This is the leg!

Written by: Tine Klevstad transl. Hans Ole Sandring
Date: 14.03.2013 08:30

When Tore Albrigtsen describes the leg from Levajok to Karasjok, he surprisingly answers: What is there to describe? It`s flat, flat flat. Considering the terrain, it`s the easiest leg in FL-1000 - 85 kilometers on Tana river and Karasjohka. It can be experienced as boring both for musher and dogs. An everlasting leg! Worse is the mental challenge when racing in a monotone terrain- a terrain that seldom changes. The musher dreams about pinewood and birch wood, a trail full of turns and steep slopes. If you have done a tactical race so far and the dogs are rested, the team of dogs keeps up the speed on the river ice. But there is also a chance that you can lose intensity. Albrigtsen has competed in Finnmarksløpet twelve times, and he has a fifth place as his best placement. He has several times experienced slumbering on the sledge during this leg.  

Both weather and snow conditions decide what speed you obtain. Albrigtsen remembers the race in 2004 when they experienced heavy wind and white out on this distance. The dog teams parked on the river ice one by one. But because of his fabulous lead dog, he dragged a convoy of six teams to Karasjok. “But everyone of them entered the finish line before us. That was their thanks for the help” he laughs.

Photo: Jørn Losvar