Last Sunday, it was time for Marcialonga (ITA), the fourth of the total of ten competitions in this season’s FIS Marathon Cup (FMC). More than 5,000 racers participated, including 3,200 foreigners of whom 1,700 from Norway, and estimated 70,000 people cheered the athletes on along the track. Among the Norwegians, two of the country’s biggest stars Bjoern Daehlie and Johann Olav Koss, together the winners of twelve Olympic gold medals, raced as Right To Play participants, promoting the international humanitarian organization working to create a healthier and safer world through the power of sport and play (visit http://www.righttoplay-ski.com for more).
After his victory, Anders Aukland (NOR) has grown his lead in the overall rankings to 72 points over Marco Cattaneo of Italy (208 points). Jerry Ahrlin of Sweden is now third, just three points behind Cattaneo.
Last weekend’s 35th edition of the Marcialonga was held in spring-like conditions.
Among the ladies, it became a Swedish sweep of the podium at the Marcialonga. On top, Jenny Hansson celebrated the victory ahead of teammates Elin Ek and Susanne Nystrom. In the rankings, Russian Tatiana Jambaeva and Hansson are delivering a tight duel, both with two victories and currently just 30 points apart (280 vs. 250). Jambaeva was best in the two skating races, La Sgambeda (ITA) and Dolomitenlauf (AUT), while Hansson has triumphed in the two classical races Jizerská padesátka (CZE) and Marcialonga. Elin Ek ranks 3rd at present.
With the 36th König-Ludwig-Lauf (GER) this coming weekend, the FMC will reach its season half-way point. In Oberammergau (GER), warm weather, including temperatures of up to +15C, and the dreaded Föhn that have dominated since the beginning of January have also made it impossible to carry out the 36th König-Ludwig-Lauf on the original course. However, thanks to great efforts by the organizers, the event will take place on a 21km alternative course and the race distances will be 21km and 42km, instead of the planned 23km and 50km. Thereafter in February, the FMC is scheduled to continue with La Transjurassienne (FRA) and Tartu Marathon (EST), weather and snow situation permitting. For more information and regular updates, visit http://www.worldloppet.com