It has been predicted that there's going to be Northern Lights in Levi soon. So take a look skywards! Prediction provided by Sunsää.
A thrilling Nordic skiing spectacle is taking place in Levi, Finland, on 12 April 2018, with three men and one woman attempting to break the 24-hour world record.
The current world record holder Teemu Virtanen as well as marathon skier Hans Mäenpää of Team Mäenpää will be representing Finland at the event. Norway will be represented by long-distance skiing expert Daniel Strand, and Finland’s Anni Angeria will be attempting to break the women’s record.
Teemu Virtanen is the current holder of the Guinness World Record of “Greatest distance in 24 hours of Nordic skiing” set in 2010, even though Sweden’s Erik Wickström broke that record in 2016. However, due to the fact the entire 24 hours of skiing was not filmed, Wickström’s result was eventually not accepted by the Guinness World Records, and he was granted an unofficial world record.
Now at the event taking place in mid-April, Teemu Virtanen is looking to set a new world record and of course to the other contenders.
- This year’s 24-hour event will the toughest one yet, as both Hans Mäenpää and Daniel Strand are in terrific shape. However, I’m determined to give them a good fight, and I’m certain I’ll clinch the world record if I can only keep going all the way to the end. No one in my age group M50 has ever skied over 400 kilometres. The best-case scenario in Levi is that we’ll break as many as three world records, says Teemu Virtanen.
Hans Mäenpää is eagerly expecting the upcoming record attempt, which will be a totally new experience for the 39-year-old skier.
- I have never skied or done any sporting activity for this long in one go before. Last weekend, I took part in the Nordenskiöldsloppet, where I finished in sixth place. I’ve competed in several marathon ski competitions and have e.g. taken part in the Vasaloppet seven times. This year, I finished in the top 100. I have also run a couple of marathons, and that’s actually how my athletic career got started, Hans Mäenpää explains.
Sweden’s Erik Wiksctröm did not accept Virtanen’s latest challenge, but Daniel Strand, a 36-year-old marathon skier from Norway was up for it.
- This is a very unique opportunity and a somewhat crazy idea, so that’s why I just had to sign up. My goal is to win and break the world record, Strand says.
Anni Angeria sets out to break the women’s world record, which currently stands at 333 kilometres.
- I believe I can break the record, because in a previous attempt I have already skied 344.5 kilometres. Hopefully, I will now be able to set an official Guinness World Record, but anything can happen along such a long distance. My biggest worry is, how will my body endure it all, and I also worry about how to get the energy absorbed. I’m sure it will be a big boost for me to ski together with the men, even though they will be using the classic technique, whereas I will be skate skiing. I hope there will be lots of spectators, because their support always gives you strength, Anni Angeria says.
The world record attempt taking place on Thursday 12 April 2018 on the Tunturijärvi lake in Levi is by no means an easy challenge for the skiers. A successful world record attempt requires a good track with nearly perfect skiing conditions as well as hard training.
- If we have good conditions weather-wise, then I’m sure that at least one of us will break a record. So you should definitely come and see it live, Teemu Virtanen says.
The Nordic skiing 24-hour world record attempt, 12 April 2018, starting at 10:00 next to the Levi Zero Point, around the lake. Spectators are welcome to come and cheer on the skiers and follow the event. On Saturday, 14th April 2018, spectators are also welcome to follow Visma Ski Classics Ylläs-Levi long distance skiing event.
Live coverage of the world record attempts can be found on the following sites:
Photo: Magnus Östh