Marcialonga 2008 – Wave starts, Estil and Pedersen to compete

FasterSkierSeptember 9, 2007

Editor's Note: Instituting a small-group wave start system for this race is a creative way to deal with yearly low-snow conditions. For most large ski marathons, the biggest snow issue is the start area and the first kilometers of the trail, where there must be room for thousands of skiers to start simultaneously. Small waves will require significantly less snow, and will also reduce the extreme congestion often found in the middle groups of such a large race.

After the success of the “Running”, Marcialonga staff are now working to organize the 35th edition of the famous classic-technique ski marathon. The event will be held on January 27th, 2008.

The race from Moena, in Val di Fassa, to Cavalese in Val di Fiemme, stretches for 70 kilometers. The course has been host to numerous memorable moments in the history of cross-country skiing.

Currently, five months before the race, the number of the entrants is 1082. Last season the race reached the maximum number of 5000 entries well in advance of the cut-off date, and for this year, the organizers envisage repeating this goal.

New this year is a “real time,” or “wave” system for the start. Only the first group of elite athletes will begin the race in the traditional mass start, while all other competitors will start in groups of six, with the recording of their real starting times.

This system will help the athletes avoid the queues and anxiety before the start. Furthermore, in the event of lack of snow, it will not be necessary to cover such a large area, and the competition would be able to start at the scheduled location.

Recently, the secretary office of the Marcialonga received entries from two prominent athletes. The Norwegians, Frode Estil and Hilde Pedersen will be participating, and assuredly competing for the victory in the men’s and women’s races respectively. Estil has four Olympic medals and three gold medals at the World Championships to his name. And Pedersen – winner of last edition of the Marcialonga – can also boast a large collection of gold medals from her illustrious career.

The Marcialonga is part of the prestigious Worldloppet circuit, and in 2008 is also an FIS Marathon Cup event.

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