January 25th we went to Italy to participate in Marcialonga. I travelled with the long runners from LYN-ski Joar Thelen, Sondre Grønvold and Vetle Juliussen, and our driver and handyman Frank Jernberg from Bull Ski & Kajakk sport store. We travelled from Norway to Munich, and then by car to hotel Alpino in Verana. The hotel room had a view to the last leg in Tour de Ski “monsterbakken”. At the hotel we were well received by the hosts. They do their best to ensure that we and the other ski enthusiast have a great time during our stay.
Fantastic job with the trails
Friday morning, we drove early to start in Mazzin (because of shortened course), and went through half the trail. The organizers are doing a fantastic job with the trails. It is amazing that the track can be so firm (probably because of freezing temperature) when it is very little sign of winter outside the trail. Frank picked us up at the ski jumping arena after the trip.
For lunch we had pizza (most days) and for dinner we ate various and tasty 3-course menus at the hotel. On Sunday evening, they had made a special 4-course “Marcialonga menu” to celebrate.
Forgot the skis back home
On Saturday, it was time for testing skis. I had left behind a pair of Madshus ski back home in Norway and those I had with me was not suited for the cold snow. Luckily, Vetle had a pair I could borrow!
We finished with a small tour from the Olympic stadium in Val di Fiemme and down the last part of the trail. After I got through the first part of the infamous hill and to the finish, I considered the last preparations with skis was done.
Double pooling, fantastic atmosphere and great end result
Sunday morning, we were all very excited. We drove to start 6:15 am to avoid too much queue. The guys started 9:00 am and I 9:15 am. As this was my first year, I had start number 1992. I joined my group 45 minutes before start to get a good position and kept warm by jogging at the place. From the start, I tried to double pool past as many as possible during the 57 km long trip. The body felt good and the track suited me well. I felt the ambition level increased.
When the last well known uphill came, it was time to use my last energy, but at the same time trying to enjoy the great atmosphere up to the finish line in Cavalese. In total, I ended up as number 23 among the women and as number 8 in my class. My time was 2:51:09. I’m very happy about the result! The boys ended up on respectively 40th, 59th and 60th place. The feelings were mixed among the boys, some more satisfied than others.
See you next year
Monday we went up to Lavaze to get the last training on Italian snow for this time. We ate pizza in the city and dinner in the evening before departure back to Norway Tuesday morning. Thank you for a wonderful trip and this is a race I definitely attend next year (hopefully starting in women elite). Now I will charge up to the Visma Ski Classics race Cortina-Toblach.