RacingThePlanet: Lapland 2022 Course Description
In August 2022, the RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon will take place in Lapland, Finland. The 250km / 155 mile course takes racers through the last wilderness of Europe showcasing some of the most breathtaking highlights of Lapland that will take your mind off the challenge of the race and the 3,500 meters / 11,500 feet of elevation gain and loss.
The course goes across the famous "Seven Fells" (originating from the Old Norse world "fjall", a fell is a peak that goes above the alpine tree line), including Yllästunturi fell which is the highest at 719m / 2,359 feet and is a landmark of western Lapland where you have spectacular views across Yllas and Finnish Lapland. You will also sleep in a reindeer corral, pass the point where the Olympic Torch was lit in 1952, run on duckboards over lakes and along rivers, go through forests with trees that are more than 500 years old and maybe even have a Finnish sauna.
Learn more about the traditional Finnish Saunas here.
The total distance of the course is 250 kilometers / 155 miles. The distances per stage can be seen below:
* Stage distances & elevation are subject to minor changes
- The total elevation gain is approximately 3,407 meters / 11,178 feet over the course of the seven days.
- The total elevation loss is approximately 3,337 meters / 10,948 feet over the course of the seven days.
The course is located in the Pallas-Ylläs National Park which is one of the 40 great national parks in Finland. It is diverse and colourful and features much of the most iconic scenery of Lapland. Lapland’s stunning fell scenery is a big part of the race - the area has over 20 fells ranging from 300 to 800 meters / 984 to 2,600 feet. The course is also surrounded by pristine old Taiga forests and Kelo trees which are up to 500 years old. Majestic colourful wetlands with duckboards allow you to experience the vibrant wildlife of Lapland. You will passby rivers and lakes, through rocky ravines, across rakka rocks from the Ice Age which decorate the fell tops with colours of yellow, purple and green.
Discover more about the beautiful National Parks of Finland here.
During each stage, checkpoints are located approximately every 10 kilometers / 6 miles along the course. All checkpoints include shade, water for drinking (normally in a large bottle with a pump), and volunteers and medical staff to check competitors and offer support.
At each checkpoints competitors must:
- Be checked-in on arrival by the race staff.
- Leave with a minimum allocation of drinking water for the next section (in general this is 1.5 liters).
- Listen and adhere to any instructions given by race staff. This could be related to anything including adverse weather conditions (strong winds, cold etc.), visibility (rain, fog etc.) or anythign else.
At each checkpoint competitors can:
- Rest for a short period of time and take advantage of the shade that the checkpoint tent offers.
- Seek medical advice and minor treatment, if appropriate, from the medical doctor stationed at each checkpoint.
- Ask details about the distance, terrain and elevation of the next section of the course.
The Long March is a stage where competitors complete a longer distance of approximate 80 kilometers / 50 miles which is nearly double the length of the standard stages.
The stage follows the same format as the previous stages, with checkpoints located every 10 kilometers / 6 miles. However, there is a designated "Overnight Checkpoint" where there will usually be tents to rest / sleep in and also hot water available to prepare a hot meal or hot drinks. Competitors may follow highly reflective tape if required to navigate through the night.
A cut-off time is the time by which you must have left a checkpoint.
There are cut-off times for every checkpoint on the course - these are announced in the morning briefing before the start of each Stage. The cut-off times are designed to help you finish, not to stop you from finishing the race.
While the leaders are extremely fast (finishing 40 kilometers / 26 miles in 3-4 hours) the cut-off times for the back of the field are based on a 4 km per hour / 2.5 miles per hour walking speed. This means completing a 40 kilometer / 26 mile stage in 10 hours.
Cut-off times for The Long March are based on a similar speed but with additional time allowed for a rest at the Overnight Checkpoint.