Did we get your attention with that title?
Well, that’s what three upstanding Australia dwellers have chosen to name themselves.
They also don’t mind to be called more child-ears appropriate XC BeachTeam
Without further a do, let’s give the floor to Woody Raasveldt, Mårten Christiansson & Matthew Collits.
” …Well, we’re one Aussie (Matt), one Dutch (Woody) and a Swede (Mårten) but we’re all living in Manly in Sydney. Mårtens dad has done the race 49 times and and as he’s moving back to Sweden he thought it would be a great opportunity to do the Vasaloppet race with his dad. As he was telling us this story we were having a few beers. It sounded like he was about to embark on a ridiculous challenge as he’s still living in Sydney and he hadn’t skied in years. But after a few beers it seemed to make sense and after a few more Matt and I were convinced that we should get in on this as well. One minor problem was that we had never cross country skied before.
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– What was the first thing you did once you soberly re-assessed your commitment to a 90k ski race in the Swedish wilderness?
– Vow to never drink again…Then we had to figure out how to sign up. Once that was sorted we started thinking about training. As we all have different daily schedules we trained mostly individually during the week. Some less than others.
– Describe your training regimen
– Mostly gym. After doing some research on what type of training cross country skiers do I made a program. I go to J-train Athletic and James, the owner was kind enough to get a Ski-Erg for me. A horrible but very effective machine. We bought roller skis and of course had to go to the snow to actually learn how to ski
I should mention our trip to New Zealand. We went to the snow farm in Cardrona on the South island, near Queenstown. When we got there I booked a beginners class and we mentioned that we needed to only learn the classic style because we are doing Vasaloppet. The people there had a good laugh because they didn’t believe us. It took us a couple of minutes before they believed us and they just thought we were all mad. Luckily, Alexei Sotskov who has coached many Olympians to various medals, who works there was in the room as well and thought it was hilarious and took us under our wing. We had daily sessions with him and he’s a incredible coach so we progressed a lot quicker than if we hadn’t met him. He has since then given us loads of advice on equipment etc. The people at the Snowfarm were all very kind and helpful as well, probably because they kept referring to us to the “cool runnings” of cross country skiing.
– Where do you rollerski in Sydney?
– That’s the hard bit because there aren’t many flat areas in Sydney. We bought roller skis from Roller Ski Australia who are based in Perth. Mostly we skied at North Head in Manly and Centennial Park in the city for longer sessions.
– What was your longest training session -either on skis or rollerskis, so far?
– Four hours. We did the Kangaroo Hoppet race in Falls Creek, Australia which is part of the Worldloppet. That took us between four and four and a half hours. That was after only a week of actual skiing on the snow. We did a four hour session on roller skis as well.
– How old are you guys – and what do you do for living?
– Matt and Woody are 38, Mårten is 36. Matt is a engineer, Mårten works in retail and Woody is in finance.
– What do you expect your Vasaloppet adventure would cost you at the end?
– Never really thought about but probably close to $10,000 AUD. So that’s the roller ski equipment, few broken poles for Matt, trip to New Zealand, trip to Falls Creek, trip to the snowy mountains in Australia, flights to Europe, staying in Seefeld for two weeks and then to Sweden and all the beers we had trying to figure out how we got ourselves into this situation 😉
– have you sold book/film rights to detail your story yet?
– Not yet, but we’re taking offers 🙂