Engadin Marathonistas – Intro

Published 21 Dec 2008

Each year, on the second Sunday in March, a 42km cross-country ski race rips through some of Switzerland’s most amazing scenery. For many years I lead a group of up to 60 people taking part, calling ourselves the Engadin Marathonistas, who raised over £100,000 for various charities.

I was never very interested in Cross-Country skiing for its own sake, but when I saw a poster in my gym looking for volunteers to do a full-length marathon on cross-country skis for charity, I knew I had to give it a go…

12,000 competitors gather at the start, get whipped into a frenzy by music from Chariots of Fire, and take off Le-Mans-style across a couple of snow-covered lakes. It’s all very picturesque (unless you’re taking it way too seriously). The course winds around a mediaeval castle, over another lake, through St Moritz, into the forest and and up Matress Hill. Then it’s a swift descent to Pontresina and back onto the flats. Before you know what you’re into the final couple of kilometers. A short climb up the ‘Golan Heights’ and the finish is just a whimper away! It’s unbelievably well-organised: there’s free transport to the start, your warm clothes get delivered to the finish, etc, etc. Although it’s a full marathon length, it’s nowhere near as tough as a running marathon, and people who have never done any cross-country skiing before can count on finishing it.