Many areas of Scandinavia have been very fortunate amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic to see a return to racing. The iconic Besseggen took place in June and in the following weeks, we have witnessed races, albeit low-key with restrictions appear.
Now, on August 15th, the Rondane 100 will take place (also a 50 mile event) with reduced capacity and sold out races.
The 2020 edition will no doubt be different to other editions, but race director, Erik Haugland and his team have been working hard to put on an event that complies with all the necessary protocols in these challenging times without ruining the integrity of the event and the experience of the runners.
‘We want as many as possible to enjoy Norwegian wilderness and Norwegian mountains.’
Covering 963 square km’s, Rondane National Park is the oldest national park in Norway, established in 1962. The park contains ten peaks above 2000m, an excellent run challenge in itself! The highest peak being Rondeslottet at 2178m.
With a mild climate, the terrain is unique, especially above the tree line where little grows; lichen, rocks and a barren landscape.
Folldal, an old mining village, is the hub for the race activity with the Rondane 100 starting and finishing here. Dovre and Alvdal Vestfjell frame the village.
A long and tough race, the race provides an opportunity to experience 2000m summits, a land full of reindeer, mining heritage and traces from the last ice-age.
‘We have used our own trail running experience and created a race in our own beautiful backyard. A tribute to stunning nature, majestic mountains, to trail running and ultrarunning culture.’
A 4-hour drive from Oslo and a 7-hour drive from Bergen, Folldal and the Rondane 100 is a race that is easily accessed from outside of Norway, with many flights daily from Europe, however, for 2020, the Rondane races will mainly have only Scandinavian participants due to global restrictions on travel.
The main event gets underway at 0500 on Saturday August 15th – Rondane 100 will take place on 85% path, minimal gravel road and almost no tarmac.
There are five key aid stations, Nygruva, Dørålseter, Straumbu, Breijøseter and Grimsbu. The race concludes at 1800 hours on Sunday 16th.
A full list of participants is available
Molly Bazilchuk heads up the women’s race and many consider her a top-tip for the overall podium. Molly has won Ultra Tour Monte Rosa, EcoTrail Oslo and placed 14th at CCC.
Lena-Britt Johansen won Lofoten Ultra Trail 100 in 2017 and won the 50-mile event in 2019, no doubt a strong challenger for the podium in Rondane. Inger Haugland has experience 24-hours on a track and has placed 2nd at Black River 100 mile race.
Liss Vallestrand has won Sora Moria 100 and is experienced over 24-hours. A hot favourite in Rondane.
Elisabeth Angermund-Vik also comes to the race with a great pedigree over the 60km distance, however, the 100 will be a test. The same applies for Inger Aaberg, a 3rd place at Honindal Rundt a good indicator though.
Katrine Andersen placed 2nd at the Cumbria Way Ultra (73 miles) in the UK, which shows the long game is part of her repertoire.
Gro Silijan Hjukse has won Nordmarka 100km and placed well at Soria Moria. Liv Richter is another one to watch after winning Backyard Ultra Norway and placing 7th at Ultra Trail Capetown in 2018.
Close to 100 men will contest the Rondane 100 with only 7 runners coming from outside of Norway.
Erik-Sebastien Krogvig is the Norwegian National Champion and comes to Rondane with excellent results from Lavaredo where he placed 3rd and 3rd at Honindal Rundt.
Vegard Triseth has won Sora Moria 100 2019 and placed 2nd in 2020. That experience will be invaluable over the Rondane 100.
Paul Ogier from France could well break up the Norwegian party with a string of top results, notably victory at EcoTrail Also 50km and Honindal Rundt. He has placed 18th at CCC and 6th at the tough High Trail Vanoise – one to watch!
Rondane 100 ambassador Aasmund Kjøllmoen Steien is a successful biathlete and who comes to Rondane with no experience of ultra-trail running… May he surprise us?
Patrick Stangbye is also one to watch along with his Sky Blazer team members, however, in any 100-mile race there are no guarantees. Anything can happen and that is what makes the racing so exciting.
The only thing to do is tune in on August 15/16 and watch the action unfold.
Rondane 100 Facebook
Rondane 100 Instagram @rondane100
For live updates of the race in real time, tune in to @abelonely on Instagram. Her blow-by-blow account of the 100-mile race will be availble on IG story.
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