Post Release

IV international Sleddog Race 440 km “Kalevala 2013”

Dates: March 09 – 16, 2013
Place: Russia, Karelia, Kalevala national rayon, township Kalevala.
Providers: Travel Company «Welt-Karelia trips», township Kalevala, Republic of Karelia

Supported by:

  • Ministry of Youth, Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism of Karelia
  • Administration of the municipal district of Kalevala,
  • Administration of township Kalevala,
  • Federal Tourism Agency
  • Karelian Federation of Sleddog Sport.


General  Sponsor - Travel Company «Welt-Karelia trips»
Official Sponsor – Nestle Purina Pet Care
Telecom Sponsor – JSC «TechnoCom»
Telecom Partner – JSC «MTS»
Telecom Partner – Karelian branch of «Rostelecom»
Partner – JSC «Karelian Energy Sales»
Participant – JSC «Karelian Pellet»
With the participation of JSC «Incode»
With the participation of  JSC «Sibirit 3»
With the participation of JSC Production Company «Karelian Berries»
Information Support «Kalevala News»
Information Support – Husky Forum

Official Information:

Website Kalevala Race:

Race Stuff:

Terry Hinesley (The Track Marshall, Chief Judge), USA
Shumilovskiy  Valeriy (Chief Judge Assistant), Moscow
Litvinova Yelena (Judge assistant, chronometrist), Perm
Bakunyev Svyatoslav (Judge assistant, chronometrist), SPb

Veterinary Stuff:
Caroline Griffits (Chief Race Veterinarian), USA
Tokuyev Dmitriy (Chief Doctor Assistant), Kostroma
Bakhteev Kamil (Chief Veterinarian Assistant), Yaroslavl

Route Keeper: Ozolin Edgar, Kalevala

Volunteers: KROMO “Karelian Center of Volunteer Extention”
Volunteer Team of Kalevala middle School named after V.A. Kirillov
The School of a Young Musher, Saint-Petersburg

Kubasov Vitaliy, Petrozavodsk
Nikolin Sergey, Kostomuksha

Video: “Studio 1.0” (director Reybreychuk Sergey), Petrozavodsk

Odintsova Anna, Orel
Alekseeva Irma, Kalevala
Spivak Veronica, Moscow

Race Theme: «The travel of the world legends through Kalevala epos land»
To bear 440 km is a titanic work and psyhological staying power.
Each musher participating in KALEVALA Race is a Legend.

«Prologue-race» – 23 km (Kalevala – Kalevala)
Stage # 1 – 77 km (Kalevala – Kalevala)
Stage # 2 – 63 km (Kalevala – Voinica)
Stage # 3 – 65 km (Voinica – Hiame)
Stage # 4 – 60 km (Hiame – Kalevala)
Stage # 5 – 75 km (Kalevala – Haikola)
Stage # 6 – 75 km (Haikola – Kalevala)

Breeds of participant dogs: Siberian Husky, Alaskan Husky, Alaskan malamute etc.

1-2 dogs – 23 km (prologue race)
1-2 dogs – 100 km
2 dogs – 440 km
6 dogs – 100 km
6-8 dogs – 440 km

There were 45 participants, from 5 countries: Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, Lithuania, Russia
Russia was represented by 17 regions: Irkutsk region, Tumen, Novosibirsk, Perm, Nizhniy Novgorod region, Yaroslavl region, Kaluga region, Krasnodar, Moscow, Moscow region, Saint-Petersburg, Leningrad region, Arkhangelsk region, Kaliningrad, Kostroma, Vologda, Karelia Republic


Due to the telecom partner Karelian Branch of Rostelecom, we could launch online video stream of the main events of the race.

March 08, 2013. The first day.

10.00 at the touris base «Welt» was held a mandatory veterinarian check. 197 dogs were registered
16.00 in an administration building was a organizational meeting for the mushers.
The Race marshall emphasized a few certain race rules, defined an order of a mandatory equipment check, specified a penalties, etc.
The Chief Veterinarian Caroline Griffiths explained a work of a veterinarian team, a format of veterinarian check, defined traumas and bad health condition, that could be a reason of removing from a competition, etc.
Org.Team announced a race programm, explained in detales all the routes. According to a draw, all the mushers got the start named T-shirts.

19.00 in «Kujtto» eatery in informal atmosphere was held a reception for mushers, their assistants and race guests.

March 09, 2013. The second day

At 10 a.m. people started to gather in a start village zone at the central stadium of Kalevala township. More than 2000 came to see the race main start. In a village were working animation fields, kids inflatable trampoline, souvenirs shops, snack points. And the main thing, always waited most – the possibility to meet mushers and to take pictures with dogs.

12.00 – The Opening of the IV International Sleddog Race 440 km “Kalevala 2013”

Participants' parade was opened by a drummers march (DrumTeam, Saint-Petersburg) and followed by  judges and veterinarians teams, with their assistants carrying flags of the countries or regions of origin.

The Race Marshall Terry Hinesley and a Chief Veterinarian of the Race Caroline Griffiths were escorted by snowmobiles with a KALEVALA race flags.
Near the stage Terry Hinesley and Caroline Griffiths handshook with a Head of  Karelia Republic Alexander Hudilainen.
During the ceremony sportsmen and visitors were greeted by Head of Karelian Republic Alexander Hudilainen, President of Karelian Mushers Federation, head of legislative assembly Nikolay Semenov and a Head of Municipal Rayon Administration Valentina Bulavtseva. After the speeches a Russian hymn was played.

According to the protocol, the Race Marshall took an oath of impartial judging, and a Chief Veterinarian Caroline Griffiths promised to take care of the main heroes of the race – dogs!  The culmination of the official part of the ceremony became a gifts exchange: the Head of Karelia Republic A. P. Hudilainen and a Minister of Youth, Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism of Karelia A.M. Voronov awarded the medals of Marshall and a Chief Veterinarian. Terry Heinsley and Caroline Griffiths, on their turn, gave the named T-shirts with a number 2013 on them.

A ceremonial flag carrying in by the organization team followed the opening ceremony.
The winner of the Race KALEVALA 2012 Jussi Pietikainen (Finland, Ristiyarvi) and Sergey Bespalov (Russia, Saint-Petersburg) raised the Race flag.
The Race Marshall announced the Race opened.

At 12.45 the first start was given

Were off:
29 participants for the 440 km distance,– 13 mushers in sleds, 16 mushers in skijoring;
7 participants for 100 km distance – 4 mushers in sleds, 3 mushers in skijoring;
9 participants for 23 km distance, in skijoring.
(Watch the online stread recording at the official website)

At 20.00 in an Administration building was  a summing-up of the first day of the Race: all results were took into consideration; the restart procedure of the first tage was defined.
The official ceremony of awarding the participants of the Prologue Race was run.

Distance 23 km.  "Skijoring (1-2 dogs)". Prologue Race. Total Score.

# Name Bib # Start Finish Result Place Speed
1 Anna Vorobieva 20 0.56.00 2.31.20 1.35.20 1 14.48
2 Ludmila Zenina 42 0.57.00 2.29.23 1.32.23 2 14.94
3 Artem Zakharov 48 1.03.00 2.44.25 1.41.25 3 13.61
4 Sergey Zakharov 49 1.02.00 2.46.00 1.44.00 4 13.27
5 Anna Mezeneva 43 1.00.00 2.51.12 1.51.12 5 12.41
6 Sergey Lakhmin 44 0.57.00 2.51.06 1.54.06 6 12.9
7 Ilya Demin 46 1.00.00 3.16.41 2.16.41 7 10.1
8 Rimma Demina 47 0.56.00 3.16.39 2.20.39 8 9.81
9 Ekaterina Kralina 45 1.02.00 4.07.58 3.05.58 9 7.42

March 10, 2013. The third day.

The first, circled, stage. Distance 77 km. Start – Kalevala, finish – Kalevala.

Were off:
29 participants for the distance 440 km., Sleds – 13 mushers, Skijoring – 16 mushers.
7 participants for the distance 100 km, Sleds – 4 mushers, Skijoring – 3 mushers.

  • Sergey Kryzhko N33 pulled out on the 1st km. The reason – dog refused to work.
  • Yelena Machtina N25 pulled out on the 17th km. The reason – musher's unwellness. Evacuated by the technical support, by snowmobile.
  • Vadimas Bukhvalovas №14 at the checkpount 40 km pulled out one dog. The reason – dog's unwellness. Evacuation by an official assistant, by car.
  • Evgeniy Valeev N3 pulled out at the checkpoint 40 km. The reason – musher's unwellness. Evacuated by an official assistant, by car.
  • Maria Bakuneva N18 pulled out at the checkpoint 40 km. The reason – musher's unwellness. Evacuated by an official assistant, by car.
  • Prokhor Dubravin N6 pulled out on the 55th km. The reason – low speed. Evacuated by technical support in 2 stages, by car, by snowmobile.
  • Leonid Phillipov N29 was disqualified by the Race Marshall because of unsporting behaviour.

In the evening in an Administration building was the summing-up for the participants of the 100 km distance.

Distance 100 km. Disciplines "Sled (6 dogs)" и "Skijoring (1-2 dogs)". Total Score.

# Name Bib # Time 23 km Time 77 km 100 km Place
1 Dmitriy Smirnov 16 1.33.49 7.21.11 8.55.00 1
2 Andrey Mokrushin 17 1.33.51 7.53.50 9.27.41 2
3 Polina Blinnikova 38 1.43.52 7.48.55 9.32.47 3
4 Maxim Mikhailov 40 1.38.52 8.17.16 9.56.08 4
5 Igor Smykov 41 2.04.12 10.15.35 12.19.47 5
6 Prokhor Dubravin 6 3.03.19 Pulled out    
7 Maria Bakuneva 18 2.16.23 Pulled out    


March 11, 2013. The fourth day
The start of the 3 days self-supported route.
Second, lineal, stage. The distance 63 km. Start Kalevala – finish Voinica.
(Voinica is one of the rune-singing villages, linked to the creating of Kalevala epos. It is famous for 2 karelian folk singers, Ontrey Malinen and Vaassila Kielevainen. There is an ancient building in the village - Tanila’s barn.)

Were off:
24 participants for the 440 km distance, sleds – 12 mushers, skijoring – 12 mushers.

  • Vladimir Zarubin N32 pulled off before the start. The reason – musher’s unwellness.
  • Denis Bukshin N22 pulled out on the 35th km. The reason – a dog’s unwellness. Evacuated by the technical support, by snowmobile.

In the evening there was a organizational meeting for mushers held by the Race Marshall and a Route Keeper.

March 12, 2013. The fifth day.
The third, lineal, stage. The distance 65 km. Start Voinica – finish Haime farm.
(Haime farm is an ancient farm, officially mentioned for the first time in 1762. Between XIX and XX centuries there were 15 houses and about 100 inhabitants.
The main occupation of the people there was an agriculture, growing a rye, the oats, the roots; as well as the stock-raising. The people were breeding cattle, horses, and grazing deers. In addition sourse of money was in hunting and fishing, and also chapmans trading with Finland.
With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War шт 1941 all the population of the village was evacuated, and the village was burned down, so it could not be a shelter to the finnish army. The village has never been restored, and currently thre’s only one inhabitant family on it – Galina and Victor Yevseev).

Were off:
23 participants for the 440 km distance, sleds – 12 mushers, skijoring – 11 mushers.

  • Jussi Pietikainen N1 pulled out one dog on the 32th km. The reason – dog’s general weariness. Evacuated by the technical support, by snowmobile.

At the evening there was an organizational meeting for the mushers held by a route keeper.

March 13, 2013. The sixth day.
The forth, lineal, stage. The distance 60 km. Start Haime farm – finish Kalevala.
Dogs pulled out before the start:

  • Alexander Stolyarov N9 – 1 dog;
  • Yekaterina Zhukova N27 – 1 dog.

The reasons – dogs’ general weariness. Evacuated by technical support in 2 stages, by car, by snowmobile.

Were off:
22 participants for the distance 440 km, Sleds – 12 mushers, skijoring – 10 mushers.

  • Alexey Kovalev N24 pulled out before the start. The reason – dog’s unwellness.  Evacuated by technical support in 2 stages: by car, by snowmobile.
  • Yuri Nyrkov N8 pulled out on the 44th km. The reason – general weariness. Evacuated by technical support, by car.
  • Alexander Stolyarov N9 got a 20 min. penalty for deviation from the race regulations (p. 16.1 – incorrect dogs accommodation at the self-supported overnight).

March 14, 2013. The seventh day.

It was a day-off for the mushers.
At this day a big entertainment program was offered to everybody: a loop tour through the Kalevala township; visiting the Kalevala rune-singers museum; Karelian folk handicrafts workshops; folk Karelian team play "Kukkia”, animation program at the tourist base “Welt”, etc.

There was a meeting with the participants of the unique Arctic Sleddog Expedition «Karelia: North Pole – Greenland»., famous Russian traveller Fedor Konyukhov and a karelian traveller, polar guide Victor Simonov.

The meeting was also held at 14.00 in a Kalevala middle school with a pupils of middle and upper classes. The school hall could not keep all the people who wanted to come. The travellers were overwhelmed with questions: how many kilometers will be passed during one day, what are dogs fed with, what are they going to do if they or dogs are sick, etc. At the end of the meeting all the pupils had a gift – a magnet with an expedition symbol. Everyone wanted to take an autograph and take a picture with the famous travellers and a Chukot Sled dog named Chirke, another expedition participant.
One more meeting happened at 18.00 in a culture center with the township inhabitants and guests.

At the both meetings the travellers presented the expedition equipment: a tent, sleeping pads, oil stove, solar batteries, special “dry costume” for the opened waterway divisions, freeze-dried foods and many other things, which are supposed to provide a comfort in an extremely hard conditions.
The audience made different questions about expedition, as well as private ones.
In acknowledgement of the interesting meeting Kalevala inhabitants gave gifts to the travellers. The Representative of the Border Control Service of the Russian Federal Security Service gifted to the travellers 2 entrenching shovels of 1916 and 1944. The travellers extended their thanks for the interesting meetings, gifts and warm welcoming.

March 15, 2013. The eighth day.
The fifth, lineal, stage. Distance 75 km. Start Kalevala – finish Haikola village.
(Haikola is the native land of the Karelia folk writer Ortje Stepanov. The village is located at the island, where are still kept 7 houses built in 19th century. These houses were kept due to the efforts of Ortje Stepanov and his family. During the last few years, supported by funds “Yuminkeko” and “Ortje Stepanov Fund”  3 houses were built in a village, respecting the traditional technology. One of them is a concert hall. Besides, there are 2 museums founded in a village – a literature and an ethnographic. In 2012 the Europa Nostra Federation awarded Haikola village for the keeping and restoring historical and cultural objects. There were 226 objects form 31 European countries nominated for this award in 4 nominations. Russia was represented by State Academical Bolshoi Theater and a Haikola village. The Europa Nostra Federation award is the highest acknowledgment could be received in Europe for the keeping the cultural heritage. The project is collaborating with European Union and UNESCO, being a federation of associations, created to protect and popularize the cultural heritage and nature of Europe.)

Were off:
21 participant for the distance 440 km,  sleds - 11 mushers, skijoring – 10 mushers

  • Andrey Gorlov N8 pulled out a dog on the 35th km. The reason – dog’s general weariness. Evacuated by technical support, by snowmobile.
  • Miloslav Mikolashek N15 got a 10 min. penalty at the start for deviation from the race regulations (p. 20.1  - absence of a bib number).

At the evening there was offered a loop tour through the Haikola village for the mushers and guests.

March 16, 2013. The ninth day
The sixth stage.  Distance 75 km. Start Haikola village – finish Kalevala.

Were off:
21 participants for distance 440 km, sleds – 11 mushers, skijoring – 10 mushers.

  • Alexander Stolyarov N9 pulled out one dog on the 30th km. The reason – dog’s general weariness. Evacuated by technical support, by snowmobile.
  • Miloslav Mikolashek N15 got a 15 min. penalty on finish for deviation from the race regulations (p. 20.3 – absence of the route map).
  • Roman Abasko N10 got a 15 min. penalty at finish for deviation from the race regulations (p. 20.3 – absence of the route map).
  • Petr Elster N37 got a 15 min penalty on finish for deviation from the race regulations (p. 20.3 – absence of the route map).
  • Mikhail Bragin N4 got a 15 min penalty on finish for deviation from the race regulations (p. 20.18 – absence of the dog’s plate).
  • Andrey Yermolov N31 got a 15 min penalty on finish for deviation from the race regulations (p. 20.18 – absence of the dog’s plate).

Long-awaited finish.
Assistants, sport fans from Kalevala township were welcoming the mushers at the finish line at the end of the 440 km route. The intriguing competition between 3 sled race leaders was keeping everybody in suspense. And to the Russian fans joy the Russian flag appeared the first at the horizon! Alexander Stolyarov from Kudama township, Priazhinskiy rayon of Karelia Republic crossed the finish line first.
The second Miloslav Mikolashek from Czech Republic  was finishing, and the third was a German musher Karl Hubermann. The gap between the 2nd and the 3rd places was just a few minutes.
In skijoring the first with a big gap was a Czech musher Petr Elster. The second and the tird place took Vita Chernaya and Alexander Chingin respectively, both from Kudama township, Priazhinskiy rayon.

Following the tradition, the mushers came last in both disciplines sled and skijoring got a grill fork and a sausage. This funny prize speaks for itself: “If you’re not in a hurry, that means you can enjoy a picnic!” This year the prize got Mikhail Fateev N12 and Yekaterina Zhukova N27.

19.00 – Awards ceremony. Gala-concert.
The participants of the IV international Sleddog Race “Kalevala 2013” were feted in a rayon culture center.
Igor Ganchenko and Alexander Davydov from Kostomuksha emceed the gala-concert. Kristina Vozniuk and Edgar Ozolin represented the official part. The awarding ceremony was mixed with a wonderful concert, participating lazer show, variety show, L.E.D. show, vocal duet with saxophone.

Promouters of the race gave the thank-you letters to everyone, who was the part of organizing, preparing and running the race: “Welt Karelian Travels” instructors, judges, veterinarians, volunteers, sponsors, the Head of Kalevala Rayon V.I. Bulavtseva, and hospitable inhabitants of karelian farms and villages – Voinica, Haime, Haikola, where the mushers spent the  nights.

The first on the scene came the skijoring participants.
Larissa Grevtsova, the lead specialist of the tourism development department,  the Ministry of Youth, Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism of Karelia Republic, was awarding the participants: VI place (mobile phone) – Bespalov Sergey; V place (smartphone) – Andrey Yermolov; IV place (laptop) – Yuri Chizhkov.

  • Olga Artamonova, the representative of an official sponsor “Nestle Purina Pet Care”, was awarding the III place (45000 RUR ~1125€) – Alexander Chingin, from Kudama township, Karelia.
  • Maxim Kovalev, the representative of the general sponsor JSC “Welt Karelian Travels” was awarding the II place (80 000 RUR ~ 2000€) – Vita Chernaya, Kudama, Karelia.
  • Terry Heinsley, the Race Marshall, was awarding the I place (115 000 RUR ~ 2875€) – Petr Elster, Czech Republic. At the end of the awarding ceremony a Czech Republic hymn was played.

Then started an awarding ceremony for the sled dog mushers.
Larissa Grevtsova, the lead specialist of the tourism development department,  the Ministry of Youth, Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism of Karelia Republic, was awarding the participants: VI place (mobile phone) – Roman Abasko; V place (smartphone) – Vyatcheslav Demchnko; IV place (laptop) – Jussi Pietikainen.
Terry Heinsley, the Race Marshall, and represenatives of the general and official sponsors came to the scene to present the money prizes certificates and trophies

The places are:

  • III place – Karl Hubermann, Germany, 75 000 RUR ~ 1875€
  • II place – Miloslav Mikolashek, Czech Republic, 115 000 RUR ~ 2875€
  • I place – Alexander Stolyarov, Kudama, Karelia, 235 000 RUR ~ 5875€

At the end of the awarding ceremony the Russian hymn was played.
All the participants of the race KALEVALA 2013 for 440 km got the certificates of participant.

  Dogsleds (6-8 dogs) # Total 440 km Skijoring (2 dogs) # Total 440 km
1 Alexander Stolyarov 9 20.47.49 Petr Elster 37 23.09.22
2 Miloslav Mikolasek 15 21.51.21 Vita Chernaya 21 24.02.22
3 Karl Haberman 7 21.57.54 Alexander Chingin 35 24.36.08
4 Jussi Pietikainen 1 23.25.40 Yuri Chizhkov 23 26.31.33
5 Viatcheslav Demchenko 2 23.32.20 Andrey Yermolov 31 26.40.39
6 Roman Habasko 10 25.42.18 Sergey Bespalov 28 27.36.21
7 Mikhail Shelkovin 13 27.26.31 Cheda Milisavlevich 39 30.04.49
8 Vadimas Buchvalovas 14 28.24.00 Denis Chernatov 34 31.56.54
9 Mikhail Bragin 4 31.21.56 Kirill Vshivtsev 26 34.39.37
10 Andrey Gorlov 11 31.48.11 Ekaterina Zhukova 27 37.31.05
11 Mikhail Fateev 12 39.43.16 Alexey Kovalev 24 Pulled out on the 4th stage
12 Yuri Nyrkov 8 Pulled out on the 5th stage Denis Bukshin 22 Pulled out on the 2nd stage
13 Evgeni Valeev 3 Pulled out on the 1th stage Vladimir Zarubin 32 Pulled out on the 2nd stage
14       Leonid Philippov 29 Disqualified at the 2nd stage
15       Elena Machtina 25 Pulled out on the 1st stage

The Marshall Terry Heinsley announced the end of the race «KALEVALA 2013»

The culmination of the gala-ceremony became a coming of all the race participants to the scene with a song «The best day», performed by Igor Ganchenko and Alexander Davydov
Following the tradition of summing-up the race results, we’re reminiscing the very beginning of our history.

Leonid Ozolin’s idea of a big sport event with mushing dogs participating became the reality in 2010. The distance of 36 km was run by 2 parts by 3 sleds and 4 skijoring mushers. It was really hard to imagine back then, that the team of “Welt Karelian Travels” will make an enormous work preparing a route of 440 km and making an unbelievable advertising campaign, and finally will attract in a small Kalevala  45 mushers from 5 countries and 17 regions of Russia.
This incredible work was not done in vain. The government of Karelia Republic, it’s head A. Hudilainen, and the Minister of Youth, Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism of Karelia A.M. Voronov valued this work on it’s dignity.

The summing-up of the Race “KALEVALA 2013”

  • IV international Sleddog Race “Kalevala 2013” is one of the biggest events in a Karelia Republic’s calendar.

The event was pointed in the working schedule of the Head of the Republic, A. Hudilainen, who took part in an Opening Ceremony.
The Head of Kalevala National Municipal Rayon V.I. Bulavtseva, the Head of Legislative Assembly N. Semenov and the Minister of Youth, Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism of Karelia A.M. Voronov were opening the Race together with the Head of Republic.

  • The race “KALEVALA 2013” confirmed it’s status of an international event.

During the 4 years of running the event, the amount of participants has significantly increased. The geography of mushers has widened twice since 2012. The list of participants has also renovated. All that means that the race is popular both inside and outside of Russia.

  • The Race  “KALEVALA 2013” is one of the most important events, what works for development of tourism, as well as other festivals and events, runned in Karelia.

The audience is increasing every year and this year exceeded 3000 people. The online audience was 1300 views per day.

In a judge and veterinarian teams opinion, the level of training and discipline of mushers is increasing.

Organizational team notes a few technical failures:

- In the race regulations, including Skijoring discipline, as the result of elaborating not enough detailed;
- Difficulties with interpreting, which caused a few miscommunications with foreign participants;
- Lack of an announced equipment at a few checkpoints and overnight places;
- Low level of online commentating, comparing to the previous year;
- etc.

Work for correcting these failures is ahead, but the organizational team has a positive mind and invites everyone to the anniversary –

V International Sleddog Race "KALEVALA 2014"