Vasaloppet Winter Week 2019
Vasaloppet is also one of the events where staff from our Swedish branch EST and our German counter-part mika:timing co-operate extra close. This is needed in order live up to the high standards that is expected when skiers during one week go on their pilgrimage to one of the biggest cross country ski events in the world. At Vasaloppet we can benefit from the advantages that arise when working across country borders. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet our colleagues and exchange experiences. But also to have some fun. Even if there are long days we still live in the same house and the collective dinner that ends every day is an appreciated tradition.
We have experienced many different types of Vasalopps over the years. From minus 30 degrees, as it was last year, to degrees above zero and wet snow. This year’s race belong to the latter category and the concluding Vasaloppet Sunday was among the slowest races so far with warm weather, snow fall and headwind. Not a comfortable ride neither for the elite athlete nor the weekend warriors.
But behind the scenes it was business as usual. New for this year was the active chip technology which is even more secure and offers higher precision. 51 878 skiers in total participated in any of the winter week races. est mika:timing handled this operation using 20 612 chips, which means that each chip was used 2,71 times. How does that make sense?
It’s all about being as effective as possible, both for keeping the costs down but also to minimize the ecological footprint. This is possible thanks to est mika:timings solutions for live allocation of chips and Liveprint of stickers and baggage tags.
Prior to the race each athlete visits one of the expo areas bringing their start certificate sent by e-mail. At the counter the certificate is scanned and the Vasaloppet staff hands out a vest with a start number. Then the chip is allocated to the right start number and on the way out stickers and baggage tags are printed. In that way Vasaloppet doesn´t have to prepack loads of items and the chips can be re-used several times.
This means that there is a hurry after the race. The moment the skier crosses the finish line the chip is removed and deregistered. Then the chip is carried with express speed back to the expo to be allocated to a new participant. Our chips are probably the ones that sees the most of the ski tracks during the winter week!
In the end everybody could take a breather. The logistics worked as planned, the times were registered and everybody was happy. Well, there might have been a few that were hoping for a better time.
Maybe next year. For 2020 we have ordered -2 degrees, blue ski wax, snow that sparkles in the sunshine and tailwind all the way to the finish line!