On July 16, Kevin Brekken Ramsfjell sets out to crush the world record for roller skiing Norway lengthwise: he wants to polish off the 2600 kilometer from Nordkapp to Lindesnes in 13 days. The current record is 34 days.
In order to reach his goal in 13 days, Ramsfjell has to roller ski 200 kilometers per day. Given that he plans to be on the road for about 10 hours per day, not including bathroom breaks and meals, he has to maintain an average speed of 20 kilometers per hour.
An ambitious goal indeed, which is why Ramsfjell has picked the most direct route from Nordkapp to Lindesnes on the best-maintained roads for his world record attempt.
Ramsfjell’s route is almost identical to the route that Simen Holvik used when he posted a new world record for running Nordkapp to Lindesnes last summer: 26 days.
Madshus caught up with the former biathlete, who lives and trains in Lillehammer, two weeks prior to the start of his record attempt.
Why are you doing this?“Roller skiing Norway north to south is a huge challenge. I have roller skied endless miles over the years, but nothing that compares to this. It will be the ultimate test of technique, proficiency and endurance.”
As a curious side note, Ramsfjell says he actually never liked long workouts. That was until last year, when the covid pandemic caused widespread lockdowns for the second summer in a row. Ramsfjell was tired of not being able to compete, and ultra runs were about the only events that didn’t get cancelled, the 22-year-old Madshus athlete explains. However, skiing and roller remains a huge part of his regular training diet.
How did you arrive on the 13-day goal?“I just wanted to make it easy for myself. So, I divided 2600 kilometers by 13 in order to get a nice, even number for a daily target. 200 kilometers is a nice, even number, and 10 hours per day is a nice, even number.”
When did you start planning this challenge?“It started with on a long workout in March. I just got this a crazy idea that I wanted to roller ski Norway north to south. When I got back, I did a little research and found that the current record is 34 days. So, I thought I could for sure do it faster. After that, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and in April I decided to do it in July.”
How have you prepared?“Being a competitive skier and biathlete for years, so I’ve roller skied a lot in my life. And for the last year, I’ve focused on long, slow distance training. But from my experience with ultrarunning events, I have learned that no matter how much you train, you’re never well enough prepared. So, I think the most important will be to start out well rested and fueled. I’ve also put everything in place for success in terms of logistics, and my dad will be driving behind me in our camper van the whole way. That way, I can bring everything I need in the van, and we can stop wherever and whenever we want.”
What is the longest you’ve roller skied in a single workout so far?“120 kilometers. That took med five or six hours. But I also skied 8 hours solid two days in a row this winter. That was no problem, and now I won’t have to carry food or water.”
What kind of equipment will you be using?“I will bring 12-13 pairs of roller skis, both classic and skate, and I’ve been told to use the firmest wheels with the least rolling resistance. But I’m curious about what will be the most comfortable, so I am also bringing roller skis with type 2, 3 and 4 wheels as well as roller skis with the type 1 racing wheels.”
What do you expect to be the biggest challenges during the 13-day world record attempt?“It’s hard to predict and foresee what you will encounter on such a long effort, so I haven’t spent a lot of energy thinking about it. But of course, injuries could be an issue, so I plan to vary between skating and classic. But, I’m actually more curious about sleep. I will eat a lot of sugar to stay fueled on the stages, so even though I will be tired from a long day on the road, I wonder if I will be able to wind down and get the sleep and recovery that I need.”