avec…  une bière à la main….)

Ensuite ce sont pendant 40 km une succession de côtes sévères, descentes plutôt faciles et rares moments de plat. Le Fort des Rousses, la Darbella près de Prémanon, la montée dans la forêt du Massacre jusqu’au chalet de la Frasse (moins longue, moins dure que la traditionnelle montée au Chalet des Ministres du parcours nominal), belle redescente sur Lamoura et retour mouvementé sur Prémanon…

Le 25 km partait de la Darbella, filait tout droit sur Lamoura et retrouvait le parcours du 50 km jusqu’à Prémanon : sans doute un parcours exigeant pour les skieurs non aguerris qui se lançaient pour la première fois sur une course longue distance de ski de fond …

Un parcours d’une beauté absolue et auquel il ne manquait pas beaucoup de km pour qu’on retournât sur le stade de départ. Je sais, la Transjurassienne c’est une Traversée… et personnellement je le regrette. C’est tellement plus simple de revenir à son point de départ ! Pas de transferts inutiles (et sans doute coûteux). Un jour peut-être la TJ optera, comme le fit la Finlandia, pour une boucle ?

Des ravitaillements exceptionnels

Mémoire de coureur expérimenté (euh plus de 340 épreuves de longue distance de ski nordique à mon palmarès) je n’ai jamais vu un tel régal. Des fruits secs, des gâteaux, du comté, des meringues, du saucisson, des barres énergétiques etc. etc. Et bien sûr thé, boisson énergétique et eau fraiche. Vraiment le top ! La prochaine j’emporte un sac à dos…

Que dire d’autre de cette Transju 2017 ?

Un beau village sportif et commercial à Morez pour la remise des dossards, pas d’attente.

Un bonnet … euh phrygien ou des Andes… plus esthétique que commode comme cadeau, une belle médaille 2016 recyclée 2017, un accueil Worldloppet sympathique et polyglotte, une équipe organisatrice aux petits soins malgré deux semaines d’angoisse et de labeur éprouvant. Merci Gaëlle et tous les autres.

Une réception Worldloppet qui fut, m’a-t-on dit, exceptionnelle où l’on dansa même la Polka du Jura. Malheureusement la dispersion des hébergements parfois loin de Morez et du musée de la Lunette qui accueillait cette réception, ne lui donna pas l’affluence qu’elle méritait.

Des navettes en nombre suffisant pour atteindre le départ et retourner chez soi après l’arrivée…. Mais des embouteillages pour atteindre la Darbella et Prémanon.

Certes, le dimanche à l’arrivée sur Prémanon, il fallut parfois patienter une grosse demi-heure pour récupérer sacs vestiaires et manger. Et la salle de restau, pourtant grande, se révéla à certaines heures un peu petite…

Mais au moins la bolognaise du samedi et le jambon braisé du dimanche étaient bien bons et le fromage à l’image de ce Jura qu’on aime tant.

Côté sportif, les meilleurs ont gagné (et même que le vainqueur de la Transjurassienne classique, Alexis Jeannerod, avait farté ses skis : du plus vu depuis bien longtemps et qui prouve la dureté du profil).

Les autres ont parfois souffert : en classique d’un fartage difficile à trouver (neige à zéro degré, parfois froide et sèche, ailleurs chaude et très humide), en skate (surtout pour le 25 km qui partait dans l’après midi) d’une neige fondue et ainsi rendue peu glissante.

Et nouvelle performance de Hannes Larsson et Lioudmila Kolobanova qui doublent les deux courtes !

Le dimanche une quarantaine de skieurs portaient un kilt des plus élégants pour promouvoir le don de moelle osseuse.

Donc grand bonheur pour cette Transjurassienne 2017 qui augure bien de celle de 2018 qui marquera un jubilé : le 40ème hiver jurassien pour cette course française de la Worldloppet, créée en 1979…


Quelques résultats

50 km classique :

Franck Machioldi (F) 3.01 ; Serge Pakulin (Russie) 3.23 : Michel Bouteraon (F )3.28 ; Jean Pierre Henriet (F) 3.43 ; Vincent Yvon (F) 3.43 ; Daniel Clerc (F) 3.55 ; Raoul Olesk (Est.) 4.05 ; Boris Petroff (F) 4.09 ; Joël Janin (F) 4.15 ; Irena Prochazkova (Cz) 4.47 ; Jay Wiener (USA) 5.17 ;  Grant Mac Leod (Can) 5.29 ; Iwana et Joseph Kral (Cz) 5.50 ; Jean Poux(F) 5.56 ; Joseph Luce (F) 6.56.

50 km Skate :

Christian Viry (F) 2.21 ; Leonid Goloubkov (Russie) 2.49 ; Gilles Perrin (F) 2.51 ; Michel Bouteraon (F) 2.55 ; Roland Matarese (F) 3.05 ;  François Héroult (F) 3.36 ; Boris Petroff (F) 3.38 ; Pierre Poux (F) 3.50 ; Jean Yves Comby (F) 3.52 ; Irena Prochazkova (Cz) 4.31 ; Patrice Turlan 4.51  ; Jay Wiener (USA) 4.57 ; ; Iwana et Joseph Kral (Cz) 5.15 ; Daniel Clerc (F) 5.44 ; André Viry (F) 6.16

25 Classique :

Christophe Joanblanq (F) 2.40 ; Lioudmila Kolobanova (Russie) 2.42 ; Paal Epp (Est.) 2.43 ; Annie Ponsonnet (F) 2.51 ; Patrice Turlan (F) 2.56 ; Hannes Larsson (F) 3.12 ; François et Nathalie Héroult : 3.21 ; Michelle Robin (F) 4.28.

25 Skate :

Annie Ponsonnet (F) 2.14 ; Lioudmila Kolobanova (Russie) 2.43 ; Hannes Larsson (F) 3.16 ; Isabelle Petroff (F) 3.18 ; Corrado Ampezzan (It.) 3.32.

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The cheating scandal is NOT closed

The Worldloppet Newsletter No. 2 which appeared on February 3 contained an article “Cheating case closed”. WL had remained completely silent about this scandal since May 2016, when a group of skiers, members of IAWLS discovered the cheating system and reported it to WL. We had already heard a few words about it from Angelo Corradini in his welcome speech at the reception of WL Masters in Cavalese on January 29. He gave a surprising interpretation of the WL Annual General Meeting’s decision last June (it decided that the three cheats are not any more welcome at WL races): “That they are not welcome does not mean that they cannot come. They can come but they are not welcome”. Strange joggling with words that has no meaning.

In fact Corradini wanted to defend the attitude of the WL management. We had already been informed by the WL CEO that the cancellation of all Master titles obtained by cheating is, in her opinion, a sufficiently severe punishment.

WL skiers cannot accept this policy. The cheating did not occur in one race. We are in the presence of a repeated cheating system over a period of seven years where each of the culprits was involved in at least eight races where the system was applied. This is an offense to all WL Masters who have honestly struggled to reach this prestigious title that they are proud of.

The cheating could have continued forever, had not a group of perspicacious IAWLS members discovered it. The WL Magazine article does not contain a word of thanks to that group. The article mentioned that 9 Master titles were removed from the three cheats (one third of the total!), and that they were told that they were not welcome at any WL event this season. The WL president’s words were a little different: “We must be strict and hard. With a one- year ban justice is done”. Which one-year ban? The cheats have registered and participated in all WL races since the beginning of 2017 as if nothing has happened. Were they not warned that if they come they are not welcome?

Dear WL managers, your weak and lacking handling of the case is inacceptable for WL skiers. We have gotten many angry feedbacks on this. It is not enough that “the concerned skiers have apologised, learned from their mistake and promised that it will never happen again”. An organized, repeated cheating system is not a mistake, it is a planned activity that must be punished. For the more than 3000 WL Masters and almost 15000 passport holders the “not welcome” sentence can have only one meaning: these cheats are banned from WL races and certainly banned from any more masters. To see these faces in Worldloppet races reminds us of large scale cheating – not a good feeling.

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Marcialonga 2017

Bravissimi Marcialonga organizers !

(French version of this article is below the english one)

One more success for the Marcialongas team, expert users of trucks, shovels… and snow cannons in order to offer us a very beautiful race. Not the least gram of snow on the sides but a splendid snow avenue for this 44th edition of Marcialonga.

Only 57 km, the usual 13 km climb after the start being replaced by 5 km of gently ascending flat (nobody protested about that). As usual we crossed those villages and the final climb was rather hard in the sun !

Start almost without problems thanks to the famous «Ideal Start» promoted by Hannes Larsson, again present  and fit in spite of his 86 years. Hats off to the artist ! Mostly three tracks were available and that made it possible for the fastest skiers to overtake by continuously changing tracks. Fortunately the nights had remained cool and the snow had kept its quality in the cold.

The 1000 first skiers probably skied without grip wax using double poling (except maybe in the last 3 km). In the rear numerous Norwegians were frightened (without reason) in the slightest descents or turns, a pity. This Marcialonga remained very nordic with at the finish 1681 Norwegians, 1088 Swedes and 233 Finns (a total of 3000 scandinavians and Finns) compared to 1993 Italians, some 50 Swiss and 30 French and Austrians, although they are neighbours. There was even a man from Israel who had been recently the subject of numerous articles on ski-websites. You can see his picture in the Russian article (visible in the list «More articles on the WL cheating scandal»  on this website).

We enjoyed a nice reception of WL Masters with the presence of the new CEO Epp Paal, where some multiple Masters were celebrated : Hannes Larsson (30 Masters), Minoru Matsuyama and Liudmila Kolobanova with 13 Masters, same for Jay Wiener and myself. Liudmila managed to win her age group (over 70) with the excellent time of 2 :33 in the Marcialonga Light. Brava, Madame !

Thanks to Angelo Corradini and his team for offering us such a beautiful Marcialonga.

Results from IAWLS members are at the end of the french text.

French version: Bravissimo la Marcia !

Encore une prouesse réussie par les petites mains de la Marcialonga qui ont su manier les camions, la pelle… et les canons à neige pour nous offrir une course de toute beauté.

Par un gramme de neige sur les à-côtés mais  un ruban neigeux  superbe pour les concurrents de cette 44ème édition de la Marcialonga.

Seulement 57 km : la côte du départ réduite à un faux plat montant de 5 km (nul ne s’en plaignait), toujours ces villages traversés par les rues principales … et la montée finale, rude, car en plein soleil !

Départ sans (trop) de tracas grâce au fameux « départ idéal » cher à Hannes Larsson, toujours présent et d’attaque malgré ses 86 ans. Chapeau l’artiste !

Le plus souvent trois pistes permettant aux plus rapides de doubler en changeant continuellement de traces !

Heureusement les nuits sont restées fraiches et la neige bien conservée au froid.

Devant les mille premiers ont  sans doute skiés sans fart, tout en double poussée (sauf peut être les 3 derniers km). Derrière les norvégiens de loin les plus nombreux se sont fait peur (sans raison) à la moindre descente, au premier virage ! Dommage.

Du reste cette Marcialonga est restée très nordique : avec classés à l’arrivée :  1681 norvégiens, 1088 suédois et 236 finlandais (au total plus de 3000 scandinaves et finnois) contre 1993 italiens, une cinquantaine de suisses et une trentaines de français ou autrichiens pourtant voisins. Il y eut même à l’arrivée … un israélien qui fit beaucoup couler d’encre ces derniers temps sur les sites spécialisés de ski nordique…

Sympathique réception des Masters WL  (en présence de la nouvelle Présidente de la WL, Epp Pal) où furent fêtés pour leurs innombrables masters : Hannes Larsson (bientôt 30 fois master !), Minoru Matsuyama et Lioudmila Kolobanova : chacun en piste pour leur treizième Master (comme Jay Wiener et moi-même…).

Lioudmila réussit le dimanche à se classer première de sa catégorie (plus de 70 ans) en réalisant le très bon chrono de 2h33 pour la Marcia Light (33 km). Bravo madame !

Merci à Angelo Corradini et toute son équipe pour nous avoir offert un si beau week end.

Boris Petroff

Quelques résultats

André Hazard (Belgique) 4h17

Jay Wiener (USA) 5h34

Minoru Matsuyama (Japon) 5h00

Hervé Courtine (F) 4h51 , Boris Petroff (F) 4h12, Sophie Courtine (F) 4h06, David Damoizet (F) 4h16, Joseph Luce (F) 7h33,Patrice Turlan (F) 5h51,Jacques Broussou 5h41,Daniel Montgermont (F) 6h02, Baptiste Hiriart3h25, Gérard Hiriart (F) 5h33

Josep Kral et Iwana Kralova (Cz) 5h44

Grant Mac Leod (Canada) 5h42

Sergeï Ivanov (Russie) 2h31

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Dolomitenlauf 2017

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 og 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


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