The competition track for this year’s Nordenskiöldsloppet cross-country ski race was inaugurated during Jokkmokk’s Market. Jokkmokks Allmänning has supported this competition since its birth through both financial backing and practical activities that benefit the race. Christian Rimpi, manager of Jokkmokks Allmänning, is enthusiastic about all types of initiatives that benefit the community and tells us more about the event.
The race takes place between Jokkmokk/Purkijaur- Kvikkjokk/Årrenjarka-Jokkmokk. The total distance is 220 km which makes this the world’s longest cross-country skiing competition and Ultra ski race in modern history. The origins of this tough ski race can however be traced back to the 19th Century, when 10 hardy competitors completed the same route in 1884. The winner of that race was Pavva ”Paul-Lasse” Nilsson Tourda with a finishing time of 21 hours and 22 minutes. After the race, Nilsson Tourda and the other participants were proclaimed by the national press as “The Skiing Superheroes” for this feat of achievement. The track reopened again for the first time in 2016 to give 323 willing cross-country skiers the opportunity to challenge this century old record.
Why has Jokkmokks Allmänning chosen to sponsor a ski race?
“The Allmänning has a long tradition of supporting different types of initiatives in the community through financial means and specialist knowledge. The Nordenskiöldsloppet is a wonderful event that generates positive headlines for Jokkmokk, our beautiful forests and promotes a sustainable countryside.”
In which ways do you support the competition?
“We have, for example, assisted with the necessary paperwork to co-ordinate with all the various landowners who are involved along the route of the race. We also ensure that an inspection of the entire course of the race is conducted prior to the start pistol. My function in this role is therefore “Course Manager”. The board of Jokkmokks Allmänning have approved that I can be absent from my regular duties for a certain amount of time, so I can dedicate these hours to the competition. The Allmänning have also donated money to support the competition.”
Have you ever considered taking part in the race yourself?
“(laughing) Not really, although my competitive streak always appears when it approaches the start of the race. I honestly possess a little bit of self-awareness. It is my wife that is the best skier in the family!”
Read more about the race at https://redbullnordenskioldsloppet.se/en
Source: Backman, Olle ”Nordenskiöldsloppet 1884 – historien om världens hårdaste skidtävling”