Following in their fathers’ tracks

DHL Freight gets the Vasa race in Sweden rolling “I fäders spår – för framtids segrar“, which translated means: “In the tracks of the fathers – for the victories of the future “, has been the slogan of one of the biggest skiing events in the world since 1922. 15,800 skiers take part in the world famous “Vasaloppet”. The final race, which traditionally takes place on the first Sunday in March, ends the Vasa week with seven other cross-country skiing competitions in and around Sälen. During the Vasa week more than 40,000 people take to the slopes: Entry tickets for the final race are sold out long before the winter.

The winners in 2016:
  • Men: John Kristian Dahl (Norway) 4:08:00 h
  • Women: Katerina Smutná (Austria) 4:17:56 h
[Foto: DHL]
[Photo: DHL]

With the Vasa race the Swedes pay tribute to an important historical event: the occasion on which the Swedish nobleman Gustav I Vasa fled from the soldiers of the Danish King – on skis. The Swedes thus began an uprising against Danish rule and sent two of their best skiers to get back Gustav. That happened in 1521 in the area around Sälen. To commemorate this event, the Vasa race from Sälen to Mora has been held since 1922. The 90 km in classical style are the highlight of the Swedish cross country skiing season.

Vasaloppet – the big race in numbers:

 

  • 90 kilometres
  • Classic style (no skating step)
  • 15,800 participants
  • Carried out in all weather (exception: lack of snow)
  • Fastest time: 3:38:41 h (Jörgen Brink, Sweden, 2012)
  • Fastest women’s time: 4:08:24 h (Vibeke Skofterud, Norway, 2012)

Since 2011, DHL Freight has been the partner of the event, and organizes the transport of all the material before, during and after the race week. For example the equipment and clothing of the athletes are transported between the changing zones at the beginning and end of the race. For more than 60.000 participants! “We really get the Vasa race running“, says Maria Johansson Maltez, Marketing Project Leader DHL Freight Sweden, not without a fair bit of pride. The numbers are impressive:

  • 234 pallets with starting numbers
  • 38 truckloads with clothes for the participants
  • 871 work hours before, during and after the race for dispatchers and drivers alone
[Foto: DHL]
[Photo: DHL]

DHL Freight is also host and main sponsor of the Tjejvasan – a 30-kilometer race exclusively for girls and women. Since 2015, DHL has also organized a prize draw among the participants for special wishes. The motto: “What would you wish for when you cross the finish line?“ These wishes are then fulfilled for three winners. Furthermore, DHL Freight also has a booth at the Vasaloppet fair, which takes place at the same time, organises a customer event in conjunction with the relay race, runs a check point during four races, and has a warming trailer at the start of two races in Oxberg. “That’s our winter programme. And it continues in the summer. We are also the logistics partner of Vasaloppets summer week, the cycling and running event on the same course in August“, explains Maltez.

Author: Torsten Arnold

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