Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bieg Piastow - Race Report

The Bieg Piastow is Poland's premier cross-country skiing race and is held over a weekend in the Jakuszycka glade. There are two events: 26/50km classic technique race which is also part of the Worldloppett series, and a 30/50km skating technique race. A certain Mr. Julian Gozdowski was inspired by the Swedish Engadin Skimarathon, and wanted the Polish race to have the same atmosphere: a great, mass skiing event for people of all ages and abilities. The first Bieg Piastow race took place on 11th April, 1976. In 2008 the race became the youngest member of the Worldloppet Ski Federation.

Jakuszycka glade offers everything you want for cross-country skiing: wide trails, beautiful views, regular grooming, flat and hilly terrain and directional maps at most junctions. The beauty of skiing at Jakuszyce is that you can plan a trip that is challenging and long, or short and touristic (finishing with some hot fruit beer at the historic pub at Orle). On Bieg Piastow weekend the glade is filled with golden oldies, their SWIX ski gear chequered with old patches from previous races they have competed in. Many languages can be heard, all skiers united by a love of nature and enjoying the views (some more leisurely than others)!

Skiers rushing to the start:

Some last minute waxing of skis:

Spectating at the start:

The race start!

The finish line waiting:

The winner's feels good!

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