Tag Archives: Svalbard Skimaraton

It’s a marathon and a sprint: Participants make hasty adjustments due to airline strike, poor snow for 27th Svalbard Skimaraton


Jenny and Johan Rosendahl had to quickly and at great cost rebook their airline tickets from Stockholm to Longyearbyen to make it Saturday’s Svalbard Skimaraton due to the Scandinavian Airlines strike that began the day before. But minutes before they both set off from the starting line of a course that also went through hasty last-minute changes, they said the hassle and expense was worth it.

“Of course,” Johan Rosendahl said. “Now we’re here, and it will be an adventure and a memory for life.”

STRIKE: AT SAS: Pilot walkout has ‘great consequences’ for ski marathon, may severely affect supermarket and others


A pilot strike that began at midnight at Scandinavian Airlines at midnight Friday will significant impact participation in this year’s Svalbard Skimaraton, although the race will go on as scheduled, and could severely affect shipments of fresh food to Svalbardbutikken if the walkout extends into next week, according to local officials.

MARATHON MAYHEM: Svalbard Skimaraton hastily relocates due to awful snow conditions; airline strike may keep many from participating


This year’s Svalbard Skimaraton, the archipelago’s largest single-day event of the year, is guaranteed to be one of the most adventurous ever as organizers are hastily relocating the course for Saturday’s race to a never-before-used path along the shoreline and into the mountains across the channel from Longyearbyen, due to above-freezing temperatures making the normal course into a glacial valley non-navigable.

But the adventure aspect may also involve misery for some hopeful racers as a threatened strike by Scandinavian Airlines pilots starting at midnight Friday may keep a sizeable percentage of participants from reaching Svalbard on the day most non-locals travel to the event.

ALERT: SAS STRIKE STARTING FRIDAY? Pilot walkout may halt Svalbard flights on eve of ski marathon, adding further misfortune to biggest one-day event of the year


Pilots at Scandinavian Airlines are threatening to go on strike at midnight Friday, which could result in cancelled flights for a large number of the nearly 1,000 people expected to participate Saturday in the Svalbard Skimaraton, the archipelago’s largest one-day event of the year.

A picture worth a thousand wards: Ski marathon set to top 1,000 racers for first time; start featured live online


Signs of the times: This year’s Svalbard Skimaraton is expected to surpass 1,000 racers for the first time ever, all of whom will have to walk an extra 200 to 300 meters into the valley where the start line is due to poor snow/ice conditions closer to the road. But non-participants who don’t feel like making the trek can watch it all happen live from the comfort of their laptops or phones. 

Saturated spirits: 25th Svalbard Skimaraton marred by rainstorm, but participants find the silver linings

Kari Jasinski said she wasn’t able to train because she’s been sick the past four weeks and the weather put a damper on participating in her first Svalbard Skimaraton. But even though she registered for the competitive class, ultimately the experience is about more than how fast she finishes or even the race itself.

Silver lining: Grey skies, optimistic mood for 25th Svalbard Skimaraton (UPDATE: race start delayed until 11:30 a.m.)


It started in 1993 as a small, casual race, although it was won one by one of the most famous cross-country skiers in Norway, Oddvar Brå, two years after he ended a 20-year international racing career. It grew steadily in size until race officials felt compelled to limit registration due to concerns about logistics and keeping track of participants on the course. But several years ago that got tossed out as organizers were able to rely on a large group of volunteers who come together every year to stage what’s by far the biggest annual one-day event in Svalbard.

Photo: It all depends what the meaning of ‘winning’ is

Caroline Landmark and Jorge Cuadrado Reyes pass the starting line of the 23rd annual Svalbard Skimaraton several minutes after a multitude of world-class racers and other competitors Saturday morning. The pair’s late start, which had something to do with a “little trouble with the bus,” ensured they avoided the crowds resulting from a record 900 participants during much of the 42-kilometer race through Todalen. Johan Kjølstad was the overall winner with a time of two hours, five minutes and 36.8,seconds, beating Øystein Pettersen’s second-place finish in 2:07:16. Astrid Øyreslind was the women’s winner with a time of 2:26:39. Participants described conditions as ideal, with temperatures slightly below freezing, clear skies, little or no wind, and stable snow.

Random weirdness for the week of April 28, 2015


If people sense Russia isn’t exactly buckling under the heat as other nations are becoming increasingly hostile due its Arctic aggressiveness, it’s because they’ve got a remarkable history of concealing its woes and ambitions. We’re not sure which of the following is more mind-boggling: that a fire in the Pyramiden mine was still burning 18 months after it started, or that Russia kept it a secret from Norway for 30 years.