Worldloppet race reporter Philipp Bachl wanted to do a meaningful internship as part of his master´s degree in sports management. So he contacted worldloppet and now he´s a race reporter travelling the world – visiting the most exotic xc-venues the planet have to offer.
Philipp Bachl is an Austrian living in Salzburg who loves xc-skiing, running and cycling. He is 29 years of age and doesn’t limit himself to enjoying the possibilities he can find as an active sportsman, but also enjoys sports as a passive consumer, he admits. Besides sports, Philipp has an interest in travelling, books and, he doesn’t mind revealing: -I don’t mind a good party.
XC-marathon.com: Philipp, you are a race reporter for Worldloppet. What does that mean and what are your responsibilities?
Philipp: I’m trying to give a personal view on Wordloppet races, as an amateur skier with no team support. A realistic weekend diary of an average skier joining a popular ski race event. I personally like to read about projects people have done because I feel like it’s more realistic than an advert or a pro team interview. My responsibilities are race reports and social media content creation for Worldloppet.
XCM.COM: How much time do you spend on these tasks per season?
Philipp: This is hard to say as I do not have fixed working hours and a lot of travelling time. The task needs to be done.
XCM.COM: Did you manage to become a Worldloppet Master yourself yet, or are you going for it in the future?
Philipp: No, I skied 4 Worldloppet main races before this project and the aim of this engagement is to become a master and share the different race experiences with the community. If everything is working out according to our plan, I will become a Master in Iceland, in the beginning of May 2019.
XCM.COM: How did you get this job, and do you have any tips for others that would want a similar job?
Philipp: I am about to finish my Master’s program in Sport management and media and in order to do so, I need to complete an internship in the field of sport communication. I did not want to do a random internship just for the sake of getting a stamp on a paper. So I started thinking about how I can spend it skiing in the last semester of my care free student’s life. I contacted Worldloppet, a few emails and phone calls later I got the internship and the race reporter was born.
My tip is to think about your options, follow your heart and just give it a shot. An email never killed nobody.
XCM.COM: Are you one of those that really could say that you have managed to get the dream job?
Philipp: Well, I can’t make a living on spending money and fly around the world skiing Worldloppet races. This is a temporary adventure. If it would be a job, I would consider this as a dream job.
XCM.COM: On your instagram profile you say ´all you wanna do is ski (…) and sip espresso´. How would you describe you engagement with skiing, snow and training?
Philipp: Sport has always played a big role in my life. After accepting the fact that I’m not becoming a world champion, sport became a hobby. It is what makes me happy and allows me to eat as much cookies as I like. I like myself better outside, and working out. It is as simple as that. Others like cars or go to the movies, I watch the Tour de France and make plans to travel to France and cycle the pro peloton’s routes.
XCM.COM: You are also (or have recently been) an active competing cross country skier. What are your best results and how do/did you like this life compared to the, maybe a little calmer, Worldloppet and cross country marathon world?
Philipp: I was in the youth and junior Austrian Team and maybe one year as an adult. I qualified for the junior World championships which was probably my biggest achievement. Some youth and junior titles in Austria and one 3rd place as an adult. Life as a young pro athlete had its benefits but of course so does skiing Worldloppets just for fun. If I would have to choose I would not know which life to take. Maybe the calmer life, as you don’t have to go to bed that early and training when the weather was bad outside really sucked 😉
XCM.COM: Which cross country marathons have you already been to, and how did you like the different ones? What are their ´special traits`?
Answer: Let’s see what I can think of. The list is not ranked in any way.
Vasaloppet: I don’t know why, but everybody is excited about Vasa and so am I. The first popular race I heard of as a kid.
Birken: Best spectators ever.
Jizerska: Delicious Czech food.
Marcialonga: Crazy finish climb and atmosphere.
Dolomitenlauf: Beauty of eastern Tyrol and many familiar faces. Racing on home soil is always special.
Toblach-Cortina: Tre Cime.
Reistadløpet: Two very, very, very long uphills and incredible atmosphere.
La Diagonela: I was hitting the wall really bad but great tracks in the valley of Engadin.
Årefjällsloppet: Best course profile.
Ylläs-Levi: Sauna, spring weather and party. A great place to end the winter.
Vasaloppet China: A different world, people skiing in jeans.
Sapporo Skimarathon: Kind folks and toughest track.
I also did some minor marathons in Austria and Sweden, with the charm of a smaller, local race and less stressful.
XCM.COM: Which one of the races that you haven´t been to yet would you mostly like to go to and why?
Philipp: The list would be too long to write down. I really want to ski in every country. If I had to pick one now, I would say Kangaroo Hoppet. One of my best friends moved to Australia and skiing there. So it would most likely mean a beer with him.
XCM.COM: What are your best training tips for people that are planning to do one or more Worldloppet race(s), and do you have any specific advice regarding training, motivation, planning (for training) and so on?
Philipp: If you are just participating in a race for fun, a training plan might kill the fun. Just go outside and ski, have fun and enjoy it. Skiing with friends or a club who might even prepare for the same race is a big motivation. Look for people who share your passion. When you are tired or lazy they can kick your ass and you will carry on pursuing your goal. If you really have a certain time or ranking in mind, seek help from a professional. A good training schedule and monitoring from a coach will most likely help the most.
XCM.COM: From your instagram account, it seems like you have been to a lot of nice sites for training. What is the best place you have been to for training for cross country skiing when it comes to facilities, track preparation, nature and the surroundings, things to do besides training and so on?
Philipp: From an amateur skiers perspective I would suggest Östersund. Great tracks, possible to ski from early November due to snow farming and most importantly public wax facilities, showers, sauna and changing rooms.
Everything clean and tidy and open for everyone. I have not seen anything similar in other countries.
XCM.COM: Anything else that you want to add (that you especially want the readers of xc-marathon.com to know, etc.)?
Philipp: make xc- skiing great again!
PS: You can follow Philipp on his xc-skiing and sports journeys through his instagram account bachelotelli.