On June 15, 2012 Tartu, Estonia, will host the Worldloppet Annual General Meeting where the Demino Ski Marathon will have a chance to enter the Worldloppet elite ski series. Alexander Ignatiev, Demino Ski Marathon Race Director, thinks that in mathematic expression the marathon has 99% chance to be among 15 Worldloppet brothers.
In Tartu, delegation from the Demino Ski Marathon is going to show a short video film, created by local TV Company, about the marathon and its organization and history, and a presentation devoted to the main aspects of improvement based on experience of six Demino Ski Marathons. In fact, the most complicated part of the presentation will be a discussion taking up questions of infrastructure, logistics, security measures, and so on. It will be a real exam for the Demino Ski Marathon Organizing Committee.
This year the Internet has been boiling about the Demino Ski Marathon organizational issues, and there has been an opinion that the marathon is not yet ready to knock on Worldloppet’s door. But the main wave of complaints let up when Angelo Corradini published his article about the marathon. He took part in the marathon and got a new experience – he did not expect to see Russian skier as racers. In Europe, North America, and Australia marathon skiers are first of all tourists who are aimed to finish the race and not to be among the top skiers on the podium. Angelo Corradini compared Russian skiers with Russian drivers with their hot temper, they change cars to skis but the temper stays the same.
During the race many skiers saw the atmosphere of the race as a mistake of the organizers. But now it is quite clear that the atmosphere mostly depends on Russian mentality.
As the Demino Ski Marathon is the only candidate to Worldloppet, great work must be done to attract foreign skiers. The scale of work includes not only issues of infrastructure but also tourism development in the region. The Organizing Committee should provide high quality services that will meet international requirements.
At present the Organizing Committee and a travel agency is working on a program for the skiers and guests of the Demino Ski Marathon. The aim of the program is not only introducing the region and the city, their history and traditions, but also creation of brand-new logistics.
There are still a lot of problems to be solved including registration of the skiers to the race and design of a new course layout. The main strategy of Worldloppet is the race from one point to another or at least a one-lap course. Unfortunately, the course of the Demino Ski Marathon is closed by the Volga River and the road Yaroslavl-Rybinsk, and it seems difficult to have a one-lap course. The Organizing Committee has to cooperate with local and regional authorities to find a good solution. Taking Finnish Saariselka resort as an example, an ideal solution could be building a bridge across the road. But the construction will need a lot of paper work.
The Organizing Committee is ready to take an exam at the Worldloppet Annual General Meeting and they believe that their experience and work of the previous Demino Ski Marathon team will yield good results.