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What is the skiathlon event?

Skiers competing in Skitathlon

Skiathlon is a sport that combines the best of both traditional Nordic skiing and cross-country skiing, making it a challenging yet rewarding experience. It requires athletes to have expertise in several different aspects, including technique, speed, and endurance.

So what exactly is skiathlon and why should you give it a try? Read on to find out! 

What is Skiathlon?

skiathlon  start

Skiathlon is a sport that combines the two disciplines of Nordic skiing (also referred to as classic) and cross-country skiing (also referred to as skate).

Athletes compete in two rounds; one round of classic cross-country skiing and one round of freestyle skate-skiing. During the classic portion of the race, athletes use long poles to help propel them forward while maintaining an upright posture.

During the freestyle portion, skiers bend their knees, shift their weight from side to side and use their arms for balance while they ski. The goal is to complete both rounds as quickly as possible by mastering both techniques. 

What are the Rules for Skiathlon? 

skiathlon men

Skiathletes compete in individual races or team relays over distances ranging from 7.5 to 15 kilometers.

Like other winter sports events, skiathletes must abide by certain rules to remain eligible during competition. For example, no doping is allowed.

Additionally, all competitors must wear helmets and use approved equipment such as skis, boots, poles, rifles, ammunition, etc., as defined by the International Biathlon Union (IBU).

Finally, all athletes must be registered members of their national federations in order to compete in IBU-sanctioned events or Olympic games.     

Why Skiathlons Are Fun 

skiathlon marit bjoergen

Skiathlons are an exciting way to combine the best elements of both cross-country and downhill skiing into one thrilling event. Racers must have exceptional physical endurance as well as technical knowledge in order to succeed in this demanding sport, making it an ideal challenge for experienced skiers looking for something new to try out on the slopes.

Plus, since both types of skiing require different techniques, it's a great way to practice both styles at once! 

Why Should You Try Skiathlon? 


Skiathlon can be incredibly rewarding for those who are looking for an intense challenge. Not only does it require physical strength and endurance but it also requires skill and technique. The varying terrain along the course can be difficult for some skiers so mastering each technique takes time and dedication.

Additionally, skiathlons offer many social benefits such as meeting new people with similar interests or being part of a team which can provide extra motivation throughout training and competition.

Finally, completing a skiathon race brings great satisfaction as you can look back on your hard work and accomplishments over the months leading up to race day! 

Bottom line


Skiathlons are rapidly growing in popularity among skiers looking for a new challenge on the slopes. 

Skiathlons are an exciting way for winter sports fans to challenge themselves physically, mentally, and socially. It’s a unique combination of techniques that require strength, skill, speed, endurance and strategy all rolled into one! If you’re looking for a fun way to get outside during winter months or just want something new to try this season then give skiathlons a chance!

With proper training you will not only become more familiar with both disciplines but you may even discover your hidden potential along the way! Good luck out there!