On Saturday, October 14th, the Michigan Tech Nordic Ski team hosted the 1st Annual Oktervofest Nordic Relays. The race took place on the Chassell Nordic Racing Trails in Chassell, Michigan, just outside of Houghton, MI, the site of the 2007 USSA Cross Country National Championships.
The race consisted of five, three person teams, with each leg completing two, 1.63km laps. The course was in pristine early season conditions with a 2â€-3â€ professionally groomed base of freshly fallen snow. Participants claimed conditions were slow and softening significantly as the race progressed and temperatures rose.
Despite steadily deteriorating conditions, racers were posting progressively faster lap times. Racer Dave Siegfried reported after the race, â€œWe were all very worried that we would have to take the race off of our schedule due to lack of snow, but its great to see that Mother Nature came through in the clutch.â€
The winning men’s team was comprised of Eric Olson, Jared Cregg, and Dave Siegfried. The victory was up in the air right up until the last leg, and the competition was stiff with the anchor leg of the 2nd place team being filled by 2005 Minnesota State High School Nordic Ski Champion (freestyle), Jesse Lang. The winning co-ed team was made up of Nicole Lepinski, Ben Beard, and Aaron Ditty.
â€œIt was spectacular that we were able to pull off the race this year, and we are really hoping to making it an annual event.â€ stated team captain Aaron Ditty.