Are you adventurous and looking for new challenges? Perhaps you’ve done the classic races and now you’re looking for the next trial? Perhaps Laponia Triathlon 67N° could be something for you?
Laponia Triathlon is the northernmost triathlon in the world with ironman distances, and one of two races with those distances in Sweden. A triathlon with ironman distances means swimming 3,860 m, biking 180 km and running 42 km – a real challenge for most people. The participants in Laponia Triathlon 67N° – which takes place in Gällivare, a hundred km north of the Arctic Circle – also take on the challenge in the middle of the night.
In Gällivare in July, the midnight sun provides daylight around the clock. More time for adventure, simply put. The world’s northernmost triathlon competition with ironman distances has been held in Gällivare for some years now. But unlike other triathlons with ironman distances, the participants in Laponia Triathlon 67N° compete in the middle of the night. Hopefully under the brilliant midnight sun and in lukewarm temperatures, but the weather above the Arctic Circle is anything but predictable, even in the middle of summer. They might just as well find themselves in not-so-pleasant summer temperatures with arctic winds from the mountains as icing on the cake. Either way, it’s a challenge you’ll never forget.
Since the competition starts at night, you might well end up meeting some animals along your way. You can always count on the mosquitoes, but you’ll probably encounter a reindeer or two and seeing elks isn’t unusual either.
The organisers of Laponia Triathlon 67N° have plenty of experience themselves from full-distance triathlons, and they also arrange several big ski competitions in Gällivare during winter. That’s how the idea of a full-distance triathlon under the midnight sun came about.
In 2016 they ran a test edition of Laponia Triathlon 67N°. That year more than 30 people competed and the following year the number of available spaces was set to 100. They sold out immediately. The year after that the same happened, and so on.
– It’s definitely great that there’s so much interest. We’d love to have more participants, but we want to develop the event slowly to maintain high quality and give the participants a unique experience, says Robert from Gällivare Endurance Club, the organiser of the competition.
Swim, bike, run
Participants in Laponia Triathlon 67N° begin by swimming 3,860 m in the Vassara River, which runs past the town. Even if the water temperature varies it’s rarely colder than +16°C, but on the other hand, it’s rarely warmer than +20°C. 180 km on a bike awaits after the swim. To the village Tjautjas, where the road ends and the mountains begin. At the turning point the bike ride continues back to Gällivare and on to the village Nattavaara, and when the participants turn around in Nattavaara the next stage for the bike ride is the Hellner Stadium at the foot of the mountain Dundret. The last part of the competition is running 42 km – up and then down Dundret, 823 metres above sea level.
If Laponia Triathlon 67N° feels a little too challenging, check out Laponia Triathlon Sprint the night before with the distances 750 m swimming, 20 km biking and 5 km running.