The lack of snow forces the Ski Classics event Jizerska 50 to be creative: The 50km marathon will be run as 15 laps on a 3.3km course replacing the original 50km course.
The traditional Czech ski marathon Jizerska 50 is the third event in the 2016 Ski Classics long-distance race series, and despite the severe snow drought, the 50km marathon will take place as scheduled on Sunday. But, because the original 50-kilometer course is not skiable, the race organizers have come up with an entirely different plan: one that honors the history of the race and treats racers to a brutal competition.
The first Jizerska race took place on the last Saturday in January 1968 when 52 competitors participated and ran along the Jizera Mountains from Bedrichov to Korenow and back to Bedrichov. In 1970, the participating field included 15 members of expedition Peru 1970, who four months later were buried by a rockslide under Huascaran.
In honor of these men, the 2016 Jizerska on Sunday will be a 50-kilometer race consisting of 15 laps: one lap for each of the expedition member who was killed in 1970, as a tribute to the founders of the race. Each lap is 3.3km long, for a total of 50km.
“We are delighted to finding this solution this year in order to pay tribute to the history (of the race), and also being able to create an extremely tough 50km race in which the winners will be real cross-country heroes,” says David Nilsson, CEO of the Ski Classics, said in a press release.
Due to the new layout of the event and participants racing 15 laps each, the organizers have determined that both elite men and elite women will start at the same time, at 0830 (CET) on Sunday.
Prior to the Jizerska, Madshus marathon racers are dominating the standings: John Kristian Dahl (NOR) is currently in first place for the overall champion bib, Eugeniy Dementiev (RUS) in second place and Johan Kjølstad (NOR) in third place, while Stian Hoelgaard (NOR) is leading the Ski Classics youth competition.
The skiers are excited to race again after more than a month’s break. The 2016 Ski Classics started with a double-header in Italy on December 5 and 6, featuring a 15km team prologue, followed by a 24km classic distance race.