ANCHORAGE, AK (Nov. 12) – The inaugural cross country SuperTour opens this weekend in Anchorage. Recent snows have boosted track conditions.
“I just spoke with Matt Pauli [of the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage, race organizers] and he says the conditions are improving rapidly with a storm dropping snow in Anchorage, which should make for good race conditions at Kincaid Park. This will be a good start for the winter,” U.S. Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner said Wednesday. “I know everyone's eager to race.”
Despite Bodensteiner's enthusiasm, the <official race website still lists Hatcher Pass as the site for the race. Kincaid Park is being inspected Thursday to see if indeed the races can be moved back into town.
Poor snow in Fairbanks last weekend forced cancellation of what were to have been the first two races, but conditions in Anchorage “are coming along nicely,” Bodensteiner said. Organizers are prepared to shift the races to Hatcher Pass if Kincaid wasn't ready. Classic races – a men's 10-km and women's 5-km – are scheduled for Saturday with freestyle races – again, men's 10-km and women's 5-km – Sunday.
Olympians Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK), a student at Alaska Pacific University, and Aelin Peterson (Fairbanks, AK) plus one of their teammates from the 2003 World Championships, Dave Chamberlain (Bethel, ME), are expected to lead the field for the first races.
“Aelin and Dave have said their goal this season is to win the SuperTour overall title,” according to Bodensteiner, “so we know they'll be raising the level for everyone. It's good to get the racing started.”
The next SuperTour races are set for Thanksgiving Weekend – Nov. 28-29 – in West Yellowstone, MT.