On one of the warmest April days ever measured in Iceland, a record number of skiers
gathered in the mountains above the town of Isafjordur in the north-west corner of the
island to participate in the annual Fossavatn Ski Marathon.
In the crowd of 240 people, there were some 30 participants from abroad, including nine
from the USA. Four big guns from Sweden were also present, the Vasaloppet king Oskar
SvÃ¤rd from Sweden, Rikard Andreasson (fifth in this year's Vasaloppet), Martin Larsson
(bronze medalist in relay from the World Championships in Sapporo) and Suzanne NystrÃ¶m
(winner of the WomenÂ´s Vasaloppet, Tjej-Vasa).
It was no big surprise that the stars from Sweden occupied the top places in the main
distance, 50 km. Oskar SvÃ¤rd took home the gold, finishing four seconds ahead of Rikard
Anreasson while Martin Larsson claimed the bronze. The ever young MagnÃºs EirÃksson, in
his fifties, finished first of the Icelandic skiers, beating the 19 years old Brynjar
LeÃ³ Gunnarsson, whose performance was probably the biggest surprise of the day. The
third Icelander was DanÃel Jakobsson, former Olympic skier and the current president of
the Icelandic Ski Association.
David Christopherson, the overall winner of the Minnesota Skinnyski Series, skied an
excellent race, finishing seventh overall and winning the agegroup 50-65 years. David
Bridges from Minnesota took the bronze in the 36-49 years category.
There were no surprises in the women's 50 km race as Suzanne NystrÃ¶m from Sweden
finished first. Stella HjaltadÃ³ttir from Iceland cami in second, and hence the first of
the Icelandic women for the second consecutive year. Ã…shild Sporsheim from Norway
Cheryl Dubois, who was the overall women's champion in the Minnesota Skinnyski Series
finished fourth of the women, and claimed the silver in her 35-49 years age group.
Vermont skier Linda Ramsdell took the bronze in the same age category. Ramsdell
finished as the first woman in this race in 2004 and 2005. Idaho skiers Berit
Kuykendall and Patrice Yancey took the gold and silver in the women's 50 years and
After the race, the skiers were treated to a buffet of home baked cakes and pastries at
the price ceremony. The last task was to attend the post race party in the evening,
where the fun went on well into the early hours.