First race: 19th March 1922, 90 km, 119 participants
Highest number of participants in main race: limit of entries 15800, entries & finisher for 2012, 15806 entries and 13770 finisher entries & finisher
Worldloppet membership: founding member
Vasaloppet’s historical background stretches almost 500 years back in time, more precisely to 1520, at a time when Sweden was under Danish rule. Gustav Eriksson Vasa, a Swedish noble opposed to the Danes, was a fugitive hunted throughout Dalarna by soldiers of the Danish King Kristian II, but sheltered and protected by the people of Dalarna. After many adventurous episodes, Gustav Vasa was finally elected king of a free Sweden on 6th June 1523. Four hundred years later, in 1922, Anders Pers, from Mora and editor of a local newspaper, wrote about the contemporary interest in skiing, and linked this to Gustav Eriksson Vasa’s flight on skis from Mora towards Norway in 1521. He also launched the idea of a commemorative Vasaloppet between Sälen and Mora. After some discussion in the press IFK Mora’s Board of Directors on March 5th decided to organise a trial race. The national newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, donated 1000 crowns to the organisers thereby providing a financial backing to run the first Vasaloppet on Sunday 19th March 1922. In total there were 136 entries via telegraph and telephone and at the start there were 119 skiers. Ernst Alm, from Norsjö, won the 90 km race in a time of 7 hours 32 minutes and 49 seconds.
Vasaloppets course, Vasalopps Arena, as locals call it, lies between Sälen and Mora villages of Dalarna region and is framed by small chalet villages and open pine forests, crossed by gravel tracks and paths beaten out by generation after generation making their way between the villages. Vasalopps Arena is very far from wild football hooligans, VIP reception lounges, and flashing neon signs with the latest match results. This arena is something completely different. Over the years it has become an important part of the national soul, containing a lure, a challenge, and the promise of adventure and a lifetime memory. It has declared 90 kilometres long and 10 metres wide nature reserve. It is in truth a unique nature reserve well worth a visit in both the summer and winter seasons.
HOW TO GET TO VASALOPPET
By plane: Mora-Siljan Airport has daily several flight connections from Stockholm, Arlanda.
By train: There are regular daily train services between Mora and Stockholm, Arlanda airport. Train ride takes ca 3,5 h.
By car: The road connections within Sweden are extremely good. Direct busses run from Stockholm to Mora and from Malmö via Gothenburg to Sälen.
Distances: From Stockholm to Mora, about 330 kilometer
INTERESTING TO KNOW ABOUT
From 1922 to 2012:
Vasaloppet Week consists of seven races over 10 days. Since 1922, more than 1 million skiers have crossed the finishing line under the motto “In the footsteps of our forefathers for the victories of tomorrow.
-About 98,000 litres of blueberry soup, sports drinks, gruel and coffee is consumed at seven food stations. And also 100,000 Vasaloppet buns!
-495,526 Vasaloppet skiers have crossed the finishing line, together the equivalent of 1,113 journeys around the world or 58 return trips to the moon.
-The amount of energy that skiers generate during a Vasaloppet would be enough to light 221,000 60 watt light bulbs!
-New record time in Vasaloppet 2012 by Jörgen Brink, 3 hr 38 min 41 sec.
-Nils "Mora Nisse" Karlsson from Mora has won Vasaloppet nine times.
-Bengt Eriksson from Sälen is the one who has done most races: 59 races without a break.
Interesting places to visit in Vasaloppet region are:
-Zorn Museum and a visit to the residence of the famous painter Anders Zorn
-Nusnäs where they manufacture and paint the typical wooden horses
-Santa Claus and his elves who live just outside Mora in Gesunda
-Northern Europe's largest bear park in OrsaRegistration form »Previous results »Tips for travelling » (if you don't want to travel alone... have look at the IAWLS page)