Check out this excellent Fat Viking RacePromo Video just made by Mattieu Leroux, who I have been connecting with over the last few months about his plans to race the FV150 this year in Geilo, Norway, which is organized by Race Director and Fat Viking champion and my friend Nina Gassler (I did some fatbiking and bivy camping on Lake Winnipeg with her in 2016 and race the first FV175 in 2017):
The Fat Viking is an excellent Winter Endurance Race held in stunningly beautiful Geilo, Norway in very hilly terrain (big ski hills, lots of multi-use XC ski trails, etc) with usually lots of deep snow and challenging winter weather conditions.
Race Director Nina Gassler has built a strong organizing team (The FatViking Society)!
Are you ready for a Challenge worthy of a Viking?
Not sure yet? Okay then, check out my little video from racing the 2017 FV175:
How about these maps and views from the race (Btw January 2017 was a very unusually warm period in Geilo and so in the lower terrain it was very icy, so we all rode fully studded tires and needed studs on our boots as well! Last year they had tons of snow before and during the race!):
Our very own ‘Honorary’ Manitoba Fatbiker Nina Gassler (actually she is German, but is a ski instructor and fatbike tour operator in Geilo, Norway) has just accomplished a ‘for-real’ EPIC fatbike race accomplishment worthy of a VIKING!
She was the only racer to complete the full distance of the long course of the Fat Viking Winter Endurance Race in very difficult conditions (bad enough snowfall that most racers had to pull out or be re-routed to the finish via a short-cut)!
Congratulations Nina, you truly are my German-Norwegian Fatbiking Hero!
Here my little video about the 2017 Fat Viking 175 Winter Endurance Race held this past week Geilo, Norway. Due to circumstances I did not have a lot of Go Pro footage to work with, but this will give you a glimpse at some of the scenery to capture the event.
Thanks again and huge congratulations to Nina Gassler and her supporting volunteers (the Fat Viking Society) and putting on such a superb race event and for racing it like a True Viking Hero!
Not only did our ‘Honourary MB Fatbiker’ Nina Gassler organize, direct the Fat Viking 175 Winter Endurance Race in Geilo, Norway and then race superbly to 2nd Place overall and 1st Women … she also posted a nice race report on “fatbiking.eu”! Well done and congratulations my friend Nina!
So, now that I have had time to rest and reflect and in response to fellow Fat Viking 175 racers commenting on my ‘circumstances’ – here’s my recap: In short, I finished – just!
Nina Gassler organized and raced an amazing Fat Viking 175 (181 Kms for me – oops, I followed a few others tracks on a wrong turn section and back-tracked) and was my local encourager to persevere (as was my wife Lori and our two adult sons Brett and Jordan), when I started the race with a low energy/hydration level – my mistake eating a camping meal that was laced with MSG (my personal trigger) which gave me a nasty migraine headache the day before the race and made it hard to hold down food.
Once I got going (after racing back to the ski hut at start time to get my water bottles that I accidentally left behind at a cabin a ways away – mistake two), which lead to some wandering around to find the first trail entrance area after leaving the Vestfalia Chalet start line (GPS issues – mistake three).
From there it was a glorious, icy and challenging route that I started before sunrise and ended after sunrise. The views were spectacular and the soul searching was instructive!
Here’s some pictures to tell my race story:
A big shout out of thanks to my fellow ITI Trg Camp Participants – Nina Gassler (our local Guide, Race Director and Top Female FV175 racer), Patrick Stevens, Jarmo Jarvinen, Stefan Chmel, Tobias Bos, Constantijn, Andrew Mucklestone, Alejandro Garcia Wolfrum, Daniele Andriano and Jess Dicks! It was great to get to know you all – you are Top Notch!
Another shout out to Kathi Merchant (ITI Trg Camp Guide and ITI Race Director), who raced the FV175 well and finished long before me; yet was awake and present at the finish to welcome me in – classy act!
Thanks to Nina Gassler (Fat Viking Race Director in Geilo, Norway), who I met last year when she was winter fatbike training on Lake Winnipeg near Hecla Island, Manitoba; I became aware of her plans to put on the 2017 Fat Viking Fatbike Race and also partner with Alaskan Iditarod Trails Invitational (ITI) Race Director Kathi Merchant to put on a connected “ITI Fatbike Winter Training Camp” in Geilo the week before the race.
So with all that fatbiking fun happening in the space of a week in beautiful Geilo and my friend Nina hosting … well, I just had to go for it and sign up for both! 🙂
The ITI Fatbike Winter Training Camp is over nowand it was a memorable experience training with and getting to know a terrific crew of Europeans (Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain & Great Britain) and one South African fatbiker adventurists.
As we are now preparing to race the FatViking 175 (Kms) Race, I will just post some pictures to tell the story of this past week …
Planes, Trains and Automobiles – yup, used them all from Winnipeg to Montreal to London to Oslo to Geilo to our cozy Trg Camp Cabin (as our base locale). Thanks Nina and May-Britt for being to pick me up as I got off the late train arriving in Geilo! 🙂
Our crew of ITI Trg Camp participants and Kathi connected quickly over our first hot meal (and one of the few we had indoors) and then geared up to get riding right away on the nearby Geilo trails and pathways that Nina knows so well and was happy to share.
That’s all for now.
Time to HTFU and give the FV175 Race a go!
I came all this way to train and also to RACE! I may not be at my best, but hey “If It Was Easy – Everyone Would Do It”.