2017-06-19 11:27

Time penalty for littering also applies during Vasaloppet's Summer Week 2017

Littering went down with 90 percent in the Vasaloppet Arena during all races of the Winter Week, excluding Vasaloppet. The rule implementing a time penalty against participants who are found to be littering where not allowed during a race will also apply to cyclists and runners in Vasaloppet's Summer Week.

For the Winter Week 2017, Vasaloppet implemented a time penalty of 15 minutes in the event that a participant littered in nature. A measure that gave good results and that will also apply during Vasaloppet’s Summer Week.

“We have had large problems with littering during the summer too, mostly in the bike races where litter on the ground also becomes a security risk. The runners have been managing well but the same rule will apply to them,” says Tommy Höglund, Vasaloppet Sport Manager.

The Vasaloppet Arena is a nature reserve during the winter and the course runs over land owned by 900 different landowners. Littering is forbidden according to Swedish law and Vasaloppet has for several years worked towards a zero-tolerance approach to littering in the arena, but it has not had the desired effect. Instead, littering has increased in later years.

“Environmental work is an important part of our adopted sustainability strategy and we realized that strong measures were needed to deal with this issue. After good results during the Winter Week we now hope our summer participants will be equally helpful in taking care of our fantastic arena,” says Tommy Höglund.

Vasaloppet will be putting up signs and clear symbols to show where throwing litter is allowed. During the bike races there will be a total of twelve littering zones, consisting of large nets that are placed to make it easy for participants to toss rubbish as they speed by. During the running races there will be fluid checkpoints every fifth kilometre where throwing rubbish is also possible. These zones are in addition to the seven standard Vasaloppet checkpoint where participants can also dispose of litter. Just like during the Winter Week, photographic evidence is required to apply the time penalty to a participant. A few officials will be assigned along the course to try and capture images of anyone breaking this rule.

“We did not apply the time penalty to anyone this winter, but it is fully possible that we do so this summer. We want our participants to take the littering problem seriously,” says Tommy Höglund.

When it comes to elite participants in Cykelvasan 90, special dialogue is being held and, just like during the Winter Week, Vasaloppet is requiring that each team takes responsibility for, and picks up, any waste that is thrown along the track. All teams that Vasaloppet has been in contact with strongly support this position.

Disposing of litter during Vasaloppet’s Summer Week 2017 is allowed in the following ways:

  • In the bins at the seven Vasaloppet checkpoints as well as at the start and finish. During the running races there will be two additional checkpoints, Gopshus and Läde, where disposing of litter is also possible.
  • In the marked littering zones between each Vasaloppet checkpoint.
  • Where you as a participant know that a team leader or associate will pick up what you throw.

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