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Cross country ski racing

La Sgambeda [M Wray]

Discover the world of cross country ski racing

You'll find events to suit you, from local club races through popular marathons, to elite racing culminating in the World Championships and Olympic Games. And of course there's biathlon too although entry to the sport is easier if you're in the armed forces.

Check out our Club ski trips to Worldloppet and Euroloppet events.

Popular races

You pay your money and take your choice - anyone who thinks they can ski the distance in the required technique within the time limit can enter. Popular in this context means 'carried out by the general public'.

There's a huge choice of races, from club sprints to marathons over 100 km, that take place in skiing countries.

Worldloppet series

Many Club members compete in the Worldloppet series of the 17 most prestigious popular races from Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

Races are categorised as long distance, between 42 km and 90 km, and short distance, between 17 and 45 km. Some are run in classic technique, others in free technique - most competitors skate but it's perfectly legitimate to ski classic. Complete at least 10 of the 15 races and you can become a Worldloppet Master.

Read more about Club members' achievements in the article, Skiers from a Snowless City, by Club founder and former Worldloppet Technical Delegate, Paddy Field on the Worldloppet website.

See the BBC's article on the Engadin Skimarathon, 'The ski marathon open to everyone', including the famous British architect, Sir Norman Foster, who has competed 16 times.

The Worldloppet Ski Federation is an international sports federation of cross-country skiing marathons. Founded in 1978 in Uppsala, Sweden, it aims to promote the sport of cross-country skiing through the ski races around the world.

Euroloppet series

Fifteen races, spread over nine central European and Scandinavian countries offer a good alternative challenge. Under the Euroloppet system, your passport lasts for 10 years, with your first award [Euroloppet racer] after completion of 3 races, and you get the title Euroloppet Champion after you've done 8 short or long races.

Masters World Cup

An annual meeting open to skiers over 30 which attracts keen Club skiers and former national team members organised by the World Masters Cross Country Ski Association - find out more from the British association, BMCCSA.

The 2020 Masters World Cup takes place in Cogne, Italy.

Visma Ski Classics

This is a series of long distance classic ski races for professional and amateur skiers in Europe and China, operated by the company SC Long Distance Skiing AB, owned by W sportsmedia, Vasaloppet and Birkebeinerrennet. 

Elite racing

Top level racing has its own set qualifying rules and regulations - see the FIS and International Biathlon Union websites for more details and racing programmes.

The British Championships take place in Ruhpolding in January/February - you can find out more information from the British Biathlon Union.  

The next Winter Olympics take place in Beijing in 2022.

Eurosport covers cross country ski-racing and has news, calendar and standings on its website for cross country and biathlonChannel 4 usually has some late night coverage too.

FIS Worldloppet Cup

This series is run jointly by the FIS and Worldloppet Ski Federation. It aims to improve the status of long distance competitions by attracting elite racers, and to increase media and spectator interest in long distance racing.