Åre Extreme Challenge 2019
Pictures and films
- "Best of" pictures ÅEC 2019 Race Week
- Participant pictures from RUN, BIKE, PADDLE, FINISH
- Race film via Facebook (see above for YouTube link)
ÅEC Lundstams Kidz Event
Results (ÅEC and Run N Bike)
- Official results
- Choose drop down meny to select both distance (river or lake class) and class (men, women, mix)
* See all ÅEC results since 1997 here.
- Coming soon ... (please email us with news coverage from your local paper!)
Winds, waves and a train
As in previous years, mother nature had other plans: LAKE CLASS did not get to paddle and nobody got to run over the peak. But after two "missed" years, RIVER CLASS finally got some whitewater!
2017: too much water. 2018: too little. In 2019 we had powerful wind. The Race organization decided in the early morning hours of Friday to cancel the LAKE CLASS paddling, but to allow paddling for RIVER CLASS. The lake, being more exposed to the wind, was too dangerous for recreational paddlers. The river, being somewhat more protected, was doable, especially since RIVER CLASS competitors had proved their skills through pre-race certifications. Nonetheless many (including several elite competitors) found themselves swimming through the rapids, given the challenging conditions. (read the course change announcement by racer organizers).
Very low visibility and wind gusts up to 30 meters per second forced cancellation of the 1,000 meter run over the peak. Instead, racers followed the “bad weather alternative”, which still included a tough climb and swampy Swedish “fjäll” running. Runners reported “leaning in” to the wind with their full body weight without falling over!
Temperatures rose only slightly at the finish line, but it didn’t preclude competitors from enjoying a cold one from Nordic Kiwi Brewers – a tradition to which racers are quickly becoming accustomed.
Emil Dahlqvist won RIVER CLASS for second time, beating a strong field of previous winners, as well as top New Zealand multisport racer Sam Manson.
Marie Nilsson won a tight women’s race, where the three top finishers were within 5 minutes of each other, after 6 hours of racing. It was Marie’s first victory and she beat out two previous winners Malin H. and Marika W.
The 500+ competitors did not seem bothered by the weather-shortened course, a decision that seemed warranted on Saturday morning when large whitecaps were ripping down the valley on the lake. Nicolas Mougin from France appreciated the decision: “Congratulations and respect to the race organization’s focus on sports values and safety over commercial profit. We need more of this!” Indeed, the extreme weather created a unique bond among competitors, with plenty of stories blowing around the buffet dinner on Saturday night…
Overheard at ÅEC 2019
- “Stop -- the train is coming!” Jari Palonen was the fourth person to cross the finish, but he had to stop for 60 seconds for the passing train after the first transition. Race officials adjusted his final race time to account for this unexpected stop and he was bumped up to the podium, pushing New Zealander Sam Mansson to fourth place by only 15 seconds.
- “Just what I wanted!” -- Samuel Broman won the Nordic Kajak Breeze surfski and Simon Böhme Florén won the P&H Valkyrie surfski from Kajaktiv at the prize lottery. Both have promised to enter RIVER CLAS 2020.
- “I can’t go as fast ….” The volunteer who enthusiastically walked all the way down the steep trail to the lake before the race start. She told other volunteers not to wait for her on the way back, since she had heart disease that made it hard to walk fast. “But why did you come all the way down here, then?” “Because I wanted to cheer on the racers at the start of their long journey,” she replied.
- “I like to suffer.” RIVER CLASS competitor Ronald Arvidsson, who may have arrived late at the finish, was nonetheless greeted by a wave of singing volunteers and a bottle of champagne at the finish. He may not have covered the course as fast as Emil Dahlqvist, but he enjoyed every minute: “ÅEC’s race organization, the volunteers, the racers – it was a fantastic experience. But I must admit: I also like to suffer a little ”
What was new in 2019?
For the second year in a row ÅEC returned to Copperhill Mountain Lodge with Mercedes-Benz as the title sponsor, but there were a few twists to Race Week:
- The Run N Bike race made its debut and attracted 80+ competitors. The result was, however, somewhat ironic: LAKE CLASS competitors were also forced into a two-sport race.
- A LIVE Camera feed was introduced to our website coverage, which featured live action along 5 different course locations.
- We shifted the prize-giving to the town square, but saved most of the prizes for the lottery at Copperhill Mountain Lodge so that more participants had a chance to win.
- The Victorinox knife returned after many years – a unique finish line gift for all racers.
- With the encouragement of Nord-Lock Group, a global company based in the village of Mattmar, outside of Åre, ÅEC announced the introduction of a new racing class in 2020 call ”Company class.” The class will be similar to Team Relay, but will be composed of employees that challenge their co-workers, customers, and/or suppliers to test their teamwork skills. And perhaps a regular Tuesday lunch training session.
- Lundstams ÅEC Kidz Event at Copperhill Mountain Lodge continued, but this time with an extra long course for the youngsters.
- Several racers came from (far!) outside Scandinavia, with Sam Manson and Robbie Savage from NZ and Australia, respectively. Heleen Rossouw, a paddler from South Africa. We had 3 duo teams from France, sponsored by Mercedes Benz, and others from Germany, USA, and more.
- Transition area #2 in Huså, sponsored by VSV, was upgraded to include new wooden bike racks built by our partner Ett Två Trä (Thanks Alex Stål!).
- We welcomed a number of other new sponsors including Yetea, Karun, Injinji, Ultimate Direction, Victorinox, JBL, The Popping company, among others
European Multisport Championship (RIVER CLASS elite)
- Emil Dahlqvist 5.03.37 1 000 EURO
- Robert Lindberg 5.05.21 500 EURO
- Jari Palonen 5.07.16 300 EURO
- Marie Nilsson 5.57.54 1 000 EURO
- Malin Hjalmarsson 5.58.39 500 EURO
- Marie Krysander 6.02.01 300 EURO
Race reports from participants
- Fun GoPro film from the race from Team "Du får vila sen"
- Female winner "Marie Nilsson" (in Swedish).
Email us firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a story or race report to share here!