News date30.12.2020

We still don’t know whether 2021 brings a breath of fresh air, but everyone, including the organisers of Marcialonga, hopes so. In the race office in Predazzo everyone is working hard to be ready for the 48th Marcialonga – scheduled for 31 January – and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first edition of the cross-country ski marathon, which will take place in full compliance with the current rules and regulations. President Angelo Corradini and his team of expert colleagues are considering every scenario and laying down all the measures necessary to ensure that Marcialonga can take place despite some obvious changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The competition will take place behind closed doors and will be broadcast live on SKY Sport. The course almost entirely follows the cycle path in Val di Fiemme and Fassa, avoiding wherever possible the urban areas which in past years have seen the highest number of spectators. The tracks will be more spaced out to guarantee maximum safety for the athletes. Every single arrangement requires a considerable amount of physical and mental effort, but the Marcialonga staff are ready to prove once again that they are stronger than any adversity.
The snow does not seem to be a problem and the course is almost complete, except for a few short stretches that will be groomed in the coming days. In the last few hours, in addition to snowmaking, a heavy snowfall has covered the whole course from Moena to Cavalese, including the stretch from Moena to Canazei, and other precipitation is expected in the next days, which gives hope to all those ski enthusiasts eager to ski surrounded by a winter landscape that only the Dolomites can offer.
The start will have some modifications to guarantee distance amongst competitors. Each competitor will reach the start area with their skis and face masks on. The first group with the “pros” will start in a mass start format, with the women starting at 7.50 am and the men at 8 am. Then, group by group, everyone will come out of special “boxes” and will reach the starting grid. The participants will start one after the other, and the timing device will register the start time of each participant as soon as they cross the starting line.
The transportation will also have some changes. The skiers will be invited to reach Moena in their own vehicles, while buses will be only available upon booking from Cavalese, without stops until Moena.
It will be a special anniversary, of course, a really exciting one – as assured by the Marcialonga organisers. The Marcialonga Story has been confirmed, i.e. a non-competitive “revival” event that evokes the glories of the past, with participants wearing ski clothing and using ski equipment used before 1976. Marcialonga Story will take place on a course from Lago di Tesero to the Ski Jumping Stadium in Predazzo. There will also be the Marcialonga Young, a race in classic technique dedicated to the categories Ragazzi, Allievi, Aspiranti and Junior. This competition will take place from the Cross-Country Stadium in Lago di Tesero to Cavalese, where great champions of cross-country skiing have made their names in the international cross-country firmament.
In short, it will be an opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of an event that has rightfully become one of cross-country skiing’s elite ski marathons, in full compliance with anti-Covid protocols. 50 years of history that have witnessed different changes and technological developments. Everything started with the classic technique, then there was a change to the revolutionary free technique, before going back to the origins. A myriad of champions crossed the finish line in Cavalese, including Franco Nones, Italy’s first Olympic gold medallist in cross-country skiing, Maurilio De Zolt and Giorgio Vanzetta, to name but a few, and the female champions Maria Canins Bonaldi, winner of ten editions in a row, Gabriella Paruzzi and Cristina Paluselli, the last Italian to stand on the top step of the podium in Cavalese.


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