Showtime – Snowtime!
The 2015-16 Worldloppet season is underway and the Kangaroo Hoppet on Saturday is the third race on the schedule, expecting 1,000 racers from 26 nations.
Over 1,000 skiers from 26 nations are gearing up for the 25th annual Kangaroo Hoppet in Australia, the third of 21 Worldloppet races this season.
“25 years is a wonderful achievement for the event,” said Kangaroo Hoppet Chair Allan Marsland.
“There are so many fantastic memories that have been created by people from around the world that we hope will continue for many years to come.”
330 of the participants will ski the main 42-kilometer event, about half of the racers are from overseas, and the lineup includes Olympians as well as recreational skiers.
The Kangaroo Hoppet was first organized in 1979, when it was called the Australian Birkebeiner and was a 21-km classic race. The Kangaroo Hoppet has been a Worldloppet event since 1991, and is also the last of the three Worldloppet events in the Southern Hemisphere this season.
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The 2015-16 Worldloppet season started with the Ushuaia Loppet in Argentina on August 8. The 42-kilometer skate race was an official part of the Worldloppet schedule for the first time this year, and featured the best snow conditions for the area in 15 years. Last weekend, the Worldloppet moved to New Zealand for the Merino Muster, and this weekend, the show is on Australian snow.
After the Kangaroo Hoppet on August 22, the Worldloppet season takes a break until Vasaloppet China, a 50-km classic race, which takes place on January 4, 2016.
The Worldloppet series features the most prestigious cross-country skiing events from all five continents, and each country can only host one Worldloppet race.
All Worldloppet events are open to both amateurs and professional skiers, and all participants – recreational tourers and elite athletes alike – ski the exact same distance on the same course and with the same start and finish lines.
Some of the Worldloppet events, such as the Swedish Vasaloppet, Norwegian Birkebeiner and the Marcialonga in Italy, are also part of the Ski Classics long-distance championships series.