Race report Engadin ski marathon

Skiing is a big passion for me. Both alpine skiing and cross country. Some weeks ago I participated in Vasaloppet in Sweden and the week after while I was in Switzerland to arrange some practical things since I will start working for a Swiss company soon I participated in the country’s largest crosscountry race Engadin ski marathon which is one of the races at Worldloppet.

42 kilometers skiing over lakes and with high mountains as a constant view, sounds amazing right? The week before the race the organizers sent out an email that there was lack of snow and mentioned that conditions would not be to normal standards but the race would still be arranged. If you wanted you could switch to go skating or postpone your start to next year. Well, you never know what happens next year so I stuck to my plans. After a visit to Zurich I took the train to St Moritz and checked in at a hotel. The whole village was filled with skiers and the racing atmosphere was there. 12 000 participants had signed up for this years race that took place on Sunday 12 of March.

I wasn’t doing this to get any good time and for me it was more a sightseeing. I aim to one time participate in all races in Worldloppet which is a series of cross country skiing races around the world. Perfect bucket list thing for me as a travel geek. The race started for me at 9:10 and the hotel had arranged breakfast from 05 so it was plenty of time to eat before you took the race bus to the start at Maloja. A village about 30 minutes bus drive from St Moritz. I had not picked up my race pack on beforehand so I made sure to have enough time. the process took two minutes so I had plenty of time to freeze outside before it was time for ski off.

The 42K race story

The race took off and started with skiing over some lakes. The views were stunning. There was only two tracks for xc skiers but enough since it seemed like a lot of people had decided to skate. It was flat and easy and it was really enjoyable in the sun. Then the track turned into St Mortiz Nordic area and since it was melting degrees the snow had turned into snow slush. Not that pleasant. But then out on Lake St Moritz it was all okey again. Then it was stop. Red light.

Due to the narrow passage just after the lake the flow in skiing stopped. Had to que for just over 40(!) minutes to get passed it. At least it was sunny but rather boring. My motivation fell like a stone. It didn’t became better when the coming kilometers also was snow slush so I used my xc skiis to skate.

Then out on some lakes again and now it was very warm. The tracks were back but due to the warming sun it was almost water skiing. And the wind was facing hard from the front. This really gave my flashbacks to the end of season tours I did when I lived in Norway and picked up cross country skiing again. It’s not really enjoyable skiing when it feels that your skis are sucked into the tracks. My poor arms got their fair share of exercise at least. Once we came into one of the small villages people were out cheering and also you got energy. Since in Swiss chocolate was always offered. No cheese fondue tough. After nearly four hours I was done. I had nothing in terms of achieving a good result to aim for since I already qualified for another corral at Vasaloppet next year so this was just a pleasure race. If you can call 42K of skiing as pleasure. The route was very beautiful and in good conditions and without a race I could definitely re-do it and bring my own fika. I didn’t liked the race to much so would most likely not sign up again.

/ Pernilla happy finisher of Engadin ski marathon

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