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The initiative to arrange Lidingöloppet came from Karl Axel Karlberg och Sven Gärderud but the original idea to have a large competition for the average jogger comparable with Vasaloppet for cross country skiers, came from the sports magazine journalist Sven Lindhagen. In the first competition 1965, the number of participants were 644. The number of competitors grow rapidly as well as professional runners and has during the last years stabilized around 30-35 000 participants. In the 2008 competition the number of participants was 34 475. It is a tradition that long distance runners studying at Bosön sports training and education center at Lidingö participiate. Women were allowed in 30 km before 1996 but had no competition class, no winner was selected.

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