Monday Night Football? Nope this is MONDAY NIGHT SKIING! When the sun went down on Monday night in Presque Isle, Maine the xc-ski action was just getting started. Lights, music, and fireworks on and off the ski trails made for a dynamite evening of racing at the Maine Winter Sports Center/Nordic Heritage Lodge.
|Race favorite Torin Koos had some bad luck in the heats|
The action continued on Tuesday morning with 10km classic mass start races. Weather that featured the oddest forms of precipitation known to man made for a tough waxing day. I’m pretty sure it was snowing with temperatures above freezing at one point and raining with temperatures below freezing at another. Global Warming? Who knows? Global Weirdo Weather? Absolutely!
The action was fast and furious as 230 competitors scrambled for position on the perfectly prepared course that circled the stadium area before plunging into the woods on John Morton’s trademark corkscrew race loop. Ivanova dominated the women’s race and Justin Freeman (Rossignol) cruised to a victory in the men’s event. Alpina’s Sarah Konrad and Natalie Cartwright rounded out the women’s podium, while MWSC’s Dave Stewart and Subaru’s Chad Geise took the silver and bronze for the men. Stewart told me after the event that “the 10km mass start format made for one of the most exciting races on the North American circuit this season.” Dave edged out 3 other skiers at the line to score the $500 runner up prize.
The Mardi gras themed New Years Eve banquet capped off a fantastic event. MWSC Chief Operating Officer, Max Saenger commented that “The Maine Winter Sports Center is really excited about the large number of competitors and fans that were able to attend this event. Our goal is to host world class competitions that are exciting for both racers and ski fans. We hope to see even more people attend our events in the future.” Being a MWSC athlete, I got to see a lot of the behind the scenes activities that went into hosting this event. The attention to detail that the MWSC employees and volunteers put into hosting events is first rate.
I’m heading down to Rumford, Maine on Thursday for the US Nationals. The action heats up on Saturday with the 30 and 15km classic races. See you there!