Saturday ended a week of great skiing at the 2004 Masters' World Cup in Lillehammer Norway.
The long distance races (30 for women and 45 for men) concluded a hard week of racing. Friday's classical long distance races saw few US participants, but Allison Bradley continued her medal streak by winning silver in the women's 50 – 54 year class.
Today's (Saturday's) long distance skate races however had larger US participation, and with great results. In the women's F5 class, Susan Holway ended a great week with second place in the 30 km, and was followed in third by Carolyn Tiernan. Ann Mize also continued her fast skiing by winning the F6 class. Kelli Boonstra continued her medal collection with a 2nd place in the F1 class. Kelli and husband Todd ended up with total of 6 medals (3 each). Sun Valley legend Muffy Ritz won the bronze medal in the F4 class.
In the men's races US, Adam Verrier skied strong having to fight with a group of Russian skiers, but ended up splitting them in the sprint for a 2nd place in the M2 class. John Aalberg ended up third in the fastest class of the day, the M3 class – also sprinting, but loosing to the Russian duo after an all out 2 km sprint. John Engen collected his second Gold medal in the M4 class after yet another sprint finish.
The flat courses for the long distance races encouraged group skiing and close finishes, however after a long week of ski races and touring in the mountains above Lillehammer this was welcomed for most of the racers.
The 1994 Olympic stadium provided a great center for the 10th year anniversary of the Olympic Games. The almost 1100 masters' skiers participating in these races added greatly to the celabrations and events in Lillehammer this month. The next two Masters' World Cups will be held in Russia (Moskva) in 2005 and in Italy in 2006 (Broussau, not far from Torino). Great job to the Lillehammer Organizer and to all the US participants!