Hemmavasan is here to stay – in some form
Over 12,000 participants in 20 countries around the world have crossed their finish line, completing over 18.5 spins around the Earth, 743,172 km, on bike and foot. Sweden and the rest of the world has been put in motion during Hemmavasan's historic premiere – an event that is returning in some shape or other.
Vasaloppet’s vision, to enable exercise and public health and get more people to experience nature, has perhaps never been more important than now. When it was no longer possible to have all participants cross the classic Mora finish line in Vasaloppet’s Summer Week in August, the idea of Hemmavasan was born. Everyone who wished had the chance to keep training towards their goal, with the difference that the finish could be in Skellefteå, Värmdö, Huskvarna or Colorado.
”I look back at my own 10 km cycling race in the Mora forests which together with all the other worldwide participants in Hemmavasan has taken us over 18 spins around the Earth, and I feel a great pride. So much valuable joy, unity and exercise we’ve given ourselves and each other,” says Vasaloppet’s acting CEO Johan Eriksson.
Many participants have appreciated the opportunity to choose for themselves when, where and how they complete their race. At the same time the solidarity with other participants has been highly valued. Digitally, by sharing experiences on social channels and following other people’s efforts on the Hemmavasan hashtag, but also in the analogue space: Hemmavasan’s colourful T-shirts, developed for the event, have been very popular and they’ve made it easy for participants to recognize one another around the country, making for many cheers and encouragement, both from other participants and the public.
Many are already expressing a wish to see Hemmavasan return in one shape or another.
”We’re thrilled that our participants have received Hemmavasan so well and that Vasaloppet can continue putting Sweden in motion. Right now we’re evaluating our events but I can already say that in the future we wish to join our participants in their home environment, while we’re of course also more eager than ever to receive them here in the Vasaloppet Arena. Perhaps Hemmavasan will become an addition to our standard races in a world that is becoming increasingly digitally,” says Johan Eriksson.
Based on over 6,000 posts with #hemmavasan Vasaloppet has listed a number of positive spin-off effects the event has had:
Many children in motion
Participating in Hemmavasan seems to have become a family event. The new 10 km distance (both for cycling and running) has enabled even younger children to participate.
Creativity at its peak
60 spins around a 1.5 km course, 40 mountain climbs or 10 km on a unicycle. Since it’s up to each person to shape their own race and choose their course we’ve seen some incredible ingenuity. Not to mention the great variety of checkpoints, finish line portals, Kranskullor, kilometre signs, medals, cheers and victory garlands.
New home turf discoveries
Which roads and paths are best suited for Hemmavasan? To find out, participants have explored their surroundings and in many cases discovered areas they’ve never seen before, perfect for future training sessions.
Closer together, with social distancing
Without functionaries and pre-arranged transports, participants have had to collaborate in new ways, both with each other in groups online and on location with friends, family or the local sports club. Cyclists and runners have helped each other and experienced participants have encouraged those near and dear to them to participate for company.
More can join
Hemmavasan has made it possible for more people to join in around the world, whether they be a family with children in Luleå or a group of friends in Copenhagen.
Chance to reflect
For many participants the important things have been the experience, community, weather, friendships, views, adventures and nature, and less the finishing times and achievements. During warmer days many even stopped for a dip or bought ice cream. Something that rarely happens during regular races.
Despite all the Hemmavasan advantages there is also a great longing to have things return to normal so that events can be held on location in the Vasaloppet Arena with thousands of participants again. Starting with your own race on your home turf might be a great gateway to participating in races with a number bibs next time.
FACTS AND TRIVIA HEMMAVASAN AUGUST 15–22, 2020
- Sweden’s 21 counties have all had participants in all eight Hemmavasan 2020 races. The only exception is Gotland where no one took on the Hemmavasan Ultra 45 challenge (this time…)
- Hemmavasan was completed in 20 countries including Japan, Iceland, France, the USA and Russia.
- Each participant completed on average 1.05 Hemmavasan races. Four participants completed all Hemmavasan’s eight races in eight days.
- The oldest person who completed a Hemmavasan race was born in 1937 and the youngest in 2012, both participating in Hemmavasan Cykel 30.
Total number of registrants in Hemmavasan 2020: 16,099
Starting participants: 12,833
Completing participants: 12,087
Registrants and finishes in Hemmavasan, race by race:
Hemmavasan Cykel 90: registered 7,296, started 5,772, finishing 5,415
Hemmavasan Cykel 45: registered 2,702, started 2,203, finishing 2,118
Hemmavasan Cykel 30: registered 2,087, started 1,725, finishing 1,661
Hemmavasan Cykel 10: registered 572, started 400, finishing 387
Hemmavasan Ultra 90: registered 524, started 403, finishing 344
Hemmavasan Ultra 45: registered 723, started 581, finishing 532
Hemmavasan Trail 30: registered 992, started 809, finishing 771
Hemmavasan Trail 10: registered 1,203, started 1,202, finishing 869
Several well-known people participated in Hemmavasan 2020, including:
Mattias Ekström, rallycross world champion (cycling in Munich)
Tomas Gustafson, world and Olympian skating champion
Henrik Sedin, world and Olympian ice hockey champion
Jenny Kallur, hurdling star and sporting influencer
Susanna Kallur, hurdling star and sporting influencer
Stephan Wilson, TV host and sporting influencer
Hans Olsson, former downhill skier
Sverre Liliequist, former extreme skier
Meeri Bodelid, fastest lady in Vasaloppet 1981
Ulrica Persson, winner of Vasaloppet 2001 and 2003
Lina Korsgren, winner of Vasaloppet 2018 and 2020
Staffan Larsson, winner of Vasaloppet 1999
Daniel Tynell, winner of Vasaloppet 2002, 2006 and 2009
Jonas Buud, winner of Ultravasan 90 2014 and 2015
Hanna Bergman, winner of Cykelvasan 90 2009
Jennie Stenerhag, winner of Cykelvasan 90 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017
Mattias Wengelin, winner of Cykelvasan 90 2009
Magnus Darvell, winner of Cykelvasan 90 2010
Fredrik Ericsson, winner of Cykelvasan 90 2013
Michael Olsson, winner of Cykelvasan 90 2018
Emil Lindgren, winner of Cykelvasan 90 2019
Björn Johansson, Olympic team time trial cycling bronze medallist 1988
Mattias Svahn, cross-country skiing expert
Melker Andersson, chef
Clara Henry, TV host
Johanna Ojala, cross-country skiing expert
Vasaloppet’s Upcoming Races (Registration Open)
Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2021
Fri 26 Feb: Vasaloppet 30. 30 km. Start Oxberg
Sat 27 Feb: Tjejvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg
Sun 28 Feb: Ungdomsvasan. 9/19 km Start Eldris/Hökberg
Sun 28 Feb: Öppet Spår Sunday. 90 km. Start Sälen
Mon 1 Mar: Öppet Spår Monday. 90 km. Start Sälen
Tue 2 Mar: Vasaloppet 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg
Fri 5 Mar: Stafettvasan. 9–24 km. Five-person teams. Start Sälen
Fri 5 Mar: Nattvasan 90. 90 km. Two-person teams. Start Sälen
Fri 5 Mar: Nattvasan 45. 45 km. Two-person teams. Start Oxberg
Sat 6 Mar: Blåbärsloppet. 9 km. Start Eldris
Sun 7 Mar: Vasaloppet. 90 km. Start Sälen
Vasaloppet’s Summer Week 2021
Fri 13 Aug: Cykelvasan Öppet Spår. 94 km. Start Sälen
Fri 13 Aug: Cykelvasasprinten. 1 km. Lindvallen. Start Sälen
Sat 14 Aug: Cykelvasan 90. 94 km. Start Sälen
Sun 15 Aug: Cykelvasan 30. 32 km. Start Oxberg
Sun 15 Aug: Ungdomscykelvasan. 32 km. Start Oxberg
Sun 15 Aug: Cykelvasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg
Sat 21 Aug: Trailvasan 30. 30 km. Start Oxberg
Sat 21 Aug: Ultravasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg
Sat 21 Aug: Ultravasan 90. 90 km. Start Sälen
Sat 21 Aug: Vasastafetten. 4.5–15 km. 90 km running relay for ten-person teams. Start Sälen
Sat 21 Aug: Vasakvartetten. 19.1–24.2 km. 90 km running relay for four-person teams. Start Sälen