The record-breaking hot days in Norrbotten force the organizers of the Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet to shorten the distance by 20 km at the last minute. The world’s longest ski competition will be 200 km long this year.
On Friday morning, the competition jury made an official decision to shorten the course. Weather changes in combination with ice and water make the course unsafe for the participants.
”The snow has melted completely along parts of the regular course. We have worked hard to find alternatives that make it possible to prepare a course with full distance. But it is no longer possible. The month of March has been the historically warmest since the measurements started and in recent days the snow has melted extremely fast”, says race organizer Wolfgang Mehl.
The decision means that the turning point for the race is moved to Sågudden instead of Årrenjarka. This and further re-routing to avoid individual sections without snow makes the race shorter, with a distance of 200 km instead of 220 km.
“It is clearly a sad message to give. But what is positive is that the course we now prepare will offer fantastic conditions”, says Wolfgang Mehl.
The Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet starts at 05.00 on Saturday morning. With a shorter distance and expectations for a fast surface, the winner is predicted to finish after just over nine hours.
Updated information is announced regularly on the race’s website.