15 km Snow Mountain Ranch Classic – Colorado
107 skiers lined up Saturday morning for the 15 km Snow Mountain Ranch Classic. For the second year in a row, the race was run as a mass start with separate waves for men and women. This year, SMR Nordic Director Shawn Delaney designed a two-lap course with an excellent variety of terrain, including some challenging (but very strideable) uphills, a wonderfully long descent and plenty of good double pole sections. The consensus of the skiers racing with the increasingly popular GPS systems was an actual 17 km course with 1200 feet of total ascent (and nobody needed a technological device to remind them they were racing at 9000 feet elevation).
Nathan Schultz, Subaru Factory Team, was the clear winner of the men’s field with a time of 53:19, a full 3 Â½ minutes ahead of a group that included members of the DU ski team. Jacqueline Gareau won the women’s race with a time of 1:06:53, just over two minutes ahead of FS/TBS team member Karen Waeschle. Both of these women were racing in the 41-50 age group, and Jackie is an absolutely awesome classic skier!
Here’s a few sentences from Fasterskier/TorbjornSport (FS/TBS) member David Zink: â€œMy friend Clint Roberts (age 51 and a much better classic skier than I) found ourselves in a group with a U of Wyoming skier. This skier had good technique and we struggled to stay with him on the climbs, but we dropped him at the start of the second lap on a long kick double pole grade. Clint and I hung together and had a good time until the 300-m uphill finish. Clint talked to the U of Wyoming skier after the race and later commented, â€œDave, I knew that was a young kid we were trying to hang on to up those hills — he is only 20â€. Not ever wanting to let Clint forget that he is still my senior, I replied, â€œGee, Clint, I guess I am old enough to be his father, but he could call you gramps.â€â€
Wasatch Citizen Series 10 km Classic at Sundance Resort – Utah
Just over 150 skiers showed up to the season’s third Wasatch Citizen Series race. Sundance Resort’s Nordic Center provided a well-groomed, fast and fun 3-km loop for the field. After the kids’ obstacle course and mass-start race, the adults headed out in age-class groups, spreading the skiers out along the loop. The end of the race took the skiers down to the Nordic Center’s staging area, making it a great finish for those having spent the early season practicing telemark turns in the fabulous snow conditions Utah has seen this year.