Rules for The Femund race 2019

Last updated: 23.01. 2019 @ 13:55

Time limit for passing through checkpoint Tolga:
Tolga checkpoint will close on Tuesday 5th February at 24:00 midnight. Participants who have not left the checkpoint by this deadline will automatically be disqualified from the race.

Please read the rules for 2019 carefully even if you have run the race before.

Here you can download PDF-files with the updated rules and the declaration for the rules and mandatory equipment for the Femund race 2019.
We reserve the right to make any changes.

Special rules for The Femund race 2019

Special rules for Femundløpet are in addition to the rules for long distance of the Norwegian Sleddog Federation (rules only in Norwegian).

Sporting Committee – Commentary regarding mandatory equipment

All participants and especially rookies should read this note carefully. It is important to be aware that a Technical Delegate / Race Organisation has the full authority to accept or decline mandatory equipment.

Emergency food for dogs and mushers: To be used ca. 24 hours after having left the previous checkpoint in case the team is stranded between checkpoints. This means that the musher must have enough food for himself and the dogs in the sled for the first 24 hours.

Snowspade: This must be of good quality and able to cut through hard and icy snow, and adequate to bury down the team.

Ax or knife. Many mushers tape a big knife to the sled. You should also have a knife attached to your body. Ax or knife should have at least 30 cm in length.

First aid kit should contain at least: plasters, a roll of sport’s tape, gauze and bandage (or a pressure bandage instead) as well as pain killers (prescription free). We recommend this be packed in a watertight bag.

Extra clothes: Underwear should be long underwear. Outerwear recommended is wind tight pants and jacket, good socks and shoes that keep the warmth.

Working water boiler: Make sure you have enough red spirit (at least 0,5 liters for F-junior and F450 and at least 1 litre for F650 and enough matches when leaving any checkpoint. We recommend you pack the matches watertight.

Dog bowls and ladle shall be in the sled from the start. These items can not be supplied from the handler car.

Important: We recommend you pack the extra clothes, sleeping bag and windbag in a waterproof bag.


The Primus stove is no longer part of the mandatory equipment. We all the same recommend to pack a Primus if you have a tent. The water cooker is an alternative for heating water/melting snow, but this is not a good option to have inside a tent.

The sleeping pad is best packed at the bottom of the sledbag using the sleds length.
Repair kit: We recommend that you have various tools with you to be able to do simple repairs to your sled. For example multitool, zip ties, thin strong rope, strong tape.

Enjoy your race!

Table of contents

1.0 Race Description for Femundløpet

The Femund Race shall be an international long distance race.
The Femund Race shall be an offer to both the breadth and the elite of long distance mushing.
The Femund Race shall have a particular focus on animal welfare.
The Femund Race is a long distance race that measures the skills and strategies of the dog team and the musher, without any outside assistance other than that which the organizer has decided.
The Femund Race’s overall goal is that each participant has full responsibility for any dispositions made for the team during the race, for these decisions to always be in the best interest of the dog team and the musher, and be sufficient for handling all situations that may arise during the race.

All participants are equally important and shall receive the same level of service throughout the race.
All participants shall, with the resources they have, try to complete a long distance race at their own level.
The Femund Race may limit the number of participants.

The Femund Race Committee is appointed by the organizer and consists of:

General Manager
Race Manager, Race Coordinators F450, F650 and Fjr.
Chief veterinarian
Head of start and finish in Røros
Head of security
Trail chief
Head of time keeping
Coordinator for the volunteers
Head of checkpoints
Head of secretariat
Head of ceremonies
Press officer / head of communications
One representative from the Sporting Committee

The Race Committee is responsible for the technical implementation of the event, including the trails. It appoints the assistants and aides it may need in order to perform its tasks.
The General Manager, or his/her attorney, shall, on behalf of Femundløpet, communicate to the press/media about Femundløpet.

1.3.1 Race Manager
The Femund Race Manager is appointed by the organizer (Femundløpet).
The Race Manager shall be a contact person between participants, Technical Delegates, race administration and members of the Race Committee.
The Race Manager may on behalf of the Femundløpet give statements to the press/media about any accident or unfortunate event that happens during Femundløpet.

1.3.2 Race Coordinators
The Race Coordinators are appointed by the organizer (Femundløpet).
The Race Coordinators shall assist the Race Manager and be a contact person between participants, Technical Delegates, race administration and members of the Race Committee.

1.3.3. Technical Delegates (TD)
Technical Delegates are appointed by the Norwegian Sleddog Federation (NHF).

1.3.4 Jury
The jury is appointed according to the rules of the Norwegian Sleddog Federation (NHF).

1.3.5 Chief veterinarian
The chief veterinarian is appointed by the organizer (Femundløpet).
The chief veterinarian is the leader of the veterinarian team.
Only the chief veterinarian shall issue statements to the press/media concerning cases of dog death or animal welfare. A press release will be issued. It is important for the race that such issues are public.
The chief veterinarian has the right to examine all the dogs at the checkpoints, start and finish line and can demand the examination of any dog that he/she considers in need of examination.

1.3.6 Trail veterinarians
The trail veterinarians have the right to examine all the dogs at the checkpoints, start and finish line and can demand the examination of any dog that he/she considers in need of examination according to Femundløpet rule §2.1 veterinary examination.

2.0 Dogs

All dogs participating in Femundløpet can be subject to undergo veterinary examinations by the trail vets before, during and after the race. Should the owner/musher refuse that one or several of his dogs be examined, he will be disqualified. Dog teams that have not been approved to continue the race after examination by the trail vet may be disqualified by the jury. A dog that does not pass the veterinary examination and is not dropped voluntarily by the musher, may be disqualified by the jury. If the musher does not agree with the trail veterinarian’s assessment of the dog he has the right to a “second opinion” from another trail veterinarian, and the chief veterinarian shall be contacted. A veterinary examination is mandatory at all mandatory rest points. The musher is himself responsible for the veterinary examination to be performed and that this be confirmed in the veterinary booklet.

All dogs who will participate, or undergo a prerace vet-check with the object to participate in Femundløpet shall have a current kennel cough vaccination. The validation of the vaccine is according to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the product and eventual medical guidelines of the country where the vaccine is administered.

Each participant is required to have the dogs participating, including the back-ups, checked by a veterinary prior to registration at Røros.

All dogs participating in the Femundløpet shall be identified with a microchip (ISO standard 11784 or attachment A to ISO-standard 11785). The microchip number must be noted in the vaccination certificate/passport.

In addition all dogs participating in the Femundløpet will be marked with the races own marking system. The identification tags will be supplied by the secretariat upon registration and shall be attached to the dogs’ collars.

Procedures for scanning of the microchips are decided by the Race Manager or Technical Delegates.
Prior to the race, participants shall deliver a list with the name and chip number of the dogs participating in the race. Deadline for submission is decided by the organizer. The individual musher is himself responsible for the dogs being identified according to the rules.

Inspection of marking may be done by the veterinarian and/or Race Coordinators at the start, the checkpoints and at the finish line. Missing identification shall be reported to the Technical Delegates or Race Manager.

A veterinary booklet is distributed to all participants at registration and is to be transported in the sled during the whole race. A “dropped dog” booklet is distributed to all mushers at registration and is to be transported in the handler vehicle/with the dropped dogs during the whole race. The veterinary booklet must be certified by a veterinarian at every mandatory checkpoint and the musher is himself responsible that this be done. Failing to do so can result in disqualification from the race. After the race, or in the event of “scratching”, the veterinary and ”dropped dog” booklets are to be handed back to the secretariat.

3.0 Participants

The musher is obliged to familiarize himself with and abide by the rules of Femundløpet and the Norwegian Sleddog Federation.

Participation at the Femundløpet is entirely the mushers responsibility. The musher is the most able person to assess whether he and his dogs are able to complete the race under varying conditions, without risk to themselves or other participants, as well as judging if his/her equipment is up to standard.
The musher cannot hold the organizer, jury officials, race veterinarians, sponsors or other Femundløpet volunteers responsible, or claim for damages or injury, to himself, handlers, dogs, vehicles or equipment.
The musher is responsible for contracting a valid insurance/license for himself, the dogs and the equipment in Femundløpet.
Serious events concerning animal welfare f.eks. “deceased dog” will be made public. Mushers must be aware that a press release stating the name of the musher, name of the dog, place of occurrence, description of the incident and possible cause of death, if/when this is known, will be issued. The driver is obliged to give permission for disclosure in relation to the veterinarian’s duty of confidentiality.

The musher meeting is mandatory for all participants and their handler. The driver has to take one (1) handler to the meeting. If the participant is not able to reach the meeting on time, and a valid reason allows for him/her to all the same participate in the race, he/she must send a representative in his/her place. In such a case the musher is responsible for ensuring that the necessary information provided during the meeting be brought to his/her knowledge.
Mushers and handlers are required to familiarize themselves with, understand and follow the directions, regulations and guidelines given during the musher meeting and any information distributed by the organizer.
Mushers and handlers are required to familiarize themselves with, understand and abide by the veterinary information provided at the musher meeting, which will be distributed by the chief veterinarian, trail veterinarians and the organizer.

A participant obliged/choosing to scratch from the race shall, as soon as possible, notify the race organisation. He is him/herself responsible for transportation of him/herself, the dogs, equipment and depots from the checkpoints.
He/she is also requested to hand back to the secretariat or checkpoint the veterinary booklet, “dropped-dog” booklet and any time keeping, GPS tracking or other equipment on loan from the race organization.
Any technical equipment provided by the race organisation that is not returned, will be charged to the participant.

Participants must have fulfilled 18 years in order to start the F450, F650.
In order to participate in the Femund Junior, participants must be 15 years of age by 31th December of the year of the race and must be under 18 years of age at the start day.
Participants under 18 must have a written consent from their legal guardian for participation.

Search and rescue operations will normally be initiated 24 hours after the last point of contact. Unnecessary stops between the checkpoints should therefore be avoided.
In the event conditions require that a search and rescue action be initiated earlier, the decision to do so will be made by the race organisation together with the emergency services. Participants shall at all times have enough food and equipment to survive for at least 24 hours.

Only 24 hours after having left the last checkpoint the musher may use the emergency food for himself and the dogs. This means that a musher must at all times ensure that he has the emergency ration of food for himself and his dogs upon leaving any checkpoint.

The organizers can instruct the mushers to wear promotional materials on the clothes or on the sled.

Mushers must wear start number bibs when on the trail and at checkpoints. Start number bibs also have to be worn at the opening ceremony and at the prize giving ceremony or any other official representative event if the organiser so requests.
Handlers must wear handler bibs when helping their musher in the staging area, at the start and finish line and at the checkpoints.

4.0 Race rules

Femund Junior (F-junior) is a 6-dog class race consisting of no more than 6 dogs at the start. At the finish line the team must consist of at least 4 dogs. Dogs in the sled are considered part of the team.

Femund 450 (F450) is an 8-dog class consisting of no more than 8 dogs and with at least 6 dogs at the start. At the finish line the team must consist of at least 5 dogs. Dogs in the sled are considered part of the team.

Femund 650 (F650) is a 12-dog class race consisting of no more than 12 dogs and with at least 9 dogs at the start. At the finish line the team must consist of at least 6 dogs. Dogs in the sled are considered part of the team.

Participants, who have never participated in the Femund race in the class they are registered for, have to qualify.

Femund 650

To qualify for participation in this class the participant has to:

  • In the past 3 years have finished a sleddog race of at least 400 km.
Femund 450

To qualify for participation in this class the participant has to:

  • In the past 3 years have fulfilled a dogsled race of at least 200 km and with at least one checkpoint.
  • or have participated at a rookie course, practical and theoretical part, recognized by the Norwegian Sleddog Federation/Femundløpet.
Femund Junior

To qualify for participation in this class the participant has to:

  • Participate at a rookie course, practical and theoretical part, recognized by the Norwegian Sleddog Federation/Femundløpet.
    The junior musher must in addition have an adult handler and a signed authorization from his/her legal guardian in order to be able to participate in the race.


A list of races approved for qualification will be posted on the website by the organiser.

Any abuse or mistreatment of dogs, including unacceptable or unnecessary hard punishment, and excessive screaming and yelling at the dogs is prohibited.
Regardless of how and to what extent a musher receives help from others, including the vet, this does not excuse him/her from his/her personal responsibility to care for his/her dogs.
A dog that lies in the sled when the musher arrives at a checkpoint is not dropped from the race unless the musher so desires.
Dogs that are sick or hurt, or for any other reason are taken out of the team shall be transported in the basket to the next checkpoint.
Dogs that have been dropped from the team are disqualified from further participation in the race.

Doping is not permitted for either musher or dogs. The doping of the dog means the use of prohibited methods and/or drugs in accordance with IFSS’s list, with the aim to increase the dog’s physical or mental performance. For mushers the WADA list of prohibited methods/drugs applies.
Doping will automatically result in disqualification.

The dropping of dogs is only permitted at the checkpoints. The musher is responsible that the dropped dogs be taken care of in a responsible way. It is not permitted to add new dogs to the team after the start of the race.
Any dog removed from the team has to be checked by a race-veterinarian. The veterinary examination is to be marked in the “dropped dog” booklet. It is the responsibility of the musher/handler to ensure that any dogs removed from the team are checked by a veterinarian. The participant must note in the veterinary booklet any dogs that are dropped. If a mushers scratches / withdraws from the race, the whole team has to be examined by a race veterinarian.

The start intervals shall be 1 minute unless otherwise decided by the organizer. The musher is obliged to follow the organizer’s instructions to get from the staging area to the start. The musher may receive help to take the team to the start (handlers / organizer).

Musher and team shall follow the trail that Femundløpet has selected and marked. IFSS marking system is used. What the markers look like will be explained at the musher meeting.
If a team loses the trail it shall return to the point where it lost the trail and continue from there.
It is not permitted to follow snowploughed roads other than the stretches defined by the organizer. Information on this is provided in the trail description at the musher meeting.
The driver shall show extreme caution when crossing a road. Road crossings are marked with YELLOW warning signs.
A musher may require “trail” when his lead dog has come closer than fifteen (15) meters from the sled of the front-running team.
Teams being overtaken, shall move to the side and slowdown, or stop altogether.
A musher who has been overtaken, cannot claim free trail from the team that passed him until after at least five (5) minutes or one and a half (1.5) kilometres, unless the mushers agree on something different.
A musher who catches up with one or more teams that have stopped, can overtake all.

Participants are not permitted to receive any kind of assistance or help from others than the organizer or those permitted by the organizer during the race.

Time alignment will take place at the first mandatory checkpoint. It is the mushers responsibility to ensure that the start time difference be aligned.

Femund Junior has two mandatory resting periods. The first mandatory rest of 5 hours + time-alignment must be taken at checkpoint Tufsingdalen. The second mandatory rest of 7 hours must be taken at checkpoint Tolga.

Femund 450 (F450) has two mandatory resting periods. 6 hours + time alignment must, all of it, be taken at checkpoint Tufsingdalen, Drevsjø or Søvollen(optional). A second mandatory rest of 4 hours has to be taken at Tolga checkpoint.

Femund 650 (F650) has two mandatory resting periods. The first mandatory rest of 6 hours + time alignment must, all of it, be taken in Tufsingdalen, Drevsjø or Søvollen (optional). The second mandatory rest of 6 hours must all of it be taken at checkpoint Orkelbogen 2 or Tolga(optional).

The resting periods have to be taken in full minutes. The musher shall personally check in and out of all checkpoints and is responsible that all mandatory rests be taken.

4.11.1 General checkpoint rules
The checkpoints are to be considered as control posts in the competition. Participants shall check-in and check-out from the checkpoints before continuing the race.
Every team will be assigned a parking space for his/her team in a designated area in order to rest the team. The musher alone can access these areas, except in Tufsingdalen where the handler may visit the dog-sled.

4.11.2 Depot
There will be depots at all checkpoints. Handlers shall place depot bags at the marked and allocated area. The bags must be clearly marked with the musher’s name and start number.
Any desired change of clothes or footwear and cold food for the musher and dogs may be deposited in the depot bag. Coolers or equivalent equipment that are in the depot bags shall be empty and be taken empty to the staging area. Hot food, including thermos bottles/containers filled with hot beverages are strictly forbidden in the depot bag. Cold drinks for the musher are accepted. Dryfood for dogs should be dry. Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats and other mandatory equipment may not be placed in the depot bag – the mushers are to use the mandatory equipment in their sled. Batteries, dog booties and other consumer products, or equipment that is damaged and must be replaced, can be put in the depot bag.
If a sled has been damaged beyond repair, it may be replaced. Sled change must be approved by a Technical Delegate / Race Manager or Checkpoint Manager.

An empty sled may be replaced with another empty sled once (1 time) for F-junior and F450 and twice (2 times) for F650.
A sled trailer that is left at a checkpoint, is considered a sled change. An empty sledge has to be replaced by an empty sledge.
The musher must bring everything taken out from the depot to the staging area. The same goes for equipment and potential waste going from the staging area back to the depot. All trash and dog food waste shall be removed and placed in the depot/trash containers.

4.11.3 Assistance at the checkpoints
At checkpoints, participants are allowed to receive help with slowing down, holding and guiding their dog team when going in to or out from their allocated staging area from the checkpoint-staff. Such assistance may be received only between the marked point of entry/arrival and up to the marked point of exit/departure at the checkpoints. One (1) handler may stand guard behind the sled in Tufsingdalen ONLY.
It is not allowed to receive any help from others to work at the checkpoint. This includes all work with the dogs during rest time at the staging area.

The musher is obliged to ensure that a handler will clean and remove the straw and any dog food waste after the team has left the checkpoint.

All feeding and care of dogs shall happen outdoors and may only be carried out by the musher.
The handler is not permitted to prepare food or boil-up water in advance and place this in the depot area.
It is not permitted to use kitchen facilities at the checkpoints to prepare dog food or heat up salves and creams.
At the Femund race special focus on animal welfare shall be held. Mushers are obliged at all times to provide optimum care for the dogs and keep good hydration and feeding routines. Mushers are required to keep a watchful eye on the dog’s state and development during the race. Dogs that do not maintain good health, good physical state and attitude and that are injured shall be taken out of the race.
Help from the trail veterinarian: Mushers may/shall accept help from the veterinarian for the examination of the dogs and assistance for treatment of dogs who need it.

If a dog dies during the race on the trail between checkpoints, it is to be taken to the next checkpoint or the last checkpoint left. The dog is to be transported in the sled and to be covered-up. The musher shall without delay after checking-in notify the race organizer as represented by the Technical Delegate, Race Coordinator, Race Manager and/or Race Vet.
The musher can only continue after obtaining permission to do so by the head veterinarian, Race Manager, Race Coordinator and/or Technical Delegate. The musher can be disqualified from further participation at the race, should it be evident from investigations that the musher is guilty of abuse of the dog or if having in any other way caused the death of the dog. The finish area is also considered a checkpoint in this connection.
If an autopsy of the dog is required, the costs thereof shall not be levied on the musher as long as the death was not caused by abuse from the musher.

It is mandatory to have the equipment listed below, in the sled during the whole race. It is required that the equipment be functional when approved so that the participant is able to survive extreme situations regardless of the weather conditions. The equipment may be checked at the start, the checkpoints and at the finishing line.

  • Relevant maps (1:50.000) from Statens Kartverk with marked trail, or GPS with marked trail and up to date map (1:100.000)
  • Magnet Compass
  • Veterinary handbook (to be handed out at registration).
  • Water boiler (se description) with a container sufficient to heat a minimum of 0,5 litres of water per dog, + 0,5 litres red sprit for F-Junior and F450 and + 1 liter for F650.
  • Dog bowls and ladle.
  • Snow spade.
  • Axe or large knife
  • Blankets for all dogs
  • Lined extreme wind bag. Minimum weight shall be at least 2000g. Jerven Ekstrem.
  • Sleeping bag for extreme conditions. The bag shall weigh a minimum of 2000g and provide sufficient shelter and heat down to –30 C.
  • Sleeping pad.
  • First aid kit.
  • Cold weather winterwear with reflectors that are well visible in the dark from front and back.
  • Extra set of clothes with under- and outerwear, gloves and hat, socks and winterboots. Note: this must be packed in a waterproof bag.
  • Extra headlight and extra batteries.
  • Light stick or rescue light (must be carried on the body).
  • Matches packed in plastic or a similar watertight container (must be carried on the body).
  • 8 booties per dog out from each checkpoint, including booties that are in use.
  • Emergency supplies of dog food, 500g per dog in the team at the start. The emergency supplies shall be packed separately and sealed by the organizer. Broken seal may lead to disqualification. Remember the 24 hours rule from the previous checkpoint.
  • Emergency food supplies for musher. Minimum weight 500g. To be used 24 hours after leaving previous checkpoint.


Mandatory equipment that is lost or broken may be supplied or replaced from the depot/handler. The equipment must then be presented to the Race Manager, Technical Delegate, Race Coordinator or Checkpoint Manager for approval of the replacement (to be noted by Technical Delegate).

Dog booties, headlight/batteries, fuel for water boiler are exempt from this rule and can if so desired be replaced from the depot.

There has to be wire in the gangline.

No Man’s Land starts at least 1 km before the finishing line and shall be clearly marked. The trail in this stretch shall be wide enough for dog teams to pass each other. Rules on passing do not apply on this stretch of trail.

The trails pass partly through reindeer grazing areas. The dogs must therefore be kept under strict control and never be let loose during the race. Participants that are observed with loose dog(s) will be disqualified. Participants will be held liable for any damage his/her dogs may cause.
When mushing through reindeer area, the musher shall be tied to his/her sled.

Littering along the trail may lead to disqualification.

The Race Organization may introduce a time limit for the completion of the race and a deadline for passing through checkpoints.

In 2019 the participants must leave Tolga checkpoint at the latest by Tuesday 5th of February at midnight. Participants who leave the checkpoint after this deadline will automatically be disqualified from the race and may continue at their own risk. This time limit may be prolonged by the jury.

The mushers sled shall be able to transport the musher in case of emergency. Mushers may sit/ride on the sled during competition. The sled and sledbag shall be big enough for transporting at least one dog inside the sledbag in addition to all the mandatory equipment. This will be verified at the start.
The SC recommend the mushers to pack a dog bag, in case it is necessary to transport a dog in the sled.

F-junior are prohibited from using skipoles during the whole race.
F450 and F650 may use ski poles after the re-start in checkpoint Tufsingdalen. Participants wishing to use ski poles must have them in the sled from the start.

Any protest shall be delivered to the Technical Delegate / Jury within one hour of crossing the finish line. The protest shall be in written from. Protest fee is NOK 100,-

Note: in the case of dispute of these rules and the rules of the Norwegian Sleddog Federation the rules of the Norwegian Sports Federation and Norwegian Sleddog Federation apply. The Norwegian version of the rules apply.