The Long Distance Ski Championship

A NEW FACE JOINS VISMA SKI CLASSICS

Engadin Skimarathon is the first free technique race in the series.

Written by: Teemu Virtanen

Each Visma Ski Classics season comes along with new flavors, great surprises and inspiring growth. It seems that a new race joins the gang almost every year, and now the famous Engadin valley ups the ante by being the only location that has two wonderful events enjoying the beauty of the Swiss Alps.

Engadin Skimarathon, March 10, 2019, is one of the biggest ski races in the world, and it has now become a part of the most prestigious long-distance tour, Visma Ski Classics. With Toblach-Cortina, the race is the second shortest in the tour and the only one in free technique. La Diagonela is the other Visma Ski Classics event in the same region taking place in mid-January.

The CEO of Engadin Skimarathon, Menduri Kasper, is really excited about being "the new boy" in the club. He believes that the event's long tradition offers a great contribution to Visma Ski Classics and the sport itself. Lets give him a chance to share his views on this historic move.

1. Why is Engadin Skimarathon a unique race; it's not the longest, it's not the hardest, but there is something special about it?

Engadin Skimarathon has a long tradition and is well known to most people, especially in Switzerland. Recreational skiers and beginners in cross-country skiing can still participate in the race because it's not as long and difficult as other races. It offers a great opportunity to start racing. Moreover, the mixture of elite skiers and all other participants combined with a good organization is well worth the participation.

2. How are you approaching the new season now when your race is a part of Visma Ski Classics, the first free technique race ever?

We will spread the news about being part of Visma Ski Classics mostly through the media and try to attract foreign racers to participate in Engadin Skimarathon.

3. What is the importance of your race being the first of its kind in Visma Ski Classics?

For us, it's a great to be the first, and we hope the media attention will be even bigger. That's why the decision to become part of the Visma Ski Classics was quickly approved. We wanted to be the first free technique race in the series.

4. What are you expecting from being a member of the professional long-distance tour?

Being part of the Visma Ski Classics gives us the chance to be known abroad, especially in the Scandinavian market. We want to attract a lot of Scandinavian skiers and Visma Ski Classics is a good marketing tool for that.

5. How do you see the future of your race?

The 50-year anniversary in 2018 was a very successful race. For the first time in history, the race was fully booked. Now, our ambitions are to keep this level and to further develop the race. One of the main points is the international marketing of the race. Furthermore, we want to expand the program around the event and develop a whole week of cross-country skiing.

6. From the organizer's point of view, what is the magic of long distance skiing?

It's the combination of exercising, being in the beautiful nature and challenging yourself with like-minded people.

7. To continue your train of thought, why do people have a craving for it?

They look for a change to their daily lives at the office and in the cities. It offers an escape from the mundane existence and gives everyone a way to reinvent himself or herself.

8. Based on what you just said, how would you describe Engadin Skimarathon with one sentence?

A unique cross-country race with a long tradition in one of the most stunning valleys in the world.