It has been predicted that there's going to be Northern Lights in Levi soon. So take a look skywards! Prediction provided by Sunsää.
The Nordic Skiing 24-hour world record attempt finished at 10:00 am on Friday 13th of April in Levi, Finland.
In men, Hans Mäenpää set a new world record, which is now 472 kilometres and 007 metres, i.e. almost 40 kilometres longer than the previous record of 433 kilometres and 459 metres. Anni Angria set a new world record for women, 375 kilometres and 564 metres, with the previous record being 333 kilometres.
- I feel absolutely terrible, said Hans Mäenpää right after the extremely hard trial.
This was the first time that Hans Mäenpää, born in 1979, skied such an ultra-long distance. The Finn from Pietarsaari was able to keep a good pace throughout the 24 hours, even though the weather conditions on Thursday were very heavy. The daytime temperatures reached over 15 °C on the 400-metre-long track around the Tunturilampi lake in the centre of Levi.
- My energy levels were good throughout the journey. I set out to break the record, and I got what I came here for. Should I someday make another record-breaking attempt, it would have to be just me, i.e. skiing alone. Daniel Strand was skiing at a really fast pace, a little too fast at times. I would like to thank the best service team in the world, Team Mäenpää, as well as the organisers here in Levi, Hans Mäenpää said.
Thursday morning saw three men starting on the world record attempt: the then record-holder Teemu Virtanen from Finland, Team Mäenpää’s Hans Mäenpää and Daniel Strand from Norway. Teemu Virtanen retired on Thursday, with 7 hours and 15 minutes on the clock. The Norwegian lasted for approximately 13 hours.
- A really amazing performance from Hans. A real surprise. I could tell from the start that Hans was “on a mission” with his determined skiing. I didn’t have the kind of a day that I could have been able to ski against myself, so I stopped around the seven-hour mark, Teemu Virtanen says.
Daniel Strand had to drop out due to a repetitive strain injury on his arm.
Hans Mäenpää skied alone for nearly 12 hours, with his own teammates from Team Mäenpää skiing in front of him as “rabbits” at times.
- I won’t be competing in the Ylläs-Levi ski marathon on Saturday, with such Finnish skiers as Iivo Niskanen, Risto-Matti Hakola and Ari Luusua in the line-up. I’ll be in the service team! Now, I’m going to have a sauna, eat and sleep, said Hans after he finished his 24-hour run.
The new women’s 24-hour world record holder, Anni Angria from Iisalmi, Finland, was totally exhausted at the finish line. Angria, born in 1981, used every last ounce of her strength during the final few minutes, with the crowds cheering for her alongside the track.
- I’m nauseated and everything hurts. But otherwise I feel extremely happy. My goal was to ski at least 350 kilometres and I reached and surpassed that. Now I’ve got a world record to my name, Anni Angria smiled at the finish.
The world records of Hans Mäenpää and Anni Angria both still have to be accepted by the Guinness World Records before becoming official. This can take a few months.
Phot: Levi Destination Marketing / Aleksi Kylmälahti