Historical victory for Johannessen in FL1000

Både Ralph Johannessen og hundene så uforskammet spreke ut da de krysset mållinja nede i Alta kl 21:55 i kveld etter å ha kjørt Finnmark rundt i 5 døgn, 8 timer og 58 minutter. – Jeg skjønte at jeg måtte vinne i år da Inger Marie vant i fjor, sa den slitne og blide 1000km-vinneren før han fikk seierskysset fra sin glade samboer og fjorårsvinner på samme distanse, Inger Marie Haaland, til de suggererende tonene av Conquest of Paradise.

Skrevet av: Dag B. Urdal/ Therese Hagerup (transl.)
Dato: 18.03.2010 22:00

Both Ralph Johannessen and his dogs appeared amazingly fit when they crossed the finishline in Alta at 21.55, after a trip around Finnmark on 5 days, 8 hours and 58 minutes. – When Inger Marie won last year I realised I had to win this year's race , said a very tired but also very pleased winner of FL1000, before he got a victory-kiss from his happy girlfriend and last year’s winner, Inger Marie Haaland, while the tunes of “Conquest of Paradise” could be heard in the background.

Ever since Inger Marie won FL1000 last year, it has been evident that Ralph had the same ambitions for this year’s race –in order to keep the honor in the family so to speak. This is exactly what he has achieved. Never before has a couple won the northernmost and longest dog-sled race in Europe succeeding each other two years in a row, so this is really historical!

Foto: Sten Tony Hansen

Johannessen and Haaland run Fagerheim Fjellstue together at Hardangervidda, half an hour drive from Geilo.

 Incredibly exciting

The end of the race was almost to exciting for those who have followed the competition via FL’s webpages due to the difficulties with Johannessen’s GPS tracking. The secretariat and the most dedicated enthusiasts were therefore dependant on people reporting over the phone from the trail. We can only speculate if this was the reason why the finishing area was crowded with people who wanted to congratulate the winner, but the atmosphere was warm and welcoming here in Alta tonight -in honor of the new winner of FL1000.

Same team of dogs

Johannessen has mushed steadily all the way from Karasjok with an average speed of 12 km per hour. His team of dogs is the same which his girlfriend used when she won Finnmarksløpet last year.  He has also used her schedule from last year. It is an experienced and very good team of dogs which he has- one year after Inger Marie’s victory, now raced to yet another success.

The web-editorial staff at Finnmarksløpet congratulates!