Welcome to Broom Race - the race across Sweden!

This year sees the second running of this race, starting in the Autumn term of 2009, and it is not a conventional class with a lesson and associated assignment each month. Instead, students (or "competitors") will take part in the famous wizarding broom race - from Kopparberg to Arjeplog. Each stage on the race will be accompanied by various puzzles and challenges, and by completing these you can gain time bonuses as you compete against your fellow racers to the finish line and the Swedish Short-Snout trophy.

This annual broomrace dates back to the tenth century and attracts witches and wizards from all over the world both as competitors and spectators. For those able to race and enjoy the scenery at the same time, the route will undoubtedly offer up some fantastic views, and a spot or two of danger as well, as it cuts through one of Sweden's famous dragon reserves. The race is just a little shy of 500 miles (note that the "slightly over 300 miles" quoted in Quidditch Through the Ages is an error) and with the help of today's advanced racing brooms, organisers are expecting all the records to be smashed this year.

The current record for the fastest finish is 6 hours and 28 minutes and 52 seconds, set by Cosmo Brown of Hufflepuff in last year's race. That's an average speed of over 75 miles per hour for the entire journey, although maximum speeds during the race have been recorded well in excess of that.

In terms of this "class" obviously we can't all go to Sweden and literally take part, but hopefully there'll be enough challenge and fun for everyone to have an interesting and memorable "race." This is how the "race" will work for HOL students:

You can view the route of the race, and the current challenges for each stage by clicking on "stages" in the navigation bar at the top of each page. The current standings can also be found there, along with a link to the race discussion forum.

I hope you enjoy taking this alternative class, and if you are not taking it, you can still feel free to "spectate" and offer encouragement to the competitors.