How much blueberry soup do you really need to serve for nearly 70,000 racers? And what makes this year’s race so special? We have answers!
Vasaloppet 2015 was fully booked in one and a half minutes when registration for the main event opened in March 2014. This means 15,800 registered participants for the main event. The record is 16,462 from 2010, but the race is now limited to 15,800 participants.
At Vasaloppet’s start field in Sälen is 52 tracks wide. The start field’s collective track lengths are as long as the whole race itself. In total, in the Vasalopps Arena between Sälen and Mora, there are during the Winter Week 2.550 kilometers of ski tracks.
The course record belongs to Madshus marathon racer Jörgen Brink (SWE), who finished the 90km course 3hours 38 minutes and 41 seconds in 2010.
Brink is also the only racer to win Vasaloppet three consecutive years in a row on modern skis, in 2010, 2011, and 2012, posting a true hat trick in the event. He is back on the start line this Sunday, chasing his fourth title. Read more about this year’s elite field
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Vasaloppet 2015 is the 91st Vasaloppet race. The first one was on Sunday March 19, 1922. Since then, only three races have been cancelled, those in 1932, 1934 and 1990. Vasaloppet is now 90 kilometers long.
Since 1948 the race has always been run on the first Sunday of March, but due to the World Ski Championships in Falun, Vasaloppet will be run on the second Sunday of March this year.
Watch the live web broadcast with English commentary starting at 7:45am Central European Time
Ladies love Vasaloppet
For the second year in a row, more than 2.000 ladies have registered for Vasaloppet, which means almost 15 percent female participants out on the course on Sunday.
In the whole of Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2015, with all eight races included, a full 40 percent of the participants are ladies.
The average age in Vasaloppet 2015 is 41.3 years (counting all participants, men and women). The youngest participants will turn 19 this year and the oldest will turn 89.
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Vasaloppet 2015 has participants from 40 different nations, including Sweden. That is as many nations as managed to qualify for the 2015 World Ski Championships in Falun, which were held from February 18-March 1.
About 3.700 of the registered participants come from other nations than Sweden, with Norway being the biggest international squad, fielding 1.170 racers this year. Denmark has 689, Finland 520, Czech Republic 311, Germany 245, Switzerland 140, Italy 128, Estonia 124, Iceland 65 and Russia 55.
In total, the Vasaloppet Winter Week 2015 has more than 7.000 international participants, and almost 70,000 skiers total.
So what about that soup?
Each participant in Vasaloppet’s Winter Week drinks almost a liter of blueberry soup. Combined in 2014, they drank 44.000 liters of blueberry soup.
But that’s not all: They also consumed 39.000 liters of sport drinks, 11.000 liters of vegetable bouillon and 4.000 liters of coffee at the seven food checkpoints. The 2014 participants also devoured 100.000 Vasaloppet buns, and after the finish some 6.000 liters of fruit juice. And for all this, 770.000 paper mugs were used, all of which were sorted at source for renewed paper packaging. You might be drinking out of the same cup this year…
Celebrities out on the course on Sunday:
* H.R.H Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who participates for the fourth year in a row.
* Helena Ekholm, three-time biathlon world champion.
* Melker Andersson, silver medalist from the world chef championships.
* Paolo Barilla, Italian race car driver and pasta king.
* Bernt Johansson, Olympic cycling gold medalist.
* Malin Ewerlöf, European Championship silver and 24 Swedish Championship gold medals in running.
* Emma Igelström, 4 World Championship golds and 12 European Championship golds in swimming.
* Richard Herrey, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest.
* Television presenter Rickard Olsson, broadcasting TV live from the course as he skis.
Feel like joining the fun?
Registration for Vasaloppet on March 6, 2016, and the other seven races in Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2016, opens at vasaloppet.se on March 22, 2015 at 09:00 Central European Time.
Participants who have completed three races (Vasaloppet or Öppet Spår) over the past six years (2010–2015) have priority, and can register between March 16 and 19.
But Vasaloppet is more than just skiing: This summer there is Vasaloppet’s Summer Week with CykelVasan (mountain bike), UltraVasan (running), and VasaStafetten (running relay race for 10-person teams) with, so far, over 18,000 registered participants. Perfect training goals for the next ski season!
1. John Kristian Dahl (NOR) Madshus Marathon Team/United Bakeries, 4.14:43
2. Johan Kjoelstad (NOR) Madshus Marathon Team/United Bakeries, 4.14:36
3. Jörgen Brink (SWE) Madshus Marathon Team/Team LeaseplanGO 4.14:38
1. Laila Kveli (NOR), Madshus, Team Centric, 4.31:57
2. Britta Johansson Norgren (SWE), Team SkiProAm, 4.33:06
3. Annika Löfström (SWE), Team SkiProAm, 4.33:48