Traveling to beautiful ski towns across the World to participate in the famous marathons is every cross country skiers dream. Here is the story about four Norwegian friends in their forties and fifties who are doing just that for fun. Check out the photos!Â
– We are four colleges and ski enthusiasts that every season the last years have traveled to Central Europe to race the big mass-start marathons. The social aspect is always prioritized, but we always try to ski as well as possible when we are racing with a bib on. Â Â
Our ages range from forty to fifty something. All the races we do are freestyle (skating). Last year’s trip went to Toblach and Pusterhaler ski marathons ( http://www.ski-marathon.com ).
Toblach — Dobbiaco offers great skiing with more than 300-kilometers of cross country tracks. They are wide and set for both skating and classic. They are prepped every morning. Toblach is a small beautiful town/village at a bottom of a valley surrounded by 3000 meter tall mountains. The altitude is a challenge for us lowlanders from Norway. The Pusterhaler marathon goes from Toblach to Anterselva at 1400-1800 meters altitude. We can feel that! You are simply not acclimatized after three days.
We try to have 2-3 training days at each race site before the races. It’s always tempting to take advantage of the great skiing and ski a lot when you are there, but be careful. It’s easy to understand that Norwegian Olympic Biathlon champion, Ole Einar Bjorndalen likes living here. The trail Toblach — Cortina — Toblach is 70-kilometer long and goes through a beautiful valley, surrounded by fantastic mountain peaks. The terrain is rolling and includes long tough uphills, flats and short hills. There a coffee shops every 5-kilometer serving Italian food and drinks. Everything possible is done to ensure good skiing. They even have benches, tables and chairs at the view points so you can sit down and rest and enjoy the scenery.
The Pusterhaler Ski Marathon
The race goes from Toblach to Anterselva and is 55-kilometer long. The last 12-kilometer is gradual uphill from 1100 meters up to 1800-meters. The start is at the military airport in Toblach. It’s nice and wide and no problem. They do wave-start with 200 in each wave. You are seeded based upon results in other Worldloppet races. The snow in the race is usually cold and dry even if the temperature often rises to +3-4 Celsius. The reason for this is dry alpine air, mountains and shade from big fur trees.
At the finish in dry clothes ready for pasta