Vasaloppet is now taking serious measures to end the littering that occurs along the track during the race. If a participant is found to be throwing litter, he or she will be given a time penalty of 15 minutes.
The Vasaloppet Arena is a nature reserve 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.
"Unfortunately, littering has instead increased in later years and as part of our sustainability efforts, with an environmental focus, we are now implementing significant consequences for anyone violating the rule," says Eva-Lena Frick, CEO of Vasaloppet.
At the same time Vasaloppet is making several efforts to make it easier for participants to dispose of litter in correct places. Seven new littering zones are placed in appropriate locations between the seven checkpoints and clear signs and symbols will show where you may throw your litter.
"We would prefer not to punish anyone but at the same time we need to show that questions of sustainability are taken very seriously. Currently we recycle about 15 tonnes of paper cups and we're working towards 100 percent waste sorting, but here we need help from our participants," says Eva-Lena Frick.
The 15 minute time penalty rule applies to all participants in all races during the Winter Week and can, for example, in Vasaloppet mean that a participant is moved down a start group for the 2018 race. To verify that the rule is followed, Vasaloppet will have staff equipped with cameras along the track; the same approach used to ensure that no free-style skating takes place.
When it comes to elite skiers, special dialogue is being held and 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.
"We will have staff on location in the official refreshment zones both to inform and ensure that this rule is followed. We have been in contact with other organizers, including En Svensk Klassiker, who also want to spread the message of zero-tolerance against littering in the various arenas, and hopefully this will soon be an obvious part of participating in any major Swedish athletic event," says Tommy Höglund, Sport Manager.
During Vasaloppet's Winter Week 2017, throwing litter will be permitted in three different ways.
- In the bins at the Vasaloppet checkpoints
- 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
Eva-Lena Frick, CEO, +46(0)70-820 97 27
Tommy Höglund, Sport Manager, +46 (0)70-621 63
Vasaloppet Summer Week 2017 Fri 11 Aug: Cykelvasan 30. 32 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 11 Aug: Ungdomscykelvasan. 32 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 11 Aug: Cykelvasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 11 Aug: Cykelvasan Öppet Spår. 94 km. Start Sälen.
Sat 12 Aug: Cykelvasan 90. 94 km. Start Sälen.
Sat 19 Aug: Ultravasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 19 Aug: Ultravasan 90. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Sat 19 Aug: Vasastafetten. 4.5–15 km. Running relay race for ten-person teams. Start Sälen.
Sat 19 Aug: Vasakvartetten. 19.1–24.2 km. Running relay race for four-person teams. Start Sälen.
Vasaloppet Winter Week 2017
Fri 24 Feb: Kortvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 25 Feb: Tjejvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 26 Feb: Ungdomsvasan. 3, 5, 7 or 9 km. Start Mora Ski Stadium.
Sun 26 Feb: Öppet Spår Sunday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Mon 27 Feb: Öppet Spår Monday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Tue 28 Feb: Halvvasan. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 3 Mar: Stafettvasan. 9–24 km. Five-person teams. Start Sälen.
Fri 3 Mar: Nattvasan. 90 km. Two-person teams. Start Sälen. (1,500 entries. FULL 160320)
Sat 4 Mar: Blåbärsloppet 9 km. 9 km. Start Eldris.
Sun 5 Mar: Vasaloppet. 90 km. Start Sälen. (15,800 entries. FULL 160320)
Text and photos may be freely published.
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Vasaloppet is the world's biggest organizer of recreational races, all year round and a part of En Svensk Klassiker. Vasaloppet's Winter Week with its cross-country skiing and the Summer Week with mountain bike cycling and running attract a total of almost 100,000 registered participants every year. Since the beginning in 1922 over one million participants have passed under the classic finish portal in Mora. Vasaloppet is a non-profit making organization owned by IFK Mora and Sälens IF. An engine for public health and organizational activities, in the tracks of our forefathers for the victories of tomorrow!