In Poland, this summer you can join what is maybe the world´s longest rollerski race; the ArenaTax Ultramarathon of 200 km. The race is open for all (you can also register for shorter distances) and all the registration fees will go to supporting young Natalia that fights malignant bone cancer.
XC-marathon.com have spoken with Greg (Grzegorz) Musiol, the founder of the race.
XC-marathon: First of all Greg, can you tell the readers who you are?
Greg: I’m a 50 years old husband with a beautiful wife, father of 3 grown kids and grandpa to two adorable grandkids 🙂 Professionally I am a manager in a corporation. I’ve had a problem with overweight all my life. 12 year ago I started running but after 7 years I definitely finished with it (back and knee pain) to start with a smart sport like XC skiing and roller ski. I’m an enthusiast of Skike (special brand for roller skiing in trails, etc., ed. note) CT (classic technique, ed. note) ski and roller ski especially.
XCM: What is the background for the initiative of the ultramaraton on rollerskiing?
Greg: Firstly, it is my new passion for rollerskiing which started in 2015 after 7 years of running and 4 traditional marathons, and secondly, to develop my thought; what unusual and exceptional can I do in this sport and for this sport? The reply is: set a record for the longest roller ski distance.
XCM: How many years have this maraton taken place?
Greg: First time of the Rollerski Ultramaraton (140 km and 70 km) was in 2015, and in 2016 we extended the distances to 160 km and 80 km. In 2017 we have extended the distance even more, with 40 km, to 200 km.
XCM: How many usually takes part, and what are the typical gender and age?
Greg: The “ultra”-distance is rather for tough athletes so we noted many Polish Amateur Champions in endurance sports like rollerski, cross-country skiing, cycling etc. Ultra 160 km was finished by for example a woman and former silver medallist of the European Championships in biathlon, Agnieszka Wanżewicz-Uznańska, and double gold medallist of World Championship and 4-time Olympian in rowing Adam Wysocki. The age of competitors is between 15 years old Wojtek Wojtyła (80 km) and his 17 y.o. sister Marcelina, and 61 year old. Martin Nalewajka (160 km). The other competitors would be between these 🙂
XCM: How is the race regulated with regards to technique (classic/skate) and other particular regulations?
Greg: Half-marathon 40 km is for for both classic technique and free technique (skate); Only rubber wheels and 3rd category “pneumatic tyres” (e.g. Skike) are allowed.
Marathon 80 km is for free technique, rubber wheels or “pneumatic tyres” only. Ultramarathon 200 km is for free technique with no limit on wheels, except requisite effective wheelbase must be min. 530 mm.
A unique example of a sportsman finishing our 160 km race two times in classic technique (regulations require only FT in ultra distance) and many other amateur races like Birkebeinerrennet is Jacek Mederski, he is a 50 years old vet doctor who started in recent years with brilliant results in many amateur XC and rollerski competitions.
It´s all for Natalia
XCM: To what extent would you say this has the characteristics of a local, regional or even international event?
Greg: There are two points to this question:
- XC-skiing (winter) has Nordenskiöldloppet of 220 km, roller skiing has ArenaTax Ultramarathon 200 km
- 100% of the entry fee will be donated to charity. In 2019 for very young lady, Natalia (18). This girl is fighting from 5 years with malignant bone cancer This year every competitor in Wejherowo will race for her, and a while ago we posted this message on our own website:
“Natalia. It’s for her:
– Ultratoughs will cross the 200 km barrier
– Supertoughs will face the 80 km marathon
– Toughs will compete in the half-marathon for 40 km
All participants will participate in this event for Natalia, who has been facing death for 5 years.
Bone cancer has stolen her happy childhood. Piece by piece, she lost her leg because of the illness. The cancer introduced her to the world of chemotherapy and fear and depicted her with suffering. Today, at the threshold of another surgery and adult life, this beautiful young lady still has to fight and she fights bravely. Now she also has us, roller skiers. We will help Natalia restore her physical fitness.
We feel obliged as people, and as endurance athletes. We especially appreciate those who fight long-distance: in the race for everything.
As usual in the case of the competition in Wejherowo, we are talking about concrete things: facts and numbers.
- 100% of start fees go to Natalia
- 100% of this amount will be channeled to Natalia via the Find Help Foundation (United Way Poland), without commission and administrative write-offs. She will have a possibility to the current insight of her sub-account (which was confirmed in correspondence with the foundation’s authorities).
- 100% of transparent information in the article
I also wrote about Natalia in 2017, in the 3rd edition of the Wejherowo competition, in which, we managed to give a total sum of PLN 10,420 thanks to your kindness.
This year we are also counting on your participation.
Please remember that the goal of the organizer and sponsor, the family of Musioł and the Main Sponsor, Arena Tax, is not a profit criterion. We do not lower the level of competitions and benefits for competitors.
Our goal is to run together on June 29th , 2019 with many competitors at 100% for Natalia!”
XCM: Just for me and the readers to understand; what is the difference between ´ultramaraton140.pl´ and 4 Festival Biegow Nartorolkowych, both names used for the event?
Greg: The name “ultramaraton140.pl” is to commemorate the first and the longest Rollerski Ultramarathon with distance 140 km in 2015 The acronym FBN means literally “Rollerski Cross-Country Festival” that we created after the inclusion of the new half-marathon distance 40 km in 2017. In turn the name “ArenaTax Ultramarathon 200 km” contains our new main sponsor and crown race 200 km.
XCM: Can you tell us a little more about the event itself: the area, the track, service like food and drink – or the rollerskis – underway, audience, who participates and other things that could be relevant?
Greg: The main rule is simple: Nobody has the right to be hungry or thirsty. We provide hot meal and drink for every competitor after finish and water, isotonic, dry snacks and fruit during the competition. Furthermore we give out a special prize and branded skiing accessories for the tot three of each distance.
The track is a loop of 10 km x 2 and is an asphalt road for cyclists and pedestrians located mainly in Darżlubska Wilderness in Wejherowo Forest District (Nadleśnictwo Wejherowo). It is not flat but relatively easy for everybody who is able to do rollerskiing for 20-30 km.
The length of the distances coupled with still a niche character of our hobby in Poland compose very close audience of people who love XC skiing & roller skiing.
XCM: Which area of Poland is this, and what is the most central airport or train station – and place/city for accomodation?
Greg: North Poland, Pomorze, Airport Gdańsk (or by Baltic Sea, Stena Line, port Gdynia, 25 km to Wejherowo e.g. by the commuter SKM Railway) for details please check here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2185513671693281/permalink/2220977724813542/
Welcome to 4 FBN ArenaTax Ultramarathon 200 km!