PATRICK WEAVER TAKES FIRST PLACE IN
BANKNORTH GREAT GLEN TO BRETTON WOODS NORDIC ADVENTURE
Bretton Woods, NH – Patrick Weaver of Lee, New Hampshire skied to victory at the third annual Banknorth Great Glen to Bretton Woods Nordic Adventure on Sunday,February 29. A 50 km and 25 km classical ski event, the course rounds the northern half of 6, 288 ft. Mt. Washington, the highest peak ion the Northeast.
â€œI felt good, but it was like the Twilight Zone – it never seemed to end,â€ said Weaver right after his finish. When asked if he expected to finish in first he said, â€œI thought I could go top three. It’s really who ever feels best going up the hills and who is fastest on the down hills. I guess today it was me. This event is an adventure, just like its name says.â€
â€œI’m from Minnesota, I’m not used to these mountains,â€ said Hanowski. â€œThere was a little bit of everything — snow changes, down hills and I made it up the long hills.â€ This was Hanowski’s fifth ski marathon this season.
In the 25 km option, Jim Fredricks, of Underhill Center, Vermont, took top honors with a time of 1 hour 30 minutes 35 seconds. Finishing second in the men’s division was Sean Creagan, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine (1 hour 40 minutes 01 seconds), and Nate Harvey, of Glen, New Hampshire (1 hour 48 minutes 37 seconds), took third. First place in the women’s 25 km division went to Liz Kantack, of Jackson, New Hampshire (1 hour 46 minute 00 seconds). Laura Creagan, of Cape Elizabeth Maine (1 hour 48 minutes 50 seconds), took second and Ruth Fredricks, of Underhill Center, Vermont (1 hour 51 minutes 35 seconds), placed third.
A point-to-point event similar in format to the Canadian Ski Marathon or Birkebeiner of Wisconsin, the Banknorth Great Glen to Bretton Woods Nordic Adventure began with a mass start at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire. The course utilized the trails of the Great Glen and Bretton Woods Nordic Centers, a narrow connector trail into the White Mountain National Forest, trails of the U.S. Forest Service Dolly Copp system, forest roads not plowed during winter, and part of the Presidential Range Rail Trail. The use of the trails was made possible by working in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service, the NH Department of Transportation, the NH Bureau of Trails, NH Fish & Game, and the local snowmobile clubs. The greatest climb of the event took skiers to the top of Jefferson Notch, an elevation of 3000 feet. A long descent to the Cog Railway Base Road in Bretton Woods lead to the final kilometers on the Bretton Woods Nordic system. An awards party with refreshments was provided to those participating in the third annual Banknorth Great Glen to Bretton Woods Nordic Adventure.
From the panoramic views of the Northern Presidential Mountain Range on the Great Glen side to the grand Mount Washington Hotel coming into view as adventurers skied out of the wooded trails and crossed the finish line adjacent to Bretton Woods’ Nordic Center, the course travels through some of New Hampshire’s most treasured scenery. Both Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center and the Bretton Woods Nordic Area are part of historic New Hampshire properties. Great Glen Trails is the partner company of the 143-year-old Mt. Washington Auto Road. The 8-mile road to the summit of Mt. Washington is America’s oldest manmade attraction. Bretton Woods is on the grounds of the Mount Washington Hotel, one of the last of the region’s grand hotels of the past. This National Historic Landmark opened in 1902 and was the most luxurious hotel of its day.
The change of terrain accompanied by the potential for extreme weather variations on the journey from Great Glen Trails to Bretton Woods lends an element of the unknown to the challenge. Event Director Sue Wemyss, a 1984 Nordic Ski Olympian, said, â€œThat’s why we call it an adventure. Between Great Glen and Bretton Woods there are so many variables that come into play – weather, terrain, elevation and changes in the snow – that every year will be different. As we have seen, conditions can change in a matter of minutes.â€
On the first year of the Adventure, the event had to be moved entirely to the Bretton Woods Nordic trail system due to lack of snow at critical sections of the course. The second year was characterized by continuous condition changes. With rain, then heavy snow at the start, sunshine and freezing temperatures as the event progressed, then fresh snow on the other side of Mt. Washington, it was very difficult for skiers to choose the right wax. The event was won on waxless skis. Wax was not an issue as conditions this year were reasonably stable.
David Stewart, last year's winner, finished forth, even after breaking a ski at about 25 km into the event. â€œ I just dipped and snapped a ski,â€ said Stewart. â€œI limped along for a few kilometers and found a support person with a pair of skis. I waxed them up and kept going. It happens. I’m just happy to finish.â€
This year featured mostly clear skies and temperatures in the 30s at the start and stayed there throughout the event with some cloud cover by the time the first finishers arrived at Bretton Woods. â€œWe finally had weather that didn’t become the story. Those who skied this event the last two years really deserve it,â€ said Wemyss. Jackson Ski Touring of Jackson, New Hampshire, provided timing services.
The Great Glen to Bretton Woods Nordic Adventure is the second event in the New England Nordic Ski Association's (NENSA) New England Marathon Series. Other events in the 2004 Series include: The Banknorth Craftsbury Marathon held on January 31 in Craftsbury, Vermont and the Banknorth Rangeley Lakes Loppet on March 6 in Rangeley, ME.
The title sponsor for the event is Banknorth. Other sponsors include LL Bean, Buderus, Cross Country Skier magazine, Rossignol, Swix, Atomic, Fischer, PowerAde, Salomon, Maxiglide, Craft, RSN TV 16, Patagonia, Cliff Bar, Dasani, Sysco Foods, Red Parka Pub, Starbucks Coffee, and Hammer Gel.
Final results, photos, and information are available at the event website <www.GreatGlentoBrettonWoods.com.
Source: Great Glen Trails