New Arctic Barents Race from Norway to Russia

On Tuesday Feb. 24 organizers from Russia and Norway met in Røros to plan the longest dog sled race in the world; “The Arctic Barents Race”. The first race, that will take place in March 9, 2010, will start in Røros, Norway and end up in Murmansk. The race will take 23 days and the total distance is 2800 km. Pilot races will be arranged this winter. 

One of the organizers, Norwegian Ketil Reitan, has raced most of the long distance races in the world; Femundløpet, Finnmarksløpet, Iditarod, Yukon Quest, The Hope Race (Nome to Anadyr, Russia) and last year also La Grand Odyssèe in France where he finished 3rd. He was also the one who initiated The Amundsen Race last year.

Seven long-distance mushers from Norway, Finland, France, Canada, the U.S. and Russia are taking part in the three “pilot races” in March-April: The 420 km long Amundsen Race, the 300 km long Pasvik Trail and the 500 km long Arctic Barents Pilot from Kirkenes to Murmansk, reports Femundlopet.no.

The first complete “Arctic Barents Race”, according to specialists, will “make Iditarod look like a warming up race”. The track will go through Sweden and Northern Finland to Kirkenes and end up in Murmansk, Russia. 20 of the world’s best long-distance mushers will be invited to race. According to Arcticbarentsrace.com the winner of  will receive 128 thousand dollars.

Source: BarentsObserver.

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