Rovaniemi 150 Arctic Winter Race 2014 – 14.-16. February 2014

28 May 2013 07:33
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Press Release

Organized by Polarguide and Logistics, Rovaniemi 150 is a winter ultramarathon in Finish Lapland which hosts three different categories: on foot, by bike and by ski.

After two successful editions (2012 and 2013), Rovaniemi 150 engines” for the third edition next 2014. The race starts and finishes in Rovaniemi, main Finnish Lapland city.

Inspired by the spirit of such competitions based in Alaska and Canada, Rovaniemi 150 is the first, and only one, ultramarathon of its kind in Europe. The maximum time allowed to complete the 150 kilometre long track is 42 hours, and along the way participants must sign in at the checkpoints.

The track runs through forests and across frozen lakes and rivers. The participants may travers either on foot or by bicycle or by skis, and they must carry all the required gear with them at all times and can’t have any outside support

As a new style competition in Europe, Rovaniemi 150 intends to be, as well, the initiation to winter races. To participate on it is not necessary to have experience in other winter races but people who participate must have experience in marathons or long distances races or long distance traverses or winter mountain traverses and it is strongly recommended to have experience in winter bivouacs.

First edition (2012) track conditions were very bad and only three participants, out of 14, finnished. Last winter (2013) were 38 participants which start (out off the 40 that were registred) from twelve countries and 13 scratch showing how tough the competition is.

Next edition will be open for disabled athletes (maximum of five). To facilitate their participation, the organisation will adapt the rules for each particular case.

The race starts and finishes in Rovaniemi and runs through the wilderness around the city. The whole track is a mixture of b-class roads, single lane roads, winter roads, summer roads, trails and also frozen rivers and lakes. There is a marked route and mandatory checkpoints. The trail is marked with stakes, plastic ribbon and reflective tape. A few days before the race starts, all trails will be previously tracked by snowmobile to facilitate the passage. Even with this the weather have a big influence in the final track conditions. So participants have to be prepared for everything. That means that in case of soft snow bikers have to push their bikes and runners need snowshoes.

As new in Europe it should be noted that the kind of bikes used to ride on the snow are called Fat-bikes due the bit fat tyres they use. Not common, it’s possible to find these bikes in Europe.