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24-hour skiing World Record attempt moved to March

Maastohiihto.com’s editor-in-chief and Ski Classics commentator Teemu Virtanen and the city of Lahti have decided to move the 24-hour skiing world record attempt to March due to the prevailing weather conditions.

Photo: Neo-Vilmeri Virtanen

Teemu Virtanen

The 24-hour World Record attempt was scheduled to be done during January at the ski stadium in Lahti, Finland, but the weather conditions have proven to be too challenging for the effort. Long-term weather forecasts promise cold weather for the whole of January, so the event will be moved to March, the days after the Salpausselkä Games. The weather determines the exact day and is decided about a week before the event.

“I was a bit afraid of this when January was planned as the deadline. The first month of the year is often bitten by frost, and it has been quite a cold early winter for a long time. It was mild for a few days this week, but the wind was too strong. Of course, it’s quite mentally exhausting when you don’t know when you’ll be able to try, and you must be ready to strike all the time,” Virtanen says regretfully to Maastohiihto.com.

The event, which has been moved to March, will be broadcast live, shown by ISTV in Finland, and the live broadcast can also be followed outside Finland. Ari Tuukkanen hosts 24 H Studio, which is live every hour during the 24-hour broadcast. The studio has on-site and remote guests, Finnish skiing stars, the tops of the world of long-distance skiing, and other interesting guests, from celebrities to various influencers.

“Of course, we now have more time to prepare the entire event and of course also the live broadcast itself. The training continues hard, and there are already 2,500 kilometers of skiing behind us, so we are in good shape. I hope that a good day happens in March. In this business, the hunt for the perfect day is everything. And, of course, the man must be fit that day, and the service team around him also. Hans Mäenpää’s record is so difficult that everything has to go together,” Virtanen ponders.

Mäenpää’s current Guinness 24-hour skiing world record is 472.1 km. Virtanen is a former World Record holder and an experienced ultra skier who holds the current double Vasaloppet record of just over 9.5 hours (180 km) and is the only person to roller ski across Finland in 10 days (1600 km – total skiing time of just over 83 hours). Before his attempt in March, Virtanen plans to ski at least the Tartu Ski Marathon and Finlandia-Hiihto.

Read more about Virtanen’s 24-hour World Record attempt HERE.

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