Fossavatn Ski Marathon

8. After-ski party in (n)Iceland

by Petter Soleng Skinstad

My first visit to Isafjördur and Fossavatn Ski Marathon was in 2014. This was also my first visit to Iceland and a country I had heard so many nice things about. Let’s just say (n)Iceland was even better than we imagined!

With me on my trip to Iceland I had a friend of my family, Øyvind Wennersberg, who happens to be one of the world’s fastest long-distance skiers in his age group. This year, he won his age group in both Marcialonga an Vasaloppet, and he ended up 4th in Fossavatn Ski Marathon in 2014.

After one of the most beautiful events I have ever been part of, a race I happened to win, we had a lot to celebrate. The race had been amazing with warm spring weather, perfect klister conditions and smiling organizers all around the tracks.

The race in Isafjördur is something to remember, but so is the party! This might be the only race I know where every participant is at the same party, and this makes it extra special. We were treated like kings from our fellow-Viking ancestors and the party was amazing.

During the party, I decided to go get a few ski hats for some local juniors. Eager to get back to the party I left our keycard inside the room, which I did not realize until we arrived back at the hotel in the early morning hours. At that point everyone else had gone to bed and the reception was closed, so we could not get in.

After a little quick thinking we decided that I should climb up on Øyvind’s shoulders and up the balcony above the reception. I just managed to get up there, and luckily the door to the second floor was open. From there I went down to the reception to let Øyvind in.

We still did not have a key, but we found a bowl full of returned keycards. After a few minutes of testing almost every card, we finally got back into our room. We laughed a lot before we went to bed and have laughed a lot when telling this story to other ski friends in the years after. This made our trip, the race and the party after the race even more special, making it something to remember for the rest of our lives.

Øyvind and I were obviously not the only ones who thought the party was as good as the race, because during breakfast the morning after a meeting was held, where Fossavatn was enrolled in the Worldloppet family. Since then the race has grown a lot, and the rest is history!

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