The Worldloppet Stories collection

3 stories per week for 10 weeks: 30 exciting stories for you to read and…if you liked one or more of them and want to help the author of the story winning one of the 20 amazing prizes, go to the Worldloppet Facebook page, like it and share it!

Have a look at the example stories…and get inspired!

  • Watch the Worldloppet Stories prizes raffle live – have a look at the results
    Aren’t you curious to know who won the Worldloppet Stories contest?Here are the top 3 stories according to Facebook interactions: 1. Mirjo Koit – “Mirjo’s Worldloppet Story” (2822) 2. Josef Sklenar – “Hey buddies, we will bring you those medals” (1591)3. Bill Brown – “Skiing with a purpose” (1085) Congratulations! But it is not over yet…there are still…
  • Meeting a childhood friend on the other side of the world
    By Angelo Corradini, President of Marcialonga (former Worldloppet Secretary) – One of the few fun  leisure activities that we had during the winter when we were kids in our poor mountain villages was skiing, of course. In the 50s/60s skiing gear was really poor and simple, but enthusiasm was on fire. Between neighbor villages parochialism…
  • Why I wear US panties
    by Gunnar Zlöbl – When working for Worldloppet the ability most needed is improvisation. In 2016, during one of my first trips working for Worldloppet, I had to learn this lesson in practice. It was my first trip to the States. I just started to work as a Communication Manager for Worldloppet and of course…
  • Perks of traveling alone to Birkieland
    by Epp Paal, Worldloppet CEO -Traveling to a Worldloppet race is for many skiers more difficult than skiing the race itself. It means that good planning is important, but sometimes you just do not have time for it, or you rely too much on your travel mates. If possible, I prefer to travel in a…
  • When lazyness pays off
    Epp Paal, Worldlopept CEO – Every proper Worldloppet skier goes for a course inspection one day or two before the race, especially when it is the first time they visit that marathon. It is a ritual to stretch the legs after a long travel, testing skis on the local snow, checking out the other skiers,…

And now…the word goes to you!

  • 39. Skiing with a purpose
    by William Brown – 2 x Gold Master & Global Skier n. 263- Moving to Minnesota at age 26, I took up Nordic skiing and completed my first American Birkebeiner the following season.  I was hooked for life!  Over the next 33 years, I’d become a two-time World Master skier and a Worldloppet Global skier…
  • 38. How it all started for me
    by Jaagup Vana – I’d like to share with you my emotions and memories from my very first foreign competition and road trip to the 44th Bieg Piastow ski marathon. I have nothing to compare it to and can only share my experience. Since our group of 4 had decided to travel to Poland by…
  • 37. Marcialonga memories and memorabilia
    by Jim Beckner – My wife’s name is Marcia. So when it came to considering which ten Worldloppets we would attend to garner our Masters gold pin it was a no-brainer that we would take in Italy’s Marcialonga. Gotta do it! As she declared, “If there’s a loppet which is my namesake I’d better ski…
  • 36. A Global Family
    by Silvio Carcano, Alessandro Carcano and Maria Rita Chini – Global skiers and 3 times masters – This is the story of an Italian family, a mother, Maria Rita, who buys almost by chance a Worldloppet Passport with her two sons Alessandro and Silvio, but in the end they all conquered the prestigious Worldloppet Global…
  • 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…
  • 34. Good loppets but too early
    By Timo Hakulinen – I got married in 1985, and the honeymoon trip was made to the USA. My wife liked this destination very much, but I had another idea behind this, too: On the same journey I could, with the completion of the American Birkebeiner, get my Worldloppet passport fully stamped. This is what…
  • 33. Memories of Worldloppet ski
    by Brendon Hyde, Gold Master n.2095 – After skiing the Australian Kangaroo Hoppet for 10 years my first European Worldloppet tour was planned for 2003. I started training along park pathways in the Oz summertime using cross-country roller skis where I gave local kangaroos a bit of a fright since they all quickly hopped away.…
  • 32. Getting Acquainted with the Austrian Police
    by Ben Mitchell – I love how traveling for Worldloppet races can lead to such memorable experiences on and off the trails… This past winter I was excited to catch up with my parents and two brothers for the Dolomittenlauf and Marcialonga as we have long wanted to ski both races and since my parents…
  • 31. Marcialonga 1992
    By Carlo Brena, director of the Cross-country skiing magazine SciFondo, Italy –  It happened that, after the teenager-time with the usual ups and downs – sometimes beyond the limits of caution – Stefano and I found ourselves to share a new dimension of our friendship: the sweat dripping from our foreheads, the heavy breath after…
  • 30. Year of the rooster (Redemption)
    by Danièle Grenier – My name is Danièle Grenier. I love skiing since my childhood in Quebec with my father. And since then I have never stopped for almost seventy years. I started Worldloppet trips very late in 2008 with the Vasaloppet and, year after year, I repeat the trip to Europe to join a…
  • 29. Following the steps of the “Ancient Patriarchs”
    by Lino Davarda, Global Skier n.251 – I started to practice cross-country skiing following some accidents I had while practicing downhill skiing that limited my sport activity. First, I followed a friend who was taking part to the first edition of Marcialonga and then I tried to ski myself the 70 km on Nordic skis,…
  • 28. A tasty surprise at the 1994 Vasaloppet
    By Marcia Beckner – The 1994 Vasaloppet was our first Worldloppet. Interesting that we picked the longest and largest Worldloppet for our initiation. But having attended the Lillehammer Olympics the two weeks previous, the Vasaloppet was a natural fit for my husband and me. It was all so terribly exciting – on the start line…
  • 27. The colours of a Worldloppet Global Skier
    Diego Gennari, Global Skier n. 267 Trento/ Italy – I wanted to give some colour to this story, decorating it with these bibs that mean dedication, joy, sacrifices, health and many dreams…. I started in 2008, and I bought my Worldloppet passport in Lienz, just for fun, but time after time and year after year…
  • 26. Stay positive
    by Vladislav Kalous – The year 2017 was not easy for me as I had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Luckily, as I was told by my typically cynical doctor: “if you should select a cancer, this is a good one.” There was a clear medication and I went through chemotherapy and radiotherapy for half…
  • 25. My Worldloppet-triathlon through the woods of the Jizera Mountains
    by Arne Zlöbl – First 7 km cross-country skiing My brother Tristan, a former elite skier, motivated me, a former footballplayer, to join him to the Jizerska 50 in Czech Republic. As I am open-minded for every adventure and I have had heard about super cheap and delicious Czech beer I quickly was on board.…
  • 24. The American Birkiebeiner, 2000: The Highway Less Bladed
    by Ken Hundert, Birchlegger, Toronto, Canada – The night before Birkie 2000, I was on my way to Lakewoods Restaurant for pasta and pasta, with water and water and water.  A radio bulletin announced the race had been cancelled.  Ugh; this meant that treasured kick wax information earned by my experienced milling at the New…
  • 23. Broken Hope at Bieg Piastow (2020)
    By Andrzej Gałaś (start number 918) – I have been taking part in the Bieg Piastów since 1994, usually the main distance of 50 km, this year at 42 km. It seemed to me that I was well prepared and expected to get less than 4 hours during the Saturday race (February 29). My well-waxing…
  • 22. Vasaloppet China 2020 – a way to make friends all over the world!
    by Torbjörn Jonsson – I started my cross-country skiing career with the Vasaloppet (11 times), continued with the Jizerská Padesatka, Marcialonga, Engadin Skimarathon, Birkebeinerrennet and Vasaloppet China 2020!Over the years have I found out that participating and having a good experience is more important than chasing a good time. With that approach, my best Vasaloppet…
  • 21. Fossavatnsgangan – that’s easy for you to say!
    by Jon K Amundson – We arrived in Iceland with only the minimal website information on this first week of May Ski Marathon in 2014. It is the oldest and largest cross-country ski race in Iceland, dating from 1935 and continuous since 1956. All we knew was that it was 50/25 kilometers in distance, just…
  • 20. Frost in Tartu in 1996
    by Stanislaw Grabowski, Worldloppet Master nr 1844 – Winter 1995/96: we have been travelling from Cracow to Tartu by train. In Estonia we were welcomed by a harsh frost, but after finding our rooms, we went directly to warm up already on the skis. During the following days in the morning temperature was minus 32…
  • 19. Finding Love at Vasaloppet China 2005
    by Ernst Aberger & Carina Hammarstrand – On December 28th, 2004 a group from Swedish Sya Ski Club started a trip to Beijing and Vasaloppet China 2005. The group included us – Ernst Aberger and Carina Hammarstrand, completely unaware of each other and what significance China 2005 would have for our future lives. Vasaloppet China…
  • 18. Mirjo’s Worldloppet Story
    by Mirjo Koit – My story begins with questions: How does passion form? How does a passion turn into dreams? How to move towards fulfilling them? Everyone can find their own answers to these questions. Today I am once again filled with great emotions. Handling it all has been a challenge because I have recently…
  • 17. I’ve been so many places
    by Jay Wiener, 16 x Worldloppet Master – Leon Russell’s “A Song For You” starts, “I’ve been so many places in my life and time…” The accumulation of sixteen Worldloppet Masters has, similarly, seen me visiting plentiful places. After completing my second race — the final Finlandia from Hämeenlinna to Lahti — I met a…
  • 16. The real New Year’s fairytale
    by Valentin Borisov, Russia – Changchun City January 2, 2015 conducted a ski marathon for 12 times, but for the first time this happened under the flag of the Worldloppet alliance. The track – 50 km, 2 laps of 25 km, classic style. The weather was sunny, air temperature at night was minus 21 degrees C, during…
  • 15. Hey buddies, we will bring you those medals 😊
    by Josef Sklenar – It’s been a while since I finished this legendary race almost in the dark. Today, when I can finally hold my computer mouse, let’s take a look back on how did that go from my purely amateur perspective? First of all, I have to admit that this year’s Jizerská 50 turned…
  • 14. Three mistakes on the way to La Transjurassienne 2010
    by Jim Whalen 2 x Worldloppet Gold Master – I registered for the February 13, 2010 La Transjurassienne classic race. This would be my fourth Worldloppet race, but only my second time travelling overseas for a race.  I still had a lot to learn.  I had travelled for a work meeting in Nashville on Monday…
  • 13. More than a medal
    by Margaret Batty – The expression ‘to earn a medal’ makes sense, this is a currency of sustained effort, sweat and risk. I was one of many skiers garlanded with a beautiful snowflake medal at the finish line of the Merino Muster Loppet races in New Zealand on 31 August 2019. A powerful symbol of…
  • 12. The Race That Wasn’t
    by Bruce Wharrie – Australian 6 x Worldloppet Master – Five Australians, one memorial race, but where is the snow? 2014 was a slim snow year for the northern hemisphere.  Luckily our gracious Bedrichov accommodation host, Lubos, was duly concerned about the very limited snow conditions and leant us a vehicle to hunt out some…
  • 11. The loneliest walk
    by Marg Hayes – Australian 7 x Worldloppet Gold Master The northern Winter of 2011 was to be an epic Worldloppet adventure for Bruce Wharrie and myself both hoping to complete our 4th Worldloppet Gold Master as well as become Global Worldloppet skiers.  An ambitious plan involving races in 3 different continents in one season.…
  • 10. Worldloppet is life changing
    by Daniel Mitchell, Master #4518 – Growing up in the farmland of southern Michigan, United States, I desired to be an athlete but lacked the opportunity and discipline. After completing my training to be a family doctor, my wife Carol and I set up a clinic in an underserved small town in northern Michigan; a…
  • 9. 180 heartbeats, days before Jizerská Padesátka
    by Michael Förster – I’m sweating like a pig, my breath is coming short, my heart rate’s close to 180. Nothing unusual during a ski-marathon. But maybe unusual a few days before the start? This year’s Jizerská Padesátka wasn’t the first time my pre-race anxiety driven heart rate has outreached the peak of heartbeats during…
  • 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…
  • 7. A Master without Vasa?
    by Arno Bachaus – I had still not been able to enter Vasaloppet, I even became Worldoppet Master without it. Something had to be done. My first victory came as I managed to register in a mind-blowing 87 seconds! The year leading up to the race slipped by very quickly. My promise to make at…
  • 6. Accident at the Merino Muster
    by Valeriy Koval, 2 x WL Master – This curious and dramatic accident happened to me in New Zealand at the 2018 Merino Muster on the first day of spring in September. Yes, Yes, spring, because this is the Southern hemisphere. The bright morning sun poured its warm rays over the picturesque landscapes of the…
  • 5. The Vasaloppet Experience
    by Michael Sippel – At the end of March 2019, I set my mind on taking part to Vasaloppet 2020 and I registered. Unluckily preparation did not go as planned: snow was missing. Apart from a training camp on artificial snow at the beginning of December and a few trips to the ski-hall in Oberhof,…
  • 4. Kangaroo on a Weekend
    by Dmitry Artamonov, 2 x WL Master – 20.08.2018. 5 days before the marathon. 6 days before the end of my vacation. Turn AC/DC off. I cancelled hotel bookings, tickets and the Mitsubishi rental. Still no answer about the Visa. 21.08.2018 Kilometer climb by double polling on ski rollers. Why was I going to a…
  • 3. To the end, despite everything
    By Giannino Ruzza (Italy) – Hello everyone, my name is Giannino Ruzza, 69 years old. In 2019, I participated in the König Ludwig Lauf (50 km classic) with bib number 540. I was the second to register in 2018 for this great cross-country skiing. I’m retired and I’ve lived in Sicily for five years. I really…
  • 2. Pioneer work at the first edition of Vasaloppet China
    by Peter Andersson – My name is Peter Andersson and I am a proud pioneer of the Vasaloppet crew who made the first race possible in year 2003. I see these few days of being part of establishing this fantastic event as one of the highlights of my 15 years in China. The spirit of…
  • 1. Vasaloppet for my father
    by Ilaria Cavallari (Italy) I heard people talking about it since I was a child, THE race, the longest one, the most historical, the most blazoned and the stories about it captured my soul in a way that I decided to go. Vasa has to be respected, you cannot improvise anything – so they taught…