Dolomiten Lauf

35. The day I competed against Thomas Alsgaard

by Tristan Zloebl –

It was difficult to decide which experience I should tell. So far I have competed in 7 Worldloppet Races and every one is a story for itself. Either it is the “5-Weather-Race” in Iceland together with my dad, or the “broken shoe” race at Czech Republic together with my brother and so on.

But then I´ve remembered my first Worldloppet Race in 2008, the Dolomitenlauf in Austria – the race I have competed against Thomas Alsgaard.

At that time, I had just finished my career as a professional Cross-Country Skier and I did a lot of regional races. With having no “result pressure” it was really a lot of fun. Of course, I have registered for the Classic Race.

And then I have heard Thomas Alsgaard was taking part to the Skating Race. My hero!!! He is the reason why I have started to learn Cross Country Skiing. Because of him my dad was travelling with me to the World Championship in 1999, just to get a picture with me and him. What an exciting moment for a 12-year-old!

I had to compete in that race as well. I have started my career with the Olympic victories of Thomas Alsgaard and I will finish it with a race together with my personal Sports-Hero.

But two races of 42km within 24hours? Obertilliach is a tough track with quite some altitude. I got a little bit scared as I didn’t train that much anymore. But I was willing to get my name on the same result list as Thomas Alsgaard. I would do whatever it took for it.

But the fate did want to proof me one last time. For the classic race I did have crappy skis, a lot of double poling. And in 2008 nobody did talk about a double poling technique like nowadays. Everybody can understand I was standing with sore arms and a painful back at the start of the Sakting Race. But I just thought on running together with the Olympic Champion who had written Cross Country History. Just a few minutes to the start, I got nervous as I couldn’t see him. My brain started to work, asking questions, my back hurt, WHY AM I DOING THIS?? Simultaneously adrenaline was pumping, I got warm for the race and finally the starting signal.

I guess this was one of my fastest racing starts. The first minutes was quite hectic, and I totally forgot about Thomas Alsgaard. But then I realized some skiers had been overtaking my chasing group – AND THERE HE IS! And a small gap! Maybe it has not been my fairest move, but I had to do it. I was running in the slipstream of my big idol Thomas Alsgaard – what a glorious moment in my life!

Today I would say this is definitely a moment Worldloppet stands for. We are all on the same level with the same goal, to live an active lifestyle and to compete the race.

< Back