INTRODUCTION: Almost 5,000 people turned out on Sunday (15 February) for the traditional Gwarki Cross Country Ski race in Poland.
GV Race in progress up hill. (2 SHOTS)
TOP VIEW ZOOM BACK TO GV.
SV Race through forest uphill. (3 SHOTS)
SV Skiing down slopes and crashing.
Skiing into another crash
CU PAN FROM Snow covered trees TO competitors through forest. (2 SHOTS)
SV Competitors receiving hot drinks on route.
GV Competitors off towards finish. (2 SHOTS)
SV Competitors finishing and being cheered. (2 SHOTS)
CU Winner Henryk Wtorek being congratulated.
SPORT: CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Almost 5,000 people turned out on Sunday (15 February) for the traditional Gwarki Cross Country Ski race in Poland. The race was run over five separate distances, and amongst the competitors was a man in his mid-seventies.
SYNOPSIS: Conditions were ideal for the race...and after the starters signal was given, all 4,800 competitors were on their way.
To allow for the fact that the entrants were in varying states of fitness ... and of different ages...the race was divided into five categories ... ranging from only 1 kilometre (0.06 miles) ... right up to 50 kilometres (31.06 miles).
The course provided a spectacular site as the race wound through the mountainous terrain.
Some sections were so steep that it became necessary for competitors to eventually remove their skis. This section at the 10 kilometre mark is known as the "Weeping Wall", and is generally recognised to be the most difficult part of the whole race.
On the way down, many skiers ran into difficulties.
This section eventually became the worst bottle-neck .. with constant pile-ups and no room for those still on their skis to get past.
A heavy snowfall before the race provided a good cover. The oldest competitor was 77-year-old Antoni Szymanski, who's been competing in the event for as long as he can remember.
The cold temperatures made hot drinks on route an absolute necessity.
Divided into 1,5,10,25 and fifty kilometre sections, the race is especially popular because skiers of any standard can enter.
For most though, the best part is undoubtably the end ... and this year, the 10-kilometre race was won by number 5261, Henryk Wtorek.