Photo of 47th Tartu Marathon. Author: Adam Illingworth.
Today and tomorrow, Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour organizers are visiting Southern Estonia to see the Tartu Marathon track and the organizing team. The reason is Tartu Marathon 63 km distance, which is again part of the professional long-distance skiing series after 11 years.
In addition to Tartu Marathon, the Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour includes 14 other competitions, for example, Marcialonga (Italy), Vasaloppet (Sweden) and Birkebeinerrennet (Norway).
The series begins with a 15 km long prologue in Orsa Grönklitt, Sweden, on December 18th and ends with a 70 km distance in Ylläs-Levi, Northern Finland, on April 9th. Tartu Marathon taking place on February 20th is the 9th event of the tour. The professional skiers will ride 63 km on the traditional Elva-Otepää route. There are a total of 35 professional teams in the Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour and they will ski 810 kilometers during the series.
According to David Nilsson, CEO of Visma Ski Classics, the races of this season are the most versatile so far. “We have 15 races with different profiles, including the Tartu Marathon this year. We are glad that the Tartu Marathon is back – I believe that it has one of the best and varied courses in the long distance world,” he states.
According to Indrek Kelk, the race director of the Tartu Marathon, he is happy that despite the recent years, which have been very difficult for the event organizers, they have been able to continue Tartu Marathon traditions and organize the event in a way that it has been noticed internationally. "During these difficult times, we have proven that we can organize Tartu Marathon professionally, regardless of the situation. Of course, we do our best to keep that high level," he states.
Ski Classics started in January 2011 and the winners of the series include world-famous skiers like Stanislav Rezac, Anders Aukland, Tord Asle Gjerdalen and others.
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