Five FL-1000 racers challenging Petter Karlsson!

Written by: Trine Kvidal-Røvik/Trond Ørslien
Date: 09.03.2017 10:50

Our expert Trond Ørslien has looked closely at five candidates who can challenge last year’s winner Petter Karlsson in FL-1000.

 Will last year’s FL-1000 winner, Petter Karlsson, do what no one has done before: win both the Femund Race and the Finnmark Race in the same season? Or will someone else be at the top of the podium?

We will not know the answer to this until the finish of FL-100, but our expert Trond Ørslien here shares why he thinks Petter Jahnsen, Marit Beate Kasin, Arnt Ola Skjerve, Thomas Wærner, and Ronny Frydenlund are potential candidates who can snatch the throne from Swedish Petter Karlsson. 

«The man to beat»
Karlsson has won two tough races after each other: Last year’s winner of the Finnmark Race and victory in the Femund Race this year. He is ranked the best long distance musher in Europe. No one has won the Femund Race and the Finnmark Race in the same season – if he makes it, he will be historic.

This is the man to beat, if you want to win FL-1000 in 2017!

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Petter Karlsson, winner of FL-1000 in 2016 (Photo: Mads S. Pettersen)


5 challengers:

1. Petter Jahnsen
Last year’s winner of the Femund Race 600. Did not participate in the Femumd Race this year, but was in great shape during the Gausdal Marathon, where he finished second. Advantage: He clearly has one of the best teams and has been stabile over many years. If everything works out, no one can beat Jahnsen, as we have seen over many years. However, mushers have a particular confidence related to each race, and despite several attempts, Petter has never quite succeeded in the Finnmark Race. Will he make it this year? Many think so.

2. Marit Beate Kasin
Relatively new in this group. She had a great race as a rookie in 2015, and came in second – earning the Norwegian Champion title - in 2016, in her second Finnmark Race. We have not seen much of Marit this year, but she participated in Gausdal Marathon, where she appeared strong. Marit has a relatively small kennel and has a full-time job. The battle for the Saltdalshytta cabin is new for her this year, and she is a good candidate. She faces high expectations this year, both in terms of living up to the statistics, and also in terms of competing for the prize of more than half a million Norwegian kroner.

3. Arnt Ola Skjerve
He impressed everyone last year when he finished with many dogs in his team across the finish line, and was able to get a spot on the podium. Before last year’s race, we knew nothing about Arnt Ola’s team. We certainly expect great things from him this year! This man is a stayer with a strong psyche, and he brings an experienced team of dogs with him.

4. Thomas Wærner
Thomas took it easy in the Femund Race, and crossed the finish line with a strong team. This year he has a new plan for the Finnmark Race; he will have a different race- and resting schedule compared to what has been the tradition in the Finnmark Race. It means resting more along the trail, and following his own plan, being less dependant on where the set checkpoints are located. It can result in shorter stretches, and a higher number of stops than what we traditionally see. He won the Finnmark Race in 2013, and raced in the Iditarod in 2015, where he became «Rookie of the Year». This is his first Finnmark Race since finishing the Idiarod.

5. Ronny Frydenlund
He participates in the Finnmark Race for the ninth time. Ronny is the definition of stability. Year after year he has made it to the top ten – several times in the top five. He has a very good team this year, with a lot of experience. Will 2017 be Ronny’s year? He did not participate in the Femund Race due to a broken collar bone, but his team participated with Tor Einar Skogesal, who gave the dogs a nice run-through. At the starting line  we see a Ronny with a strong desire to win the Finnmark Race this year.  


Here are the other five top candidates:

  • Ola Brennodden Sunde
  • Petter Karlsson
  • Kenneth Nilsen
  • Kristian Walseth
  • Kristoffer Halvorsen