Stride and Slide: Cross Country Ski in Sapporo

An introduction to the Sapporo International Ski Marathon

Cross country skiers

“…the mountains of Hokkaido are not so forgiving and the challenging course features several ups and downs – making it difficult to gain momentum.”

Based within the city limits of Sapporo, the Sapporo International Ski Marathon celebrates 39 years of winter sports in Hokkaido – and you’re invited! Compared to Worldloppet races around the world, Sapporo is in a league of its own! 

Starting and finishing at the Sapporo Dome, participants will ski through the serene beauty of Hokkaido’s wilderness. From the dramatic vistas to the dazzling reflection of the sun in the snow fields, don’t miss this chance to traverse parts of the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympic Games cross-country ski course!

Read about the benefits of cross-country skiing

Prepared specifically for the race, the Sapporo International Ski Marathon features a winding and narrow route, making it all but impossible to glide along. 

Of course, the mountains of Hokkaido are not so forgiving and the challenging course features several ups and downs – making it difficult to gain momentum.

50KM athletes will experience a narrow trail between 5KM and 8KM, after which they’ll wind through forests until the 15KM mark. At this point, the course widens into the woods and it’s all about trudging forth.

Children and adults trying cross country skii
After the 42KM point, athletes will encounter a tough 500-meter stretch involving a steep climb with an elevation gain of 100 meters. Climb the peak and you’ll be treated to spectacular views of Sapporo city (depending on the weather). From there, it’s just an 8KM ski to the finish line at the Sapporo Dome!
Large group of cross country skiers

Worldloppet – The World of Marathon Skiing

Founded in 1978, Worldloppet is an international sports federation of cross-country skiing marathons (distance varies). Swedish by origin, Worldloppet currently boasts a collection of twenty high quality ski races around the world.

By offering races that differ by length, technique, landscape, and target group, Worldloppet endeavours to promote the sport of cross-country skiing for all skill-levels.

The Sapporo International Ski Marathon has been a part of the Worldloppet International Ski Federation since 1986. Each year, skies from all over the globe gather to compete and enjoy Hokkaido.

Learn more about Worldloppet

Group of people cross country skiing

About the Race

Sunday, February 3 (2019)
Sapporo, Hokkaido

For enthusiasts 50・25KM
For beginners 11・5・3KM
Kids 100M Challenge

Entitlements: Various sports items, finisher medal, finisher certificate

Group of people waiting for cross country ski race

Schedule of Events

Friday, Feb 1
Time TBD Trial runs for all courses/distances

Saturday, Feb 2
Time TBD Trial runs for all courses/distances
Welcome party
(free of charge with 1 complimentary drink)

Woman leading cross country ski race

There's More!

Hokkaido offers many opportunities for winter sports and sightseeing activities! Swing by the Sapporo Snow Festival, check out the breathtaking Biei Blue Pond, or wander down the Otaru Canal!

After your cross-country skiing experience, enjoy a hot bowl of ramen – with a healthy dollop of butter, or treat yourself to more traditional local delicacies, including fresh seafood and harvests from the land.

Good to Know

  • Free ski rental service is available for the 11KM, 5KM, 3KM, and Kids 100M Challenge. Advance reservations required.
  • There is no public parking available – please use public transportation.
  • More than 1,800 finishers at the 2018 Sapporo International Ski Marathon 
  • From Sapporo station
    Take the Toho Line towards Fukuzumi. Alight at Fukuzumi station and walk to the Sapporo Dome (about 10 minutes, 1KM/.75 mile).

for more information

to learn more about the Sapporo International Ski Marathon, click here (English)
to view the course map and elevation chart, click here (all distances)
to register for Sapporo International Ski Marathon, click here