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Swedish Vasaloppet

Swedish Vasaloppet

Tue, Mar  28, 2006 - By Jeff Kalember

Now that the snow is nearly gone I thought I'd bring it back with some pics from Sweden. We (Jeff Hervela, Brian Gee, and myself) left Wednesday March 1st for the Swedish Vasaloppet. Arrived in Stockholm Thursday morning.  Train to Mora on Friday. Watched the women's world cup 45km race - Norway 1-2 - on Saturday. 90km Vasaloppet on Sunday (8 degrees and 4 inches of new snow makes for slow classic skiing !! ouch !). Back to Stockholm Monday, home Tuesday.
 
A few things we learned. 

  1. As Christian Byar said "Classic skiing is alive and well in Europe." We saw one skater when we were out skiing on  Friday and Saturday.  When skiers heard we were from the USA they said "Oh, you're skaters."  Or, "You are from the home of David Letterman."
     
  2. 90% of the Swedes speak English.
     
  3. Mora has amazing trails.
     
  4. Seems like 90% of the population has skied the Vasaloppet.  People would hear us speaking English and ask why we  were in Sweden.  When we said the Vasaloppet they'd add "Oh, I've done it 4 times."  To them its a rite of passage  or something.
      
  5. Fans line the entire 90km cheering you on.
      
  6. You get to the finish line saying "I'm never doing this again."  But, then the next week you begin making plans for your next one.
      
  7. Blueberry soup is actually very good after 40 miles of skiing.
      
  8. The Vasaloppet/Swedish countryside looks like the UP.
      
  9. Expect a 70+ year old Swedish male to pass you on all uphills. 

Everyone has to do this race in your ski career sometime.
 
Annotated pics here for all to view - click on the thumbnails to enlarge - click on the PAGE button (4 pages) to view a different page: http://pasty.com/pcam/albux12?&page=1  
 
JK