On the evening of February 10, the Alpe di Siusi plays host to the Südtirol Moonlight Classic, a night-time cross-country skiing competition with both 15 and 30-kilometre routes. It is not the only international event taking place on Europe’s largest plateau, however, as on Sunday, July 2, the Alpe di Siusi Half Marathon also makes its welcome annual return. Now, however, there is also a special “Alpe di Siusi Ski & Run” combined classification for athletes that complete both events, for which the cross-country and half-marathon times are added together. A brilliantly sporty way to enjoy winter and summer in this heavenly corner of Alto Adige/Südtirol.
Cross-country skiing and running are two closely related disciplines as they share a similar athletic impetus. Both demand good aerobic fitness and have nature and the open air as their backdrops. It’s hardly surprising therefore that many cross-country skiers are also runners. Running is one of the fundamental aspects of Nordic ski training, in fact. This is something that people in Compatsch in the heart of the Alpe di Siusi, Europe’s largest high plateau, are very well aware of as the area stages two large events in both disciplines in the course of the year: the Südtirol Moonlight Classic Seiser Alm for cross-country skiers, taking place on February 10 this year, and the Mezza Maratona Alpe di Siusi half-marathon on July 2 2017.
Ski & Run: Alpe di Siusi’s combined event
To offer all cross-country skiers and runners an extra sporting challenge, the organisers of the two events have now officially linked the two events: athletes that finish either of the two Moonlight Classic routes and the Mezza Maratona Alpe di Siusi will be included in a special classification calculated by adding together their times from both competitions. The combined Alpe di Siusi Ski & Run brings together two sports, two passions, two classifications and two seasons, winter and summer, in the spectacular surroundings of Siusi.
Starting with the skiing
The first of the two events is the Moonlight Classic, which this year also joins Euroloppet, a circuit comprising all the top amateur cross-country skiing competitions. The Moonlight Classic is absolutely unique of its kind as it takes place by night with the piste lit only by flickering torches and the light of the full moon reflecting off the snow. The effect is absolutely spectacular adding a sense of huge charm and exclusivity to a serious athletic challenge. Competitors have a choice of two routes, both of which are skied using the classic technique: a tougher 30-kilometre course and a less daunting 15-metre one. At the end of the event, however, the prize-giving will be put on ice until July 2 when the results will be combined with those of the Mezza Maratona after which the combined Alpe di Siusi Ski & Run prize-giving will take place.
The overall prizes will include a weekend for two at the Paula Wiesinger Apartments & Suites (www.lapaula.info) and the Hotel Villa Kastelruth (www.hotelkastelruth.com) for the top-ranked athletes.