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Cross-country ski races make for an exciting opportunity to showcase your skills and endurance; for information regarding these races, read ahead.
Cross-Country Ski Races in the USA
The Michigan Cup Cross Country Ski Racing Series
- When: from October to March
- Where: across Michigan
The Michigan cup races (11th dec-6th March) include 20 fun and exciting races scheduled from October to March, happening at a number of XC ski resorts and trails all over Michigan. You don’t have to be an expert to race the Michigan cup, there is a separate ‘fun series’ for skiers looking for shorter and easier races. However, if you are looking for highly competitive races you can take part in the hard hilly technical races and win the most prestigious awards. So if you are between 7 and 80 and looking for an exciting and entertaining tournament, here is one for you.
Yellowstone Ski Festival
- When: November (on Thanksgiving Week)
- Where: West Yellowstone, Montana
For more than 40 years, the Yellowstone Ski Festival has made its mark on people all across North America. For this event, people from all over American travel to the great West Yellowstone and enjoy Nordic skiing clinics, Biathlon races, competitive races and a lot of other fun activities. Moreover, the event is also home to an exciting Indoor ski show that mesmerizes the crowd every year.
NENSA Zak & Club Cup Series
- When: from December to March
- Where: across New England
These exciting open events are your chance to enjoy some of the best racing opportunities and season long competitions, so if you are a developing skier, a master or a senior, you will really enjoy the Zak and Club series. At the end of the season, the most popular race championships are awarded; this year the ceremony will take place at the Middlebury Snow Bowl on 20th March. NENSA recently changed the club scoring mechanism to make it more inclusive and ensure that clubs throughout the eastern division are incentivized to attend.
Aspen Cup Nordic Series
- When: from December to February
- Where: Aspen, Colorado
The six-event race and recreational cross-country ski series is held in the mesmerizing Aspen area and offers racers and non-racers a lot of activities. Scheduled between 12th December and 27 February, this series of racers will test your abilities and skills to the next level. The races include the XC games team sprints, silverboom 5/15k and ski for the pass 7k classic.
Frosty Freestyle and Krazy Klassic Races
- When: January 8-9, 2022
- Where: Brighton, Michigan
Comprising 5 km and 15 km races, the Frosty Freestyle and Krazy Klassic races will go on for two days; Jan 8 and Jan 9. The race will be held on the Buck’s run and skiers will race counter-clockwise around the trail and will have to complete 6 laps.
SISU Ski Fest
- When: January
- Where: Ironwood, Minnesota
SISU Ski Fest is usually organized in the beginning of January in Ironwood, Minnesota and in 2022 it ended up as one of the safest races. Athletes from all around graced the event and were kind enough to wear their masks. On top of that, the racing committee also ensured that the 613 racers who took part follow protocols and covid guidelines.
Noquemanon Ski Marathon
- When: January 16-22, 2022
- Where: Marquette, Michigan
The Noquemanon Ski Marathon happening on Jan 21st and 22nd is one of the most exciting and competitive races. However, for any participants who don’t want to travel to participate, a 50k and 24k virtual option is available.
- When: January 22, 2022
- Where: McCall, Idaho
The McCall Re-Mastered, happening on Jan 22 at the Ponderosa State Park, will have a partial classic track set. You will get to enjoy a plethora of facilities including three aid stations placed at the lap adjacent to the start/finish line, 5k and 10k. The organizers may hold a post-race award ceremony with lots of delicious snacks and beers for the participants.
Nordic Spirit Ski Race
- When: January 29, 2022
- Where: Duluth, Minnesota
Offering some of the most breathtaking views, the Nordic Spirit classic ski race will happen on the Upper Spirit Mountain Nordic trail system on 29th January. You can choose between a classic 24 km trail or a classic 12 km race; this year, the organization committee has also decided to include a wooden ski 10k race and tour for the new skiers and sports enthusiasts
Marine O’Brien Ski Race
- When: January 30, 2022
- Where: Marine On Saint Croix, Minnesota
The most awaited 50k race happening on 30th Jan, 2020 at the Marine O’Brien series features a 2×25 loop race including the beautiful O’Brien Park trail, the Jackson Meadow and the Anson Propert. Due to covid restrictions, there is minimal support for racers, so they should come prepared with all necessary food and water. The 6k wood ski race will start at 9:10, the 12k and 25k Classic races at 10:00, the 12k and 25k skate races at 10:30 and finally the kids races at 1:30
Three Rivers Ski Rennet
- When: At the end of January
- Where: Bloomington, Minnesota
Designed to cater to expert and amateur racers, the three Rivers Ski Rennet is all set to begin on January 29, 2022 on the beautiful Hyland Lake Park Reserve. You will move through the amazing course and enjoy a fay of good music, ski and fat bike demos and scrumptious food. Among the race options, you have the 26k skate and classic, the 2k Para Nordic cup, 5k fun ski races and the youth races for the new skiers.
Arrowhead 135 Winter Ultra Marathon
- When: January 31 – February 2, 2022
- Where: International Falls, Minnesota
Happening in one of the coldest parts of winter in the coldest city of the United States, the Arrowhead 135 winter Ultra Marathon makes for the most competitive set of races. The aim of the competition is national and international harmony and incorporates sports like skiing, trail running and winter-biking. The course moves through hilly and densely forested hinterlands of the amazing northern Minnesota and allows racers to ski, run or pedal with fat-tire snow bikes.
City of Lakes Loppet
- When: February 4-6, 2022
- Where: Minneapolis, Minnesota
From a small and a humble cross-country race in 2003 to one of the most exquisite races in 2022, the city of Lakes Loppet Winter festival has come quite a long way and has emerged as the staple event of winter in the North. The two-day event (4-6 February) includes Luminary Loppet, cross country ski, snowshoe events, Skijor and Fat-Tire bike. You can compete in the highly competitive races or indulge in the exciting recreational touring events through the magnanimous Wirth Park.
Alley Loop Nordic Marathon
- When: February 5, 2022
- Where: Crested Butte, Colorado
Alley Loop Nordic Marathon (5th February) stands out as a racing competition because it features the country’s most outrageous costume party of the year. The exciting racing course winds its way through the beautiful snow-laden streets, narrow bridges, mysterious alleyways through the wonderful downtown Crested Butte. Moreover, as you navigate through the journey, you will be cheered on by many creative gliding costume spectators; this adds a whole different vibe to the Competition.
Big Island and Back Winter Event
- When: February 6, 2022
- Where: Excelsior, Minnesota
The Big Island and Back Winter Event is one of the most anticipated events happening on Feb 6 on the beautiful course of Lake Minnetonka. You start your classic or skate ski race on the excelsior beach around the beautiful Big Island and move along a well-groomed trail. At the end of the exciting journey, you get to enjoy the famous Excelsior Brewing Company after party live music and Joey Nova’s yummy pizza.
- When: February 12-13, 2022
- Where: Mora, Minnesota
The race happening at the Vasaloppet Nordic ski center in Mora features a 5 km to 15 km course. The race will begin at 1 p.m and will end with an amazing dinner prepared by the spectacular Union gill and an exuberant music performance by the highly talented American Swedish institute.
North American Vasa Festival of Races
- When: February 12-13, 2022
- Where: Traverse City, Michigan
Focused on safety and quality, the North American Vasa Festival of Races includes numerous events including the 27k freestyle signature race, the Michigan cup and the C27K-George Kuhn Half Marathon freestyle. You will be joining hundreds of skiers in some of the most exciting, unique, flat, fast and winding trails of 2022. The festival offers a course of 27 kilometers and returns to Timber Ridge on 12th-13th February 2022- so mark your calendars, it is about to get really exciting.
Methow Trails Ski to the Sun Marathon and Relay
- When: February 12, 2022
- Where: Winthrop, Washington
The Methow Trails and the Methow Valley Nordic Ski education foundation have joined hands to welcome you at the fourth annual ski to the sun Marathon and relay happening on February 12th. Starting from the tranquil banks of the beautiful Methow river and ending at the mesmerizing Sun Mountain Lodge, the course takes the skiers through North America’s longest ski trail network. The Marathon race challenges racers to speed through the most spectacular sections of this trail system, climb to the top of the top of Sun mountain, where breathtaking and warm foods await them.
- When: February 19, 2022
- Where: Bemidji, Minnesota
The 39th Annual Minnesota Finlandia will happen on the 19th of February 2022 and will host some of the best skiers from all over the country. The highly awaited international event has been voted ‘Best Course and Best Overall Event’ by skiers of the series, thus making it a reputable event to take part in.
- When: February 26, 2022
- Where: Hayward, Wisconsin
Challenging, exciting and extremely rewarding, the American Birkebeiner, happening on 26th February, makes for North America’s longest and most prestigious cross-country marathon. Every year, it attracts more than 10,000 skiers who race through the wonderful and classic skiing tracks from cable to Hayward, Wisconsin. The racers can choose between the 50 km freestyle course and the 55 km classic course.
Craftsbury Marathon Ski Festival
- When: February 26-27, 2022
- Where: Craftsbury, Vermont
The much awaited Craftsbury Marathon ski festival, home to some of the most exciting and exuberant activities, returns this February (25-27th). Like every year, the location is set for the grand Craftsbury Outdoor Center. The bib pickup is scheduled for Friday, the 25k and 50k classic races for Saturday, and the freestyle races for Sunday.
Pepsi Challenge at Giants Ridge
- When: March 5, 2022
- Where: Biwabik, Minnesota
Home to beautiful and breathtaking backdrops in America’s most exciting winter playgrounds, these courses challenge both the experts and veteran skiers. Founded in 1978, this ski series is providing men and women a chance to choose from sixteen ski adventures running from course to course. This year on 5th march, You will get a chance to tour through America’s heartland, up and down the wonderful Western ranges and right through the Midwestern snow covered cities into the New England villages.
Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon
- When: March 12, 2022
- Where: Calumet, Michigan
The Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon happening on 12th March 2022 includes a post-race party luncheon and free photo downloads. As a racer, you can choose between 50 km skiathlon, 50 km, 25 km and 10 km freestyle and 50 km, 25 km and 10 km classic races. All the amenities and aid is provided to racers throughout their course journey.
Lake Placid Loppet
- When: March
- Where: Lake Placid, New York
Over the last 30 years, the challenging trails of Mt. Van Hoevenberg have been home to thousands of skiers who have raced here with their friends and family. This Loppet and Kort Loppet course is a modified version of the 50 km course created for the 1980s Winter Olympics; this makes the former one of the most popular and competitive racing courses in America. The Lake Placid Loppet is also a member of the NENSA marathon series and a proud qualifier of the American Birkebeiner.
Yellowstone Rendezvous Race
- When: March 5, 2022
- Where: West Yellowstone, Montana
Starting on the old Union Pacific Railroad bed, the 25 km course winds through deep woods and 6000+ feet hills, thus giving racers a chance to exceed limitations and enjoy a fun trail. The climb also features a breathtaking view of the popular alpine terrain and sweeping downhill runs that give you an adrenaline rush. So depending on your age and skillet, you can compete in the six different race series happening at West Yellowstone.
The Great Ski Race
- When: March 6, 2022
- Where: Tahoe City, California
This year raises the benchmark with the introduction of a new racecourse of 26 km around the magnanimous Mt Watson. This 16.2 miles course goes up to soup station one, on the road Fiberboard Fwy to the 4 corners and down to the Carnelian Bay; it finally ends at the Blue Trail at TXC. The Great ski race, one of the largest Nordic ski races west of Mississippi, is the main fund-raising event for the Tahoe Nordic search and rescue team.
Tour of Anchorage
- When: March 6, 2022
- Where: Anchorage, Alaska
Happening on March 6th, 2022, the Tour Anchorage will present a unique opportunity to skiers who want to compete in front of a plethora of spectators. This tour is the only one that crosses through a crowded urban environment and includes six ski events. You can choose classic races of 25-50 km or freestyle races and get a chance to race through multi-use trails, bridges, greenbelts and tunnels all ending at the fabulous Kincaid Park stadium.
Wisconsin Nordic Ski League Championship
- When: March 13-14, 2022
- Where: Madison, Wisconsin
For the Wisconsin Nordic Ski League Championship happening at the Grand Madison and Elver Park, you will get to race on an exciting and well-groomed trail filled with snow and a 1.5 km snowmaking loop. Happening between 13th and 14th March 2022, this event will feature both freestyle team sprint and freestyle sprint and will include two road crossings requiring racers to remove their skis.
NorthShore Inline Marathon
- When: September 16-18, 2022
- Where: Duluth, Minnesota
Last but not least, we recommend this inline skating marathon where you could also test your rollerskiing prowess just before the cross-country skiing season.
Founded in 1996, the NorthShore Inline Marathon makes for one of the biggest sporting events in the area and hosts over 2000 athletes of all ages. It features a historic route with breathtaking views and a hospitable community that makes your experience worthwhile. So come join the fun between 16th Sep and 18th September and become part of the best rollerskiing marathons in the world and prepare for the upcoming cross-country ski season.
Cross-Country Ski Races in Canada
February 6, 2022(Postponed until February 20, 2022)
- Where: Pinawa, Manitoba
Every February, the Manitoba Loppet makes for an exciting opportunity for all cross-country ski racers and skiers. It is a classic ski race with four events: 30km and 15km loppets for the competitive skiers, while there are also 3km and 6km Mini Loppets for the more casual cross-country skiers. The event begins at the great Pinawa club parking lot.
- When: February 18-20, 2022
- Where: Gatineau, Quebec
Canada’s largest international cross-country event, Gatineau Loppet sees over 2500 skiers compete for a prestigious trophy every year. As part of the Worldloppet international event series, this event will take part on 18th-20th February in the mesmerizing Gatineau park and involve some of the most well-groomed and fine terrains and courses. Like previous years, this year the event will host a range of cross-country races so that people of all age and all skill sets can find something that challenges them.
Sleeping Giant Loppet
- When: March 5, 2022
- Where: Thunder Bay, Ontario
On March 2022, the world will witness the Sleeping Giant Loppet return with some of the most competitive and exciting races. Designed for families, the event offers multiple events, good food, exciting music and diversity of races. You can take part in the flagship 50 km classic race, the 20 km Marie Louise lake loop or enjoy the 8 km mini-loppet designed for new athletes.
Biggest Cross-Country Ski Races in the World
FIS Cross-Country Ski World Cup
Arranged by the International Ski Federation, this Cross country ski competition has been around since 4 decades now. It was initially arranged between 1973 and 1981, however, it was given provisional recognition in 1977. This year, the FIS Cross country ski world cup is happening in the beautiful and welcoming city of Beijing in January.
- When: March 6, 2022
- Where: Sälen, Sweden
The famous Vasaloppet is an annual long distance ski race that is going to be held on 6th March 2022 this year. The tradition has been around since 1922 thus making this year the 100th anniversary for this race. The 90 km course starts in the exquisite village of Salen, moves through forests, hills and frozen lakes and finally ends in the gorgeous town of Mora, Sweden. Every year, around 16000 participants from all over Europe and beyond compete in this race.
- When: March 19, 2022
- Where: Rena, Norway
Moving through beautiful sceneries and epic views, this race allows racers to enjoy scenic beauty like never before. This year, the famous Birkebeiner race will happen on 19th march 2022 and will allow racers from all over to race through the 54 km classic track. The race starts at Rena, moves through breathtaking sceneries and views including fishing grounds in Lillehammer and two beautiful mountains. Historically, it was in this wonderful landscape that the king’s son was brought into safety in the 13th century.
King Ludwig Run
The King Ludwig race, the ultimate cross-country ski event in Oberammergau, sees more than 4000 participants from all over the world compete in the cross-country ski races. This race is the second-largest folk ski race in Europe and has a course between 23 km and 50 km. this unique event in southern Bavaria makes for a unique sporting and recreational activity that allows skiers to test their skills and endurance whilst also enjoying with their friends and family. Its worth noting that the skate skiing in the tracks of King Ludwig were reserved for King Ludwig II; this makes this a truly magical place to visit every year.
The Nordenskioldsloppet is happening on 26th March in Jokkmokk, Sweden and will welcome a plethora of elite skiers and amateur racers this year. The FIS-sanctioned competition has a 220 km long track, thus making it the world’s longest classical ski race. The race begins at Jokkmokk and makes its way through the breathtaking scenery of Lapland and then to ArreNjarka and back. Moreover, the race begins at 6 in the morning and racers are expected to complete the course in no more than 30 hours.
Arctic Circle Race
- When: April
- Where: Sisimiut backcountry in Greenland
With temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius, icy winds, rapid descents and challenging climbs-this Arctic race in Greenland makes for an exhilarating experience. This hardcore race has a course of 160 km and racers are expected to complete it within 2 days. When you embark on this journey, you will have to face thunderstorms, snowstorms, inhospitable mountains and extremely challenging routes of Greenland. So if you want to be part of this most exciting and adrenaline-inducing races in the world, join the competition held in April and become part of history.
Sapporo Ski Marathon
- When: February 6, 2022
- Where: Saporro, Japan
The Sapporo Ski Marathon has a history going back five decades; in 1972, these tracks were used for the Olympic winter games held in Sapporo. Although the race doesn’t feature the iconic hills that are part of most Worldloppet races, it still has undulating natural sceneries that make it one of the harshest and most challenging races out there.
- When: End of February
- Where: Erzgebirge, Germany
Starting at 10 a.m in the morning, this race goes on for 24 hours and expects the racers to run through a six-kilometer long circular cross-country trail in the classic technique. The routes run through beautiful sceneries and include the Scharspitze near Altenberg- a place about 50 km south of Dresden. You will experience 100 meters of ascent and descent and a rough terrain that will really test your patience, skill set and endurance. Expected to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, this event happening on 26-27th February will be worth your while.