FAQ

Mosquitos?
Yes, there are certainly mosquitos during summertime in Gällivare. During evenings and nights they can be quite annoying but if there is just a slight wind you will not be bothered. So on the bike you will of course not notice them at all and while running or walking mosquitos are no problem either. Up around Stora Sjöfallet the wind is likely to be strong enough to keep the situation calm also for the volunteers at the aid stations. However, the start takes place at midnight and the wind is often calm by lake Vassara so it is a good idea to bring some mosquito repellent just in case, especially if you are a spectator. We recommend ”Mygga” (mygga is Swedish for mosquito) which is available in most supermarkets around here. All of us in the organization behind this race train and compete regularly in summertime up here and we can honestly guarantee that mosquitos will not be an issue at all for any athlete.

Is doing a full-distance triathlon as hard as it sounds?
Doing a full-distance triathlon is always hard but as with all endurance racing it depends on how hard you push yourself in relation to your own abilities. If you go all-in and really push yourself, all full-distance triathlons will take a lot out of your body. But if you pace yourself and race with your head it can still be an awesome experience. Still, there will most likely be some suffering involved during the the latter part of the race but that is really part of the essence of this sport and just makes crossing the finish line an even greater experience.

Is the Laponia Triathlon 67°N a tough or easy full-distance course?
No full-distance course is easy. But in comparison the swim will probably be pretty straight forward with no currents and typically calm water. Water temperature is normally not any issue either. The bike course is undulating but without any major hills. The normal wind direction is a wind from the west which means the athletes will pretty likely face a head wind for most of the bike leg. That said, the wind strength is not often very hard during summer time so chances are fair that the bike conditions will be good. The run course is also undulating but without any major hills. In comparison the Laponia Triathlon is harder than the Ironman in Kalmar but not even near as hard as the Norseman course. If the winds are favourable during the bike leg it is quite possible to set a full-distance PB on the Laponia Triathlon course.

Air temperature during the race?
On the bike, temperatures may typically be around 10 degrees Celsius. This means that you will most likely need some more clothes than your tri race suit. On the morning and day time temperatures will rise but since the race takes place in the mountains you have to be prepared also for cold temperatures.

Which water temperature can we expect on race-day?
Water temperatures can vary a lot up here in northern Sweden. Depending on how fast the snow from the winter is melting from the surrounding mountains it can take several weeks longer than normal for the lakes to become reasonable warm. Lake Vassara is however not very deep so it warms pretty quickly and water temperature on race day will probably be about 16-18 degrees Celsius.

Midnight sun?
The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the local summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle. At the time of Laponia Triathlon in Gällivare, the sun is visible for the full 24 hours, given fair weather.

Any wildlife to be aware of?
Most likely you will see reindeers on the bike leg. They typically run along the road for a while and can be quite unpredictable in their choice of direction and movement. If you see a reindeer on the road ahead or next to the road, slow down and pay attention while passing slowly.
Bears and moose are also frequent and passing a moose requires about the same caution as with the reindeers.  Encounters with bears are very uncommon but if you are lucky enough to see one, let´s hope it is on comfortable distance…

I’ve heard a triathlon swim start can be overwhelming. What do I need to do to prepare?
It does not take that many triathletes together in the swim start to create a quite stressful environment for the first hundred meters of the swim. You need to pick a position in the start field that reflects your swim capacity. If you position yourself too far in the front you risk being pushed down into the water by athletes coming from behind. Better then to be on the safe side and stand a bit further back and instead pass athletes. In general you need to mentally focus on that the first couple of minutes is going to be stressful and then it will be much easier to handle. You can also prepare the hard core style like in this video.

How can I connect with other triathletes and find training partners?
There are plenty of triathlon clubs around Sweden. In Gällivare we are a group of people with different goals training together in the sports club Gällivare Endurance. Find us on Facebook.

Will I need a lot of special gear?
All you really need is a swimsuit, bike, bike helmet and running shoes. There’s plenty of additional gear for each leg of the sport, and how much you buy depends on your goals and commitment. We recommend starting with high-quality basics and adding piece by piece as you get deeper into your training.

What do I need to pack for the race
Read Sofie’s blog post about packing for race-day.

How do I figure out what to eat and drink during a full distance triathlon?
First of all, what works for other athletes may not work for you. Nutrition during long distance triathlons can be quite tricky to figure out and there is no magic formula that will work for everyone. It is important to try your nutrition plan during long training sessions on your bike, preferably in a brick pass where you also run after the bike.
A rough guide is that your body will be able to digest about 200-300 kcal/hour but the calories must be easily digestible so you should avoid fibre and go for sugar. Sports drinks, gels and maybe energy bars or chocolate bars (without nuts). It is easier to digest bars during the bike than during the run so many athletes rely on gels and sports drinks during the run.
Coke (cola drinks) is served at most long distance triathlons during the run and some times also during the latter part of the bike. Coke contains plain sugars which are very easy for the body to absorb. If nothing else works, coke is likely to do the trick. Once you start taking in coke you will however have to continue for the rest of the race. You will otherwise risk having a  heavy dip in blood sugars causing a notable dip in body performance.
You will also have to pay attention to electrolytes and many sports drinks have a well balanced formula of calories and electrolytes. If you drink more water than sports drinks you may have to consider taking on electrolytes from other sources such as tablets, gels or bars. The amount of electrolytes spent while sweating is very individual and also depends a lot on the weather conditions.
There are plenty to read about nutrition during long distance triathlon on the web. Google on words such as ”race-day”, ”nutrition”, ”ironman” and ”electrolytes”. Good luck!