After coronavirus restrictions ended up cancelling the Haanja ski marathon this weekend, organizers made it available for all ski fans to be able to participate in the traditional event virtually.
"The government's decision to cancel the marathon came this week and since we had prepared all routes of the Haanja marathon, we along with the Estoloppet series' team decided to organize the 45th Haanja ski marathon virtually. This means all ski friends can participate in the competition from a distance until March 14," Haanja marathon head organizer Aare Eiche said.
"People can go through their ski route on the prepared routes of Haanja ski marathon, but also at their freely chosen routes, meaning the distance can be finished all across Estonia, even at home," the organizer said.
The distance-participation Haanja ski marathon was started at midnight on Friday by SA Haanja Sport board member Anti Saarepuu, Rõuge municipality council chairman Aigar Kalk and Rõuge municipality mayor Rein Loik, all encouraging people to participate in the virtual marathon.
The marathon has two distances: 42 km and 22 km. In addition, a childrens' distance of 1.2 km is open.
The virtual marathon is open to everyone who registered for the marathon. Registration is open on the Estoloppet series homepage until March 14.
The chief organizer pointed out that the marathon's technique is open for participants to choose, meaning people can ski in both classic and freestyle techniques. "Your results can be uploaded to the Estoloppet homepage, you can also get acquintated with the virtual race's conditions and keep an eye on results. Since the virtual Haanja ski marathon is not an official competition, we will not publish an official result list, results will also not be entered in the Estoloppet's official rankings," Eiche said.
The organizers emphasized that gatherings should still be avoided, even on ski trails.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste