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First Winner Arriving Today

March 12, 2023 | 10:09 am

Elisabeth Kristensen heading out from Alta on Saturday. On Sunday, she was the first FL-junior musher to head out from Suossjavre towards Jotka 2.Photo: Hilde Bye

Today is set to be the juniors’ day at the Finnmark Race. We expect the winner of the FL-junior race to arrive across the finish line in Alta around dinner time Sunday.

While you were sleeping, the FL-junior mushers have arrived and rested in Suossjavre, before they hit the trails in the very early hours of the morning, bound for Jotka 2.

Elisabeth Kristensen from Team Jotka left Suossjavre at 04:#9 CET, four small minutes before reigning Norwegian Junior Champion Eline Andersen. They were followed by the rest of the pack, one after the other, until the final one, Sara Nyheim Lambela, left Suossjavre at 07:09 CET this morning.

Once the juniors arrive at Jotka 2, they have a three-hour mandatory rest to take out before hitting the trails for their final leg towards Alta and the finish line.

Harald Tunheim races the FL-600 and is currently in the middle of the field half way between checkpoints Kautokeino and Jergul.Photo: Elisabeth Bergquist


FL-600 – in Kautokeino and on the trail towards Jergul

The FL-600 mushers have spent the night arriving to and resting at checkpoint Kautokein, and more than half of them have also hit the trails leading towards the next checkpoint; Jergul.

Eskil Knag was the first to hit the trail out from Kautokeino at 05:06, six short minutes before Ivar Johan Sørli. 45 minutes later, multi-medal-winner Elisabeth Edland could hit the trail as #3 and start the chase, closely followed by Alexander Schwartz, Tinja Myllykangas and Ole Wingren, who has also won the eight-dog-team class of this race before.

However, this is a long race and lots may happen before the teams arrive back in Alta. This competition is by no means over yet!

Vet check of dogs prior to departure from Karasjok. Photo: Ottavio Tomasini

FL-1200: Frozen river mushing

The majority of the FL-1200 participants have spent the night at cp Karasjok or hit the trail for the 30 long kilometers of mushing on the frozen Tana river up to cp Levajok.

Five mushers have also left cp Levajok and are heading out for cp Tana.

The first of the five were Kristoffer Halvorsen, who left cp Levajok more than two hours before Petter Karlsson, followed by Steinar Kristensen, Thomas Wærner and Malin Strid. Kristensen and Wærner have rested some five hours at this checkpoint, Halvorsen and Strid just stopped for minutes, whereas Kalrsson blew right through.

The lead pack are now in an area with poor GPS connectivity, so that may at times affect the GPS tracking.

Further back, there are also still mushers on the trail between cp Jergul and cp Karasjok and they are expected to arrive at the latter during Sunday.

The FL-1200 teams have to take out a 20-hour mandatory rest at one of the checkpoints between Jergul and Varangerbotn.