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Difficult conditions at the 100th Wasalauf in Sweden

The start of the Wasalauf 2015 / Photo: Ulf Palm / Tt/dpa/Archivbild
The start of the Wasalauf 2015 / Photo: Ulf Palm / Tt/dpa/Archivbild

In difficult weather conditions, the athletes set off on the 90-kilometer route at the 100th Wasalauf in Sweden. With 16,000 participants, the prestigious fun run is the largest cross-country skiing event in the world and is also considered the toughest ski race in the world. Torleif Syrstad and Emilie Fleten secured a double victory for Norway on Sunday after 3:52:43 hours and 4:23:06 hours respectively.

Light plus temperatures and rain had softened the snow in the Dalarna region over the past few days, which was still covered in deep snow. The trails were partly slushy and therefore more difficult to ski and the race was slower overall than in frosty temperatures.

In addition to a group of elite runners, including 13-time cross-country world champion Petter Northug from Norway, amateur athletes made up the majority of participants. Germany's best ski marathon runner Thomas Bing from Bad Salzungen in Thuringia finished in 35th place after 4:08:41 hours.

The German double world champion Axel Teichmann, who took 5:03:19 hours, had his Wasalauf premiere. The current DSV coach took on the 90-kilometer challenge ten years after his time as a competitive athlete. The result was not his main focus, as he told the German Press Agency in advance. He had mainly prepared for the race with arm training, but as a trainer he tries to keep himself fit anyway.

The only German to have ever won the Wasalauf is Gerd-Dietmar Klause from Vogtland. In 1975, he completed the course in 4:20:22 hours. The fact that he is still the only German winner 49 years later is a "small sensation", said Klause.

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