Worldloppet season final – Birkebeinerrennet

Fjellet i sol. Photo courtesy Birkebeinerrennet

A fairly excellent day for the 74th Birkebeinerrenet with great snow conditions, a clear blue sky, and a bit of a breeze in the mountains. Some 25000 skiers took part in the events of race week, with 14858 skiers starting in the main race with an incredible 14609 finishing, a testimony to the weather and the excellent tracks.Nine Australians feature in the results list with James Haddon, currently living in Trondheim, setting the example with a 3:47:01 result. Joining James in the results were Mathew Pegg, Paul Swanston, Marg Hayes, Malcolm McKinnon, Geoffrey Peel, John Plaice, Nader El Sayeed, and Tryggve Salter.

It is appropriate here to acknowledge Marg Hayes and Malcolm McKinnon for their incredible efforts in completing thirteen Worldloppet races in one season. Both started with their twentieth Hoppet back in August, and, while Malcolm managed his other eleven races all in Europe, Marg included a round the world flight in the middle of the northern winter to fit in races in Japan, Canada and the USA without dropping a weekend’s racing.

To come back to the main event, at last it was Czech Stanislav Rezac’s turn to take top place on the podium from the blue and yellow brigade, but they were still there in force with Jorgen Brink second and Jerry Ahrlin third, with Anders Aukland the first Norwegian finishing in fourth place. Swiss Seraina Boner took the honours in the women’s class, Jenny Hannson (SWE) second and Sara Svendsen (NOR) third.

As predicted last week, it was going to be a tough ask for Fabio Santus to hang on the the lead in the FIS Marathon Cup, and Jerry Ahrlin’s second place was enough to secure the honours with 533 points ahead of Fabio on 515 and Stanislav on 500. Sandra Hansson (SWE) finished on top of the women’s standings with 557 points for the season, ahead of fellow Swede Susanne Nystrom on 502, while Swiss skier Seraina Boner’s 100 points this week was good enough to overtake Sabina Valbusa (ITA) and take third place.

Next stop on the Worldloppet circuit is back at Falls Creek on the fourth Saturday in August for Kangaroo Hoppet 21 .. the opening event of the 2011/2012 season.  See you there.

One Response

  1. Well done Marg & Malcolm. It was great to catch up with you in Germany. Trains are the best meeting place!

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