Every first Sunday in March (as today) about 16 000 cross-country skiers, both male and female professionals and amateurs, from all over the world gather in Dalarna, Sweden to compete in one of the world´s longest and by no means most popular ski race over 90 km (56 miles) from the villages Sälen to Mora, the Vasaloppet. During the race the competitors are fuelled with a total of more than 30 000 liters of blueberry soup besides water, energy drinks and a hell of a lot of cinnamon rolls.
Actually, the whole week before this main race is one long festival of a variety of races for all ages as the Half Vasa (half the distance), the Relay Vasa and Open (noncompetitive) Vasa (both 90 km), the Ladies Vasa and the Short Vasa (both 30 km) plus several races of different length för teens and children.
Today´s weather conditions seem to have been just perfect and the winner of the race, the Swedish professional skier Jörgen Brink, finished on the fastest time ever, 3:38:41. Using a football (soccer) term you could say he did a “hattrick” as this victory was his third in a row. The winner of the women’s race was the professional skier Vibeke Skofterud of Norway, also with the fastest time ever in just over four hours.
Even if you just “ski” the race in front of the TV, comfortably seated on your sofa, it can be just as gruelling. I know that for a fact, I and Devoted Husband do it every year. That means you need to fill up with a proper breakfast, well in time for the start, a breakfast that lasts for about four hours, all the way to the finish line. For us it’s usually ordinary oatmeal porridge with lingonberries and milk, whole wheat bread and coffee.
If you are in for a strenuous outdoor activity like skiing, skating, hiking or biking my tip for a hearty breakfast is this version of oatmeal porridge. It will take you through a good deal of the day
Oat meal porridge extra all
- 1/2 dl chopped dried prunes
- 1/2 dl chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 dl whole flaxseed (linseed?)
- 1/2 dl raisins
- salt (after your own taste)
- 7 dl water
- 2 dl oatmeal
- 1 dl oat bran
Mix all ingredients except oatmeal and oat bran with water in a pan. Allow to stand overnight. Add oats and bran and boil for 3-5 minutes while stirring stirring. Add more water if necessary. Serve with lingonberry sause (jam) and milk.
When the race was finally over, at least for the professionals (the amateurs might still be struggling in the dark on their way to Mora), the afternoon was still young, the sun warm and shining and the trees beautifully covered in silvery frost. Time for a walk!