Nygaard wins world’s longest ski race

Norwegian cross-country ski racer takes gold in the ultra-marathon of skiing

Photo: Adam Klingeteg / Red Bull Content Pool
Nygaard celebrates after finishing the nearly 12-hour race two seconds ahead of his teammate.

M. Michael Brady
Asker, Norway

On Saturday, April 15, Andreas Nygaard, a 27-year-old Norwegian cross-country ski racer from Burford in Troms County, won the 2017 Nordenskiöldsloppet in the Swedish Province of Lappland, the world’s longest ski race. With a length of 220 km (136.7 miles), the Nordenskiöldsloppet is two and a half times as long as Sweden’s famed Vasaloppet and more than five times as long as a marathon. Racer Nygaard’s winning time was 11 hours, 45 minutes, and seven seconds, just two seconds ahead of teammate Øyvind Moen Fjeld. The women’s event was won by Swedish racer Nina Lintzén with a time of a bit more than 13 hours.

Now sponsored by the Red Bull energy drink, Nordenskiöldsloppet is named after Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832-1901), the Finnish-Swedish nobleman and polar explorer who first arranged it in 1884. A few shorter versions of the race were held in the 1980s. After 132 years, the original-length race was again held in 2016 over an original-length course between Jokkmokk and Kvikkjokk. The racers started at 6 a.m. from Parkijaur outside Jokkmokk, skied to the turn-around point outside Kvikkjokk, and then back to the finish at Jokkmokk. In all, 240 racers from 15 countries took part in the 2017 race.

Further details and more photos of the race on the Red Bull website at redbullnordenskioldsloppet.se/2017/04/the-winner-of-red-bull-nordenskioldsloppet-2017-is-andreas-nygaard.

This article originally appeared in the May 5, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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M. Michael Brady

M. Michael Brady was born, raised, and educated as a scientist in the United States. After relocating to the Oslo area, he turned to writing and translating. In Norway, he is now classified as a bilingual dual national.