Head-on: This article will help familiarize you with the Finnmark Race 2023 – the IFSS World Championship.
The Finnmark Race is a lot of things. First of all, it is more than one race – it is normally three in one, and this year; even four.
It is also a public celebration, culture and a festival – it is Finnmark in the prime time of winter.
Let’s start with the competition details
The Finnmark Race is really three races in one. . You can find a trail map for all three classes here
The 1200 class starts from Alta High Street (Markedsgata) on Friday 10 March at 12 noon. This is the longest race. Dogs and mushers are going allt he way to Kirkenes and back.
The 600 class and the Junior class start the next day, on Saturday 11 March. On this day, you will need to be downtown Alta at 13:00 hrs to watch them set out into the wilderness.
In 2023 we also have the honor of organizing the World Championship for all races. That honor has been bestowed upon us by the IFSS, the International Federation of Sleddog Sports. We held the same status in 2015.
When there is an official World Championship, there will often be a separate sub-class will appear for the FL-600 Race, consisting of those with pure-breed polar dogs (RNB, Registered Nordic Breed). This means we will award four world champion medals in not too long.
Fun fact: In 2015, all four classes saw women win the gold medals. And so, we have also let you know that there are no separate classes for men and women in the Finnmark Race.
For most of us, it is kind of hard to follow the teams out on the plains and in the valleys of the wilderness. Therefore, it is rather nice that one can follow the race through Norwegian broadcaster NRK’s race pages or at iFinnmark, which ever years airs a series of great programs and stories. One can also follow all teams 24/7 through our new combined GPS tracking and table of results.
During such long races, there will frequently be some distance between the participants, both along the trail and to the finish line. We have made a form to provide you with estimates for when we exepct participants to arrive at the various checkpoints and at the finish line.
Normally, the FL-junior winner will arrive in Alta early Sunday afternoon, just over 24 hours after starting their race.
The FL-600 class winner will usually arrive in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, meaning he or she has spent just under three days and nights on the trail.
The winner of the longest class usually arrives after about a week. The weather as well as the trail conditions may create rather large variations from one year to the next.
Spread the word!
If you wanna spread the word about the race. You are most welcome to use the snap lens. Just open snap and point the camera to the picture under and our lens should pop up. If you need to search for it, search “Finnmarksloepet”. Thanks to Ketil Moe who has made it for us.
More than a sleddog race
Let us tell you right now about the Finnmark Race Siida. We actually have a separate page for that, with a freshly updated program for the places that the Siida will visit.
Banquets are part of the game. The first one out is our general partner SpareBank1 Nord-Norge Start Banquet on 10 March. It will be ram packed at our elite partner Scandic Alta’s banquet hall. There may be some tickets for sale. If so, you must be ready at 12 noon on Wednesday 8 March, when our merch store cabin – run by thrifty students at Alta Upper High School – opens up. The merch store cabin is located right in the middle of downtown Alta, just by the start and finish lines.
On Wednesday 15 March comes the next banquet. This is the Scandic Finish Banquet for the FL-600. There will usually be tickets available for sale.
The last one out is the Finnmark Race Finish Banquet for the 1200 race and the whole event. There are usually tickets available for this one too.
Nor do we take lightly on the award ceremonies. These take place in the start and finish areas downtown Alta.
The award ceremonies are of course found in the program too.
We want to organize the best Finnmark Race ever. You are warmly welcome to join us!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us via email.