FL-500: Ten favorites

Written by: Trond Ørslien / Trine Kvidal-Røvik
Date: 10.03.2017 20:53

Our expert Trond Ørslien has looked at who could possibly be in the lead of FL-500 this year. The list includes previous winners, rookies, and mushers from abroad as well as high-ranked Norwegian sled dog racers.

Elisabeth Edland won FL-500 in 2015! (Photo: Steinar Vik)

1. Elisabeth Edland
She is a given! Edland came in only six minutes after Ole Sigleif Johansen last year and she has repeatedly shown that she can be the best. She is not in Finnmark to sightsee – she wants to win!

2. Harald Tunheim
Harald Tunheim should normally be able to fight for a spot on the podium in this race. He has switched from FL-1000 to FL-500, and I think it will work well with his style. He races with a high speed, thus is one of the favorites, even though this race is different from the one he is used to.


Trine Lyrek in Varangerbotn during a previous Finnmark Race. (Photo: Therese Norman Andersen.)

3. Trine Lyrek
Trine Lyrek is another FL-1000 participant who has gone to FL-500. She has a long and solid list of achievements to show in the sport, most recently in the Bergeby Race. She has a good team, which can definitely fight for a spot on the podium.

4. Ronny Wingren
Ronny Wingren has previously raced fast. He has finished the Finnmark Race four times, and came in fifth last year, barely 30 minutes after the winner. Wingren is a steady and talented musher, who will make himself visible in the lead of the race.

5. Sissel Vollan
Sissel Vollan is one of three people who are part of Team Kvam. The Kvam-dogs always do well in Finnmark, and last year she was able to be third best, only seven minutes after the winner, giving Edland a good fight for the silver medal all the way to the finish line. The Kvam-people delivers high quality results in everything that they do, and things could easily go Vollan’s way this year.  

Vidar Uglebakken at the Alta River. (Photo: Davina Müller)

6. Vidar Uglebakken:
Vidar Uglebakken is the strongest local Alta competitor in this year’s FL-500. I have spoken to many in Alta, who believe in him, and he has done well. He has invested all the work that it takes this year, and he has an advantage in racing in the home field, which should not be underestimated. 

7. Øyvind Jakobsen
- He raced very well two years ago, but did not do well last year, Ørslien says with a smile. Last year he seemed to be fighting for the lead for a long time, but it did not last until the finish line when he ended up with few dogs in his team toward the end of the race. He finished seventh, one and a half hour after the winner. But strong dogs and his experience make him someone to be reckoned with this year.


Alexander Schwartz in Karasjok. (Photo: Steinar Vik)

8. Alexander Schwartz
Schwartz has good results to show for from earlier. He was number six last year, and has a determined racing style. He is an exciting musher, and has done well in other European races earlier. Clearly a team to look out for.


The article continues under the ad.

9. Liv Bjørnsvik
Here I am not certain, says Ørslien, but I am taking a chance and choose to include her on the list! She has come a long way with her mushing, and is simply a tough lady. She has done a few races in the south, and suddenly won the Gausdal Marathon 150-K in January. I belive in her!

10. Torvild Dalen
Torvild Dalen is a very experienced musher, who has raced for many years. With dog material from the Dagali team, he had a very good team at Mush Synnfjell earlier in the season, but at the same time he is a rookie in the Finnmark Race and thus has never participated in the race before. If there is a rookie who can make some noise this year, it is him.