Every day Richard Valoušek is now in contact with meteorologists and with the people who adjust the route of the Jizera highway. On Wednesday morning, however, the communications manager put on his cross-country boots and cross-country skis and set off from the stadium in Bedřichov in the Jizera Mountains on his own along the route of the Jizerské Padesátky. Valoušek represents the Raul agency, which organizes the most famous domestic ski run. He wanted to see with his own eyes what the route looked like and where the problem areas were.
The races connected with the Jizerská padesátka are to be held in Bedřichov and the surrounding area already on the second weekend of February, and their highlight is to be the 57th ČEZ Jizerská padesátka, which is scheduled for Sunday, February 11.
But the turn of the first and second months of the year brought temperatures above zero to the Jizera Mountains, and even the prospect of next week does not give the organizers any reason for optimism. The organizers are thus confused, they are working with several scenarios of further development and they know that the following hours and days will decide.
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He will decide on Friday
“A crisis meeting is being held on Friday, at which we will also meet with meteorologists and people who adjust the tracks in the Jizera Mountains, and a decision will have to be made on what this year’s Jizera 50 will look like. By Saturday at the latest, we have to announce whether we will go or not, otherwise we would be subject to a sanction,” Valoušek explained that the organizers are also bound by the conditions of the Ski Classics series of long-distance runs, of which the Jizerská Padesátka has been a long-standing part.
On Wednesday’s inspection of the Jizerské padesátky route, Valoušek saw with his own eyes that there was no snow at all in some places. “It’s often about places that are already in a protected landscape area, where we can’t and don’t want to load technical snow,” admitted Valoušek.
Calm in the east, suffering in the west
The organizers are now mainly working to keep the snow on the road from the stadium in Bedřichov to the eastern part of the Jizera Mountains. It is the western part of the entire track, around Bedřichov, that lies at lower elevations and suffers the most from the current temperatures. On the contrary, the eastern part, for example the popular Jizerka or Knajpa, where the temperatures are significantly lower, should withstand the current conditions.
According to Richard Valousek, the most problematic place on the Jizerské Padesátky route at the moment is the part of the route near the popular Krásná Máří viewpoint. “It’s not a surprise to us. There are problems with snow every year. It is an area that is focused on Poland and there are warmer winds here for a long time,” said the representative of the organizers.
Department of “Hobbies”
Valoušek admitted that the organizers are already working with some crisis options because of the topping. One of them is that they would separate elite competitors and “hobbyists” for the main race of the Jizerské Padesátky. The others would only be allowed on the track a little later.
“On Friday, it will become clearer what effect the plus temperatures had on the snow conditions, and it will also inform the weather forecast for the next week. The entire organizational team is now working hard to make sure that, despite the bad weather, everyone remembers the upcoming year only in good terms,” assured Valoušek.
He himself said that he had already experienced at least twice that the situation at the turn of January and February did not look rosy, but in the week before the race, new snow fell and everything turned for the better. “At that time, however, even the meteorologists’ forecast expected such an improvement. This is not the case now, but we still hope that it will change. A cooling could come on Wednesday or Thursday next week, but it’s a question of whether it will really be like that and whether it won’t be too late for us,” Valoušek added.
About 9,400 competitors are registered for all Jizerské Padesátky races, which will take place from February 8 to 11, and registrations for all races are already closed. A few free places remained in the 17 and 30 km free technique races, in the 10 km classic and also in the children’s races. However, it will be decided next week whether it will be possible to register for them during the racing program. 4,800 runners are registered for the main 50 kilometer race, which is the maximum capacity.