Project Ylläs-Levi 2018

This season, we will repeat the success from last year's Project Ylläs-Levi, with candidates from three countries working towards competing in the Visma Ski Classics competition in Ylläs-Levi, Finland.

 

Meet the brave faces of the Ylläs-Levi challenge!

Eeva Penttilä  and Burch Gürler from Sweden, Benedikte Friis and Robin Laumb from Norway, Jani Vertanen and Heidi Korhonen from Finland has accepted the ultimate Visma Ski Classics Challenge! From January we will follow them on the journey towards becoming long distance skiers at Yllas-Levi on April 14.

Burch Gürler

Country:
Sweden

Experience with skiing:
Almost none, went for skiing a couple of times as a child.

Why did you apply?
My initial thought was that the Ylläs-Levi project could be a great opportunity for me to try something new and at the same time get back in great shape. I would also like to say that the video from last year’s project got me more excited and therefore decided to apply.

What are your expectations?
I expect many early mornings and a lot of lactic acid both during training and on race day.

Do you have a motto/slogan?
I admire hard work, dedication and perseverance

Benedikte Friis

Country:
Norway

Experience with skiing:
I have limited experience with cross country skiing. I was introduced to it several years ago, and since then, I have enjoyed it once a year, for Easter. After I moved to Norway last year, I purchased my own pair of skies, which I am still trying to master.  

Why did you apply?
Visma Ski Classics has intrigued me since I started at Visma -  February this year - and I have thought about applying since my first day. I am amazed by the enthusiasm behind the sponsorship and the empowerment of a #VismaActive lifestyle.

I believe that Project Ylläs-Levi offers a unique opportunity to learn cross country skiing in an inspiring and professional environment, while challenge myself both mentally and physically, in a 67 km long race. Something, I believe, I would never master without being part of this project - and this is why I applied.

What are your expectations?
I expect to have a lot of fun but the race to be challenging, hard, and unlike everything else I have ever done before. No matter how the race will turn out, I expect to get the experience of a lifetime, to get to know inspiring people, and to hopefully, look like a Norwegian in the slopes by April ;).

Do you have a motto/slogan?
If you never try, you never know.

Eeva Penttilä

Country:
Sweden

Experience with skiing:
Skiing has been my hobby since I was small, but I never joined any skiing club or participated in any skiing competitions. However, I have been several times on winter vacation to Ylläs. :)

Why did you apply:
It was a great opportunity for me to apply, since there are so many things I like combined - challenges, winter, skiing, Ylläs...

What are your expectations?
It will be tough to go through many hours of training (and skiing around and around an indoor skiing track, if we don’t get any snow in Stockholm). But when the competition day finally arrives, I really look forward to testing my limits and successfully completing the race! The training will also be much more fun when doing it together with colleagues from Visma.

Do you have a motto/slogan?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.”

 

Robin Laumb

Country:
Norway

Experience with skiing:
I loathed cross country skiing when I was a kid. Lucky for me, my kids love skiing, so I have been promoting skiing to them. As a result, I have been out on a few shorter ski trips to hone my skills (whenever I am lucky enough to have them), even by myself!

Why did you apply?
"Why not?" was my first thought. I have really missed out on some great opportunities because I have been to lazy to challenge myself. I didn't want to miss this one too!

What are your expectations?
I hope I will be able to finish the whole track without to much complaining and regret while I'm doing it. I sincerely hope for the added motivation to get me up and out more often then in and down (into the nice, warm, cozy sofa...) and that I will continue to take the experiences with me. If I can do this, I can do anything! 

Do you have a motto/slogan?
"Fra dvask til rask!"

 

Jani Vertanen

Country: Finland

Experience with skiing:
I have skied like 25 year ago when I was at school. So basically I have to start from the basics. 

Why did I apply:
Sometimes it is good to challenge yourself. I was at Levi at spring 2017 and saw these professionals skiing. I said to my colleagues that I want to ski next year. And here we go.

My expectations:
I have only one goal: I have do this under 7 hours. I want to be faster than my colleague was last year.

Motto:
The best weapon in the race is self-confidence and equipment.

Heidi Korhonen

Country: Finland

Experience with skiing:
More or less zero after 6th grade P.E lessons.

Why did I apply:
It's always nice to challenge yourself with things that are a little bit out of your comfort zone. Winter has never been my favorite season so finding a winter hobby would make it more interesting. I didn't really like skiing - or to be honest any sports - as a child and only some years ago I found the joy of sports and physical challenges through crossfit. Skiing is a quite technical sport so it is very cool to get trained by professionals.

My expectations:
I expect this to be a fun and memorable project. I know there will be a few challenges ahead, but I will overcome them (big hills being my biggest concern :D). I have never been above the polar circle, so I'm very eager to see and ski in real Lapland! I'm also looking forward to meeting other participants and share this experience with them!