The sunny weather, high number of participants, the world’s best skiers among them, the President and the Chairman of the Senate of the Czech Republic who started the race and handed the winners the prizes — these are just some of the memories of this year’s race, the most successful in its history.
Norway’s Aukland brothers turned the JizerskÃ¡ 50 into a â€œfamily affairâ€. The elder, Anders, won convincingly in a time of 2:12:32. JÃ¶rgen finished third, 1:50.9 behind his winning brother.
Oskar SvÃ¤rd of Sweden, a two-time winner of the event, took second with a time of 2:12:57.4 The Nordic countries domination of the most popular Czech long distance cross-country skiing event was evident with 13 Scandinavian racers finishing in the top fifteen.
Anders Aukland, a former Norweigan National team star, was at the front from the start. â€œThe very fast beginning uphill took me by surprise,â€ Aukland confessed. â€œSvÃ¤rd and I worked together at the front, but I got ahead from the 30th kilometer.â€ Frode Estil, an Olympic Medalist and World Champion was disappointed, finishing tenth. But skiing legend BjÃ¶rn Daehlie was not troubled at all in 53rd.
He skied the JizerskÃ¡ 50 as a pleasant trip. â€œYou have some beautiful views here,â€ the famous Norwegian racer said. â€œI soon realized that the pace was too fast for me. In addition, I had put a bit too much wax on my skis, so I decided to stay in the back and have fun.â€
Stanislav ŘezÃ¡č, the best Czech long distance cross-country skier and two-time JizerskÃ¡ 50 winner could only watch the best racers sadly at the finish. He started but had to stop his attempt at the 18th kilometer. â€œI have not slept in two days, I have some intestinal viral disease and you know, you cannot battle the illness,â€ ŘezÃ¡č said.
â€œThere was no point ruining my health,â€ the Jablonec-based skier said. Viktor NovotnÃ½ from JesenÃk was the fastest Czech racer, finishing fifteenth.
Fischer/Craft racer Adam Swank was the top NOrth American skier, finishing 40th, +18:49.
Jenny Hannson of Sweden won the women’s race, with the former Junior World Champion Zuzana KocumovÃ¡ (CZE) finishing fourth. She skied part of the race with BjÃ¶rn Daehlie. â€œYou could see that he doesn’t practice any more, but he dug in two kilometers before the finish, and a man’s arms can do more than a woman’s after all,â€ KocumovÃ¡ smiled.
Russian Tatiana Jambaeva was second, just under a minute behind Hannson. The ageless Hilde Pedersen of Norway was third +1:25. Sharon Crawford was the top NOrth American woman in 136th.
But JizerskÃ¡ 50 is primarily a race for skiing enthusiasts. More than five thousand people participated in the three-day racing program.
The race’s â€˜founding father’, Ladislav MÃka who has participated in all races held to date, finished 753rd with a time of 3:33:10.3.