After several cancellations last season we now can look back to the winter 2016/17 and conclude the season satisfied again. 18 out of 20 destinations were able to carry out their races, more than 30 Worldloppet main events took place, several new race formats were implemented, anniversaries were celebrated and the numbers of participants climbed up.
New competitions, more skiers
With more than 110.000 skiers this season (among them names like Dario Cologna, Justyna Kowalczyk, Petter Northug, Martin Sundby, Ilja Chernousow ...) the Worldloppet circuit is growing again. One of the reasons for this are the new race formats the organizers implemented, for example, the Fredagsbirken, the Norwegian Brikebeinerrennet in skating technique, or the Finlandia-Hiihto100, a 100 km long competition. After a succeeded try-out, these events will be part of the Worldloppet calendar from now on.
Also, the races which were canceled last year came back and performed strongly: The König Ludwig Lauf, La Transjurasienne & Tartu Maraton, for example, didn't have an easy life but carried out great competitions. Especially La Transjurasienne with even more starters in the main race than the years before.
Cancellations & new Masters
But also this year we were not immune against the mild winter. Already the first race of the season, the Argentinian Ushuaialoppet had to be canceled, similarly to the American Birkebeiner, where the organizers came up with an interesting idea to compensate the missing race: Thousands of sportsmen changed their skis to their running shoes and enjoyed a run together.
Despite those cancellations, we can congratulate 185 new Masters in 2016/17. This means we soon have the 4500th Master title to celebrate.
In 2017 we were also celebrating two anniversaries: The Russian Demino Skimarathon was held for the 10th time and Poland's Bieg Piastow had its 40th anniversary.
After the season is before the season! The calendar for the next winters is already fixed and preliminary calendar of 2019 will be confirmed in June, so you can start planning your next travels to ski around the world.
Australian reward for Allan Marsland
Previous Kangaroo Hoppet Race Director, and current Chair, mr. Allan Marsland was recently awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) at a ceremony by Governor of Victoria, ms. Linda Dessau. The ceremony took place at Government House in Melbourne.
OAM’s are awarded to Australians that have given exemplary community and social services for no material gain. OAM’s are very prestigious in Australia and are generally awarded through decades of commitment.
The OAM was bestowed upon Allan for services to cross-country skiing and community involvement through a number of associations related to the Kangaroo Hoppet. This kind of recognition is a nice reflection of importance of the cross-country skiing and to the work that all Worldloppet race organizers throughout the world are doing.
Congratulations Allan from all your colleagues and skiers around the World!
Worldloppet family in numbers
With 39 winters Worldloppet family has grown impressive.
By the standing of May 1st 2017 there are 18764 Worldloppet passports issued to skiers from 50 different nations. The highest numbers of passports are owned by Americans (12%), Germans (11%) and Russians (10%).
This winter we had pleasure to congradulate 185 new Worldloppet Masters. The overall number of achieved master titles is now 4498. Skiers from 35 nationalities are represented in this list. The new nation is Iceland who have now its first Worldloppet Master.
Over the years have been most active in completing their goals Germans (15% of titles), Finnish (10%) and Swiss (10%).
The Global Skiers list has not growed as fas as we have anticipated, however there are now 230 skiers from 23 nations. The most titles have gone to Finland (19%).