Marcialonga: cross-country skiing among champions, buffaloes and solidarity

Marcialonga is an unmissable event for cross-country skiing, which brings together champions, “buffaloes” and a lot of solidarity. Valleys of Fiemme and Fassa, in Trentino, welcome every year thousands of sportsmen who compete in the most important race of the year in Italy.

The competition passes through the most beautiful villages

Marcialonga, cross-country skiing, champions and solidarity

The initial idea was born during the Vasaloppet  in Sweden (now in its 100th year). From there some friends committed themselves to give life to the most important Italian cross-country race: among them Roberto Moggio, Nele Zorzi, Mario Cristofolini, Giulio Giovannini and the Olympic champion Franco Nones. The first edition was held on 7 February 1971, and was won by Ulrico Kostner, with Franco Nones coming second. For the first few years only men took part in the 70-kilometre race, the first women arrived in 1978.

The champions, Franco Nones

Franco Nones cross-country skiing Nordic skiing style
Franco Nones, style never change

The Norwegians and Swedes are the masters of the rankings, used to the long routes. Among the champions at the Marcialonga one also meets Olympic medallists, such as Franco Nones, gold medallist in Grenoble in 1968. In the documentary we made with him,  The Golden Trail , there are very curious images and anecdotes of the time. You can watch The Golden Trail on demand HERE.

Cheering and buffaloes in the Marcialonga, cross-country skiing, from champions to solidarity

To understand what the Marcialonga is, you have to go at least to cheer. All the villages set up areas with stages, microphones and colourful events. Lists with the names of the participants are distributed, so that according to the number on the bib, the cheering can be personalised. The cheering at the Marcialonga, according to experts, is the warmest of all snows.

Among the fans, jokingly called “buffaloes”, there are those who have done 10, 20, 30, 40 Marcialongas. And those, like Marco, who has gone from being a bison to almost being an athlete, thanks to lots of training. Then there are the “senators”, those heroes who have done every edition from the first onwards. The beauty of the Marcialonga is precisely the cross-country skiing among champions, bison, senators and solidarity.

The Marcialonga Stars for LILT, the solidarity

HERE the straming of 2022 edition. Among the events that accompany the competition is the Marcialonga Stars, founded 21 years ago by Dr. Mario Cristofolini. Dr. Cristofolini, one of the first creators of the Marcialonga itself, is a world-famous dermatologist, volcanic and never still. He is the very active president of LILT, the Italian League for the Fight against Tumours, Provincial Section of Trento. The Marcialonga Stars is a charity event organised in collaboration with the Gruppo Sciatori e Scuola Alpina della Guardia di Finanza, which takes place the day before the main competition and supports the many activities of LILT.

Among the many testimonials of the Marcialonga Stars are Maria Canins, Gilberto Simoni, Franco Nones, Sergio Martini, Antonella Confortola, Cristian Zorzi, Francesco Moser, Roberto Sighel, Maurizio Fondriest and many others.

I have been taking part in the Marcialonga Stars for 10 years now: supporting the Lega Italiana Lotta contro i Tumori is a duty.

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