The Story of IAWLS

The Story if IAWLS and what we are

The International Association of Worldloppet Skiers (IAWLS) is a non-profit, registered association with a double goal:

  • to help XC skiers interested in Worldloppet races with practical advice,
  • to serve as a link between the skiers and the race organizers in view of improving the quality of the races.

Our basic philosophy is that we are enthusiastic WL skiers but also consumers who wish to get the best possible service for our money. There is a mutual interest between skiers and organizers which can be stated shortly as:

“no organizers, no race – no skiers, no race!”

Some historic notes

The predecessor of IAWLS was the association with the same name founded in 2000 by Jan Jasiewicz (SUI), Hannes Larsson (FRA) and Lech Milewski (AUS). This non-registered association was welcomed by the WL General Secretariat in Tartu who gave us an appreciable support, in particular by including a IAWLS web-page on the WL web site. Mid-2005 the proto-IAWLS had grown to some 240 members from 22 countries.

It became gradually more and more advisable to give IAWLS an official status. The big step was made in August 2005 when seven persons fixed the statutes of the association and agreed to register IAWLS in France according to the Law of July 1, 1901. The declaration including name, address, statutes and first officials of the association was deposited at the Préfecture de la Drôme, France, on September 13, 2005.

The Founders

The founding members of IAWLS, registered association, are:

  • Bengt Karlsson ( USA)
  • Hannes Larsson (FRA)
  • Minoru Matsuyama (JPN)
  • Lech Milewski (AUS)
  • Blanka Nedvedická (CZE)
  • Robert Palliser (CAN)
  • Piotr Szkarłat (POL)


IAWLS is run by an Executive Committee elected by the General Assembly. The Executive Committee members elect the officers: president, secretary and treasurer. The current Executive Committee members are shown under “The Team”.

Working method

The Statutes of IAWLS mention the membership fee. Don’t be afraid of that. We drafted the statutes in a very general sense, in order to avoid changing the statutes if the need for collecting membership fees should arise at a later stage. For the foreseeable future, the amount of the membership fee will be zero.

This is possible because we operate by e-mail and because all Executive Committee members are volunteers who spend a lot of time for the association. Even the web site is privately funded by our webmaster Bengt. With this working method, the Treasurer’s job is simple, the annual balance sheet will state 0 = 0.


You can write to the Executive Committee, iawls at . All questions, comments and suggestions are welcome. The Executive Committee can read e-mails in 12 languages: Czech, Danish, English, Esperanto, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish and Swedish. We have also main correspondents in Russia who can help us with the Russian language.

6 Responses to The Story of IAWLS

  1. Colette Pépin says:

    Bonjour de Québec !
    Je viens de passer plusieurs minutes à parcourir votre site et je vous dis BRAVO pour toute la passion qu’on ressent à chacun de vos commentaires. Depuis ma première rencontre avec Monsieur Larsen et Dr Matsuyama à Cavalese en 2010, je suis devenue encore plus mordue de la participation pour le plaisir. Ces événements nous vaccinent de bonheur et je reconnais que l’esprit y est contagieux.
    Je poursuis les marathons pour compléter le passeport commençé à Mora en 2008.
    Si j’avais l’intention de skier les marathons du Japon ou celui de l’Australie, seriez-vous en mesure de me donner des conseils de logistique pour le transport et l’hébergement ? Je voyage seule et je vous avoue qu’il n’est pas facile de se trouver un hébergement pour personne seule…
    Merci pour votre collaboration si cela est possible.
    Je me souviens de m’avoir inscrite à IAWLS, mais je n’ai jamais vérifier mon efficacité à faire ce genre de chose. Pourriez-vous me confirmer si je suis inscrite ?
    Merci et je vous souhaite à tous un Joyeux temps des Fêtes 2012-13 et surtout un très bel hiver 2013
    Colette Pépin
    3390 rue de la Halte, Québec G1P 4H2

    • Minoru Matsuyama says:

      Dear Colette
      Thank you for your e-mail for Mr.Hannes and me, I can’t read your mail at all.
      I tried translate on the web page,but I could not understand it at all. I am very sad now.
      Do you come to Sapporo in 2013? May I help you?
      Best regards

  2. LV says:

    yes you are a member Colette. We have you in our memberlist.

    • Hannes Larsson says:

      Chère Colette,
      Quand tu vas au Japon, écris à Minoru en anglais. Il te donnera une aide logistique. Je vais tous les ans en Australie et peux conseiller. Hannes

  3. Tom Viren says:

    I am wondering if ther is a way to ski from Mora Sweden to the start of the Norwegian Birkebiner. I would like to ski both of these races, and if possible ski from the end of the vasaloppet to the start of the Birkebiner. Are ther enough ski- able trails that connect Mora to Rena?

    Thank you for any advice you can give me.

    Tom Viren

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