Conditions for Noquemanon 6 are looking very promising with just three days until race day. Marquette County has received healthy doses of fresh lake effect snow over the past ten days, and a 2-4 foot snow base covers the course. The Bombardier grooming fleet has been prepping the course all week long. Thanks to the many trail improvements made over the summer, extensive grooming and the wonderful snow conditions, the Noquemanon course should be in tip-top shape.
The 51 K course takes skiers through mixed forests, over lakes and ponds, and along rugged escarpments before descending 1,000 over the final 25 K to the finish at the Superior Dome in Marquette. Skiers in the 25 K Half Marathon enjoy the 1,000 foot plunge while traveling through beautiful wilderness with several Lake Superior vistas.
New for this year, the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will take place in conjunction with Noquemanon weekend, giving everyone a chance to meet this year?s inductees, which include Olympic heroes Tommy Moe, Diann Roffe, and A.J. Kitt. Over 1,000 skiers are expected for Michigan?s largest ski race.
There?s still time for you to be a part of it – register on-line at <www.noquemanon.com or by calling 1-888-578-6489. Lodging and other information can be found at the website as well.
Marquette’s Abigail Larson won last year’s Subaru Noquemanon title by over 15 minutes to start a fabulous season in which she won 4 other American Ski Marathon Series races across the US.Â If she is fortunate enough to defend her Noquemanon title this Saturday, Larson, an Exercise Science masters student who calls the Noquemanon Classic her favorite marathon, knows it will not come with such a large margin of victory.Â Larson realizes there are two other great skiers coming to contest this year’s Noquemanon, Katrin Smigun and Kristina Strandberg.Â Both women areÂ Â teammates of Abigail on the Subaru Factory Team, and will give her and every other women vying for overall victory, a run for the money.
Katrin Smigun is a two-time Olympian from Estonia. She has a 13th place finish in the 2002 Olympics 30km classical, two 2003 NCAA championship titles and three podium placing at the recently completed 2000 US National Championships, on her list of accomplishments. A PH.D. Student in Statistics, Kristina Strandberg, is also a very accomplished skier especially in the classical technique in which she adds a NCAA championship to her racing resume. Together these three teammates will battle each other but should run the Subaru Factory Team’s mastery of the women’s Noquemanon crown to three years.
In the men’s race, the Subaru Factory Team hopes to extend their Noquemanon victory streak to three years with 2003 Subaru Vasa Champion, Scott Loomis and 2003 Boulder Mountain Tour Champion, Eric Meyer.Â Both of which will likely challenge local favorite Matt Weier of Team Atomic for the title.
Source: Noquemanon and Subaru Factory Team