The 30-year-old Femundløpet Race is working to take place on the global stage as part of an international dog-mushing cup – the Arctic World Series.
In a partnership with race organizers from Alaska, the United States and Russia, Femundløpet is in the process of establishing an Arctic World Series in mushing. The organizers have had their first workshop in Oslo and agreed on the road ahead, and the goal is that Femundløpet 2020 will be part of the cup, as the only European race. Other races may also become part of the Artic World Series in the long run.
– We are heading for an exciting time. Increased profiling of the sport will in the long term give the athletes a better framework and conditions. Not only will we be able to make the sport more visible, but it will also open up to make the Røros and Innlandet regions visible in a completely different way. We remember very well the TV coverage and the response Femundløpet 2017 received, says general manager Jon Anders Kokkvoll.
– We are planning a cup comparable to Ski Classics or Grand Slam in tennis. The participants score points based on the race and position they participate in. The races receive different weighting in the points system. The Femundløpet race will be weighted high, with Iditarod as the big final race. We are also working on a new, satellite-based GPS system similar to what is used during the Tour de France, as well as opportunities for continuous live updates from the races online, which will give a completely different experience of the race for the audience, says Kokkvoll.
– We know that there are a huge number of people, both nationally and internationally, who want to follow the Femundløpet Race on GPS along the way. In 2019 we had registrations from 16 different nations. This contributes to increased profiling of the sport, and not least the region running in. We are also working on plans on how to make the unique region the race goes even more attractive.
The Femundløpet Race starts in Røros on January 31, 2020.