Offroad Finnmark an attraction and a gift package with continuity!
Welcome to the 14th. edition of Offroad Finnmark. We are all looking forward to it – both organizers and participants!
But first: This year, three great boys from “Idretten skarten chansner” are taking part. We feel we are doing something important when Offroad Finnmark is used as an arena to return to a life without drug abuse. We’ll probably cheer a little extra this year on Freddi Halvor Monsen, Joakim Dagsvoll and Faune Bilde Jørgensen on DNB OF150. Winners are not those who never make mistakes, but those who never give up.
Offroad Finnmark is a young teenager, a fourteen-year-old and a wild idea that appeared like a troll out of a box with some creative academic souls at UIT Campus Alta sometime in 2007. The initiators wanted to create a mountain bike race in the wilderness, which was as long and spectacular as no one had seen before. The ride was to make use of Europe’s only real wilderness, the light and the midnight sun, promote what belongs on the plains in summer and put Norway, Northern Norway and Finnmark on the map.
As a curiosity, we mention here that all the founders of Offroad Finnmark, with the exception of one, were immigrants.
In 2007, cycling was almost non-existent in Northern Norway and certainly not in the terrain. There were only a few souls, no culture, knowledge or expertise to build on. We can safely state, when it comes to the Offroad Finnmark concept, that the normal orientation to reality, ROS and impact analyzes etc. as we know them today, was totally absent. Absolutely nothing would indicate that Offroad Finnmark could happen. They stood sullenly alone.
It is probably an understatement that the established, conservative cycling elite did not take Offroad Finnmark seriously.
Nevertheless, Offroad Finnmark was built up in record time by volunteers. In 14 years, Offroad Finnmark has established itself as a phenomenon and an attraction with continuity that Alta and the whole of Norway can be proud of. A world-class innovation, a gift package that is served annually and that no one could expect to receive. At least in Finnmark.
But pure madness, an unfailing faith among the founders, with Jørund Greibrokk at the head, an optimism and staying power was created that is hard to imagine. Together with other volunteers who I would say are world-class, vast therapeutic skills have been developed and used on the participants, they have actually managed to make the impossible possible. Impressive!
Alta therefore hosts three of the longest and toughest mountain bike races in the country and the longest and toughest mountain bike race in the world. Despite the extreme distances in the terrain, Offroad Finnmark boasts 23 per cent female participants. It is a proportion of women that arouses international attention, regardless of the type of cycle race or distance.
The Finnmark Race has been going on for 40 years and we know what they have achieved. What can we achieve with Offroad Finnmark in the next 15 years?
Offroad Finnmark – The rides
Offroad Finnmark currently consists of DNB OF150 km, SmartDok OF300 km, Ishavskraft OF700 km and Solo 700 km. In addition, we have COOP Finnmark OF Youth 30 and 50 km, Entrepreneur Harald Nilsen OF Barneritt and IFinnmark OF Folkeritt 20 km. Six rides in 9 days!
Guess there are some destinations on our planet, if it were possible, that would have been very interested in moving Offroad Finnmark to them and adorning themselves with our title.
Interest in MTB cycling:
In order to be able to form a small picture of the interest in MTB cycling on a worldwide basis, I think some key figures may be of interest without us comparing ourselves in any way to a world circuit championship. We want great interest and not as many participants as possible.
Mountain Bike World Championship in Italy 2021 (Keep in mind that these participants are welcome to bring support equipment and family with them.):
819 participants from 56 nations, of which 545 came from Europe.
The digital coverage was 14 miles. Some videos, 51 miles. reached on Some, 15.7 million TV viewers and 5.2 million TV hours consumed by TV viewers.
In 2021, a World Cup series was established in the Mountain Bike Marathon, where the distance on one-day rides is between 65 km and 160 km. These rides are organized in 7 different countries.
The Mountain Bike World Championship Ultra Marathon has never been organized for distances over 160 km. Perhaps Offroad Finnmark will be the first to do exactly that?
In Europe, there are approx. 2 miles. who ride mountain bikes and in Norway approx. 40 000.
Offroad Finnmark’s concept is unique in a world context and can only be found in Norway and Finnmark. There is no mountain bike race like it and the expertise in mountain biking of our participants and our volunteers is correspondingly unique.
Offroad Finnmark was recently environmentally certified. We wanted to do our bit in promoting the bicycle as a key form of transport to combat climate change, improve the population’s health and build a more sustainable future for all. 15 years ago, there were not many people in Alta who cycled in general. We can safely say that interest in cycling has exploded in Alta and in Finnmark.