A lack of snow in the hills and forests above Oslo hasn’t allowed organizers to prepare the traditional trails for this weekend’s long, popular ski race known as Holmenkollmarsjen. As a consolation, skiers will instead be able to race over the professionals’ course up at Holmenkollen itself.
Only 500 of those registered have opted to sit out this year’s race and transfer their start numbers to next year. The other roughly 3,000 eager skiers are more than willing to head up to Holmenkollen, where the race usually ends, and race around the trails used just last weekend in World Cup competition.
Instead of the full 54 kilometers, the main race will be shortened to 40, while the “short” version of the race will be reduced from 25 to 20 kilometers. That’s still quite a distance, and organizers warned that the route at Holmenkollen is “tougher” than the traditional route, with steeper uphills and downhills.
“We are still ready to deliver a ski race of highest quality, and look forward to invite racers to Holmenkollen,” Emilie Nordskar, spokesperson for the local ski association Skiforeningen told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). She said the association had generally received “only positive feedback” for the decision to move the race instead of cancelling it.
“Many have told us they think it will be fun to ski over the tracks, and measure their ability against the elite skiers who skied over them last weekend,” Nordskar said. Norwegians won both the men’s 50-kilometer– and women’s 30-kilometer– World Cup races.