Firstbeat will sponsor the Skimarathon Team Austria during the Visma Ski Classics series. The series‘ first starting signal was heard in Livorno, Italy, in November and professional teams and thousands of amateur athletes will compete in a total of 12 races across Europe over the next few months. The Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment will be used by some competitors to see how race preparation and competition coexist with day jobs and everyday life.
The 9th edition of the Visma Ski Classics series, which began at the end of November, sees 32 professional teams compete against each other in a total of 12 races in 7 European countries, culminating in the final event in April 2019. Meanwhile, thousands of amateur skiers will be put to the test in the competition open to the public. The last race of the series will take place in Ylläs-Levi, Finland, on April 13, 2019.
Among the professional teams is the Skimarathon Team Austria who are sponsored by Firstbeat this year and are competing for the fourth time in a row. One of the eight members of the team is Terhi Pollari. Born in Finland, Terhi is not only an ambitious cross-country skier but, off the track, she is also a project manager at Firstbeat where she is responsible for the future pathway of the Lifestyle Assessment.
“The Visma Ski Classics are a great personal challenge,” explains Terhi. “Especially considering ours is a pro team but, like many others, we have normal jobs and lives and cross-country skiing is our hobby.”
It may be a hobby but it is still training-intensive, as is immediately obvious by the scope and scale of the various competitions – the first of which was the Prolog race in Livorno, Italy. This event takes place at the start of the season and the 15-kilometer race primarily serves to introduce the pro teams with their members and partners. It also marks the first opportunity to collect team points. Shortly after the team event, the 28-kilometer Prolog race took place at the individual level. The longest race of the series is a 90-kilometer event at the famous Wasaluf in Sälen-Mora, Schweden.
“The Visma Ski Classics series is the perfect opportunity to use the Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment in extreme conditions,” says Terhi. The cross-country races place extraordinary pressure on the participants when coupled with their job and everyday life. Traveling to the various race venues, different altitude and weather conditions, an unfamiliar environment and, of course, the excitement before the races themselves are factors that, directly or indirectly, affect the performance of the athletes.
The athletes want to use the Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment to find out how the preparation and the races themselves affect their bodies. In the coming months, we will accompany Terhi and her teammates closely and look forward to some exciting events and, of course, successful races for Skimarathon Team Austria!
The next race is the Kaiser Maximilian Lauf in Seefeld, Austria on January 12, 2019.
Images: Magnus Östh
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