The Norwegian Ski Federation is suggesting that cross country skiers get a chance to battle for a World Championship title in long-distance skiing. The first title might be handed out in 2008, according to Kristin Felde, general secretary at the Norwegian ski federation.
A World championship title has been suggested in the past as well, but Felde believes that Norway’s suggestion will be approved this time.
– We are suggesting that a World title in the long-distance racing is handed out every fourth year in championship free seasons. The first title will be handed out/up for grabs in 2008 if this is approved, say Felde.
She doesn’t know why the suggestion was turned down last time it was voted on in the FIS congress, but believes it will be approved this time.
– We have been in contact with several nations that are supporting the suggestion. These signals suggests that it’s possible to get this approved, says Felde.
The terrain in long-distance events/marathon races is typically not (nearly) as hilly or rolling as you find it in regular World Cup and World Championship courses. The races are also often longer than 50-kilometer. The longer race time and flatter terrain opens the possibilities for other type skiers than World Cup skiers to do well. These (other) skiers might not have the same high oxygen capacity as the World Cup skiers, but they are often exceptionally good in flat/easy terrain and to do the same technique for hours if needed, like double poling in the Swedish 90-kilometer long Vasaloppet.
Well know long-distance marathon races include The Swedish Vasaloppet, Marcialonga, Engadin and Koenig Ludvig Lauf. Anders Aukland won the 2004 Swedish Vasaloppet. Will the 2008 race include a Worlds title for the winner?