Vasaloppet introduces new start procedure for Öppet Spår
In Vasaloppet's Winter Week 2019 the 39th Öppet Spår will introduce a new starting procedure; group starts every ten minutes based on a self-seeding system where participants estimate their finishing time when registering and get placed in start groups accordingly. This will give the race a better flow and reduce queueing before the start.
When Öppet Spår Sunday and Öppet Spår Monday run on February 24 and 25, 2019, it will be the 39th year of Öppet Spår. The race was created in 1979 after several years of Vasaloppet being fully booked, leaving many out who wanted to participate. The need for Öppet Spår is as great now as it was then. With less than four months left there are about 5,500 registered for Sunday and 2,500 for Monday.
In previous years, participants have had the choice to start in Berga by in Sälen at any time between 07:00 and 08:30, but in practice most people have chosen to start at 07:00, which has contributed to crowding both before and after the start.
Seven start groups will therefore be introduced in 2019, with the first start at 07:00. (The pens to all the start groups will open as early as 05:00 for those who arrive in good time.) Groups will then start every ten minutes, with about 1,000–1,500 participants per group. Your start position in Öppet Spår will be based on the estimated finishing time you entered when registering.
Why is Vasaloppet implementing this change?
“Over the years we’ve seen the tracks get crowded, with lots of people overtaking one another, even though the point of picking your own start time was to avoid this. Now everyone will know what time they’re starting, which will reduce queueing,” says Tommy Höglund, Vasaloppet’s Sport Manager.
How has this news been received by the participants?
“Some have perhaps not registered this change for 2019, and some have gotten in touch to ask why we’re asking for their estimated finishing time when registering,” says Marianne Arvidsson, Sport Administrator at Vasaloppet.
If you do a lot of training this winter and want to change your estimated finishing time, is that possible?
“Yes, you can alter it up until the middle of January. After that we will assign the skiers their start groups,” Marianne Arvidsson explains.
FACTS/ Öppet Spår
Distance: 90 km from Sälen to Mora
Start group 1 at 07:00
Start group 2 at 07:10
Start group 3 at 07:20
Start group 4 at 07:30
Start group 5 at 07:40
Start group 6 at 07:50
Start group 7 at 08:00–08:15. (If the race is not fully booked there will be fewer start groups, and an earlier start for the final group.)
Total start places on Sunday, February 24: 10,000
Total start places on Monday, February 25: 8,000
Upcoming events in the Vasaloppet Arena
Vasaloppet Winter Week 2019
Fri 22 Feb: Kortvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 23 Feb: Tjejvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 24 Feb: Ungdomsvasan. 9/19 km Start Eldris/Hökberg.
Sun 24 Feb: Öppet Spår Sunday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Mon 25 Feb: Öppet Spår Monday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Tue 26 Feb: Halvvasan. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 1 Mar: Stafettvasan. 9–24 km. Five-person teams. Start Sälen.
Fri 1 Mar: Nattvasan. 90 km. Two-person teams. Start Sälen.
Sat 2 Mar: Blåbärsloppet. 9 km. Start Eldris.
Sun 3 Mar: Vasaloppet. 90 km. Start Sälen. (FULL 180318)
Vasaloppet’s Summer Week 2019
Fri 9 Aug: Cykelvasan Öppet Spår. 94 km. Start Sälen
Fri 9 Aug: Cykelvasasprinten. 1 km. Lindvallen, Sälen (Open qualifier on Thursday)
Sat 10 Aug: Cykelvasan 90. 94 km. Start Sälen
Sun 11 Aug: Cykelvasan 30. 32 km. Start Oxberg
Sun 11 Aug: Ungdomscykelvasan. 32 km. Start Oxberg
Sun 11 Aug: Cykelvasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg
Sat 17 Aug: Ultravasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg
Sat 17 Aug: Ultravasan 90. 90 km. Start Sälen
Sat 17 Aug: Vasastafetten. 4,5–15 km. Running relay for ten-person teams. Start Sälen
Sat 17 Aug: Vasakvartetten. 19,1–24,2 km. Running relay for four-person teams. Start Sälen