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Warm weather scuppers classic Viking ice race

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09:00 CET+01:00
Sweden's yearly 'Viking Race', where ice skaters glide 80 kilometres along an old Viking route on a frozen lake, has been cancelled due to a lack of ice.
The Viking Race (Vikingarännet), the largest skating race in the world, was scheduled to take place on February 16th, but organizers pulled the plug after forecasts of more mild weather and temperatures above zero.
 
"This means that solid ice along the track will thin out and the surface will soften. This could result in conditions that put the skaters at risk, resulting in falls and injuries. In addition, the snow ploughs cannot move freely on the ice," they said.
 
Around 3,000 ice skaters take to Lake Mälaren each year for the race, which follows an old Viking transportation route southwards from Uppsala to Stockholm, a distance of roughly 80 kilometres. 
 
The first Viking Run took place in 1999. Last year's winner crossed the finish line after 2 hours and 35 minutes.

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The cancellation of the 2014 race marks only the fourth time that warm weather has scuppered skaters' chances to strap on their blades and cruise the historic route.

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