Locals emerge on top in popular skiing event in Madona

For the ninth consecutive year, a popular skiing event was held in Madona. About 400 skiers participated in the run, braving distances of up to 33 km. 

Just one of a number of similar events in the northeastern part of the country, it mirrored past and future events in Gulbene, Ogre and Jaunpiebalga. 

A 16.5 km lap was prepared for the February 2 event, with local Raimo Vīgants emerging ahead of a trio of runners-up from Talsi with a time of 1:27:16 in the 33 km (two-lap) distance. 

Kitija Auziņa, another local participating in the women's 33 km run, emerged ahead of competitors from Daugavpils and Rīga.

By no means restricted to professional skiers, the elite event attracted orienteering champion Andris Jubelis and path runner Artūrs Vadzis as well. 

There were 40 participants in the longest distance, while about 160 partook in the 16.5 kilometer run, and here too local skiers turned out on top in the men's run, while Signe Miķelsone of Cēsis won the women's competition. 

The 7-km run likewise saw a local emerge on top in a competition of 80. Among the eager skiers was singer Intars Busulis. While 2.5 km run attracted close to a hundred participants.

A day after the competition in Madona, the Daukstu parish in Gulbene Municipality likewise held a skiing event. There were 133 participants in the main competition, and Education Minister Ilga Šuplinska made an appearance here. 

This week skiing runs are upcoming in Vanagkalns (February 8) and the Ogre Zilie Kalni (February 10). One thing that is certain is that the cultural region of Vidzeme has no competition as concerns winter activities. 

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