NewsTour of the Golden Heart Spring Series and USSA Distance Nationals in Fairbanks

FasterSkier FasterSkierDecember 27, 2007

The US Ski Association Distance National Championships, incorporated
into the Tour of the Golden Heart Spring Series, will put the best of
Fairbanks, the Golden Heart City of Alaska, on display to all those who
will attend.

This four-race series will feature outstanding competition in four
events over a six-day period, including the two events in the US Ski
Association National Distance Championships, the 7.5Km+7.5Km and
15Km+15Km Skiathlon/Pursuit, and the 30Km/50Km Mass Start Classic event.
These two events will highlight an exciting week of racing.

This spring series, organized by the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks
(NSCF), is in large part a result of a partnering of Cross Country
Alaska (CCAK), the Alaska Nanooks (University of Alaska Fairbanks Ski
Team), Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (APUNSC), Alaska
Nordic Racing (ANR), Alaska Winter Stars (AWS), and Fairbanks Cross
Country (FXC) with the NSCF. Through the support of these programs, the
NSCF is able to go forward organizing the first senior National
Championship event ever in Fairbanks.

The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks is well known around the US for the
high quality events that our dedicated race crew organizes for racers of
all stripes. Our crew is eager to put on some races that all
competitors will enjoy and remember. You'll be glad you came.

Three of the four days of racing will feature afternoon and evening
races. One reason we are doing this is “because we can.” Sunset on the
30th of March is after 8:30PM. Another reason is that we believe that
scheduling the races for post-work hours will result in a lot more
spectators out there cheering on the competitors (yes, in Fairbanks
people come out to watch cross country ski races), and more media
covering the event. Plus, at that time of year our afternoons and
evenings are generally the warmest (that's mild, not hot) part of the
day.

The basic schedule:

Tuesday, March 25 – 1Km Classic Sprint (qualifying late afternoon, heats
in the evening)
Wednesday, March 26 – Interval Start Free Technique 5Km and 10Km
Thursday, March 27 – no competition
Friday, March 28 – United States Ski Association National Distance
Championships Skiathlon/Pursuit 7.5Km+7.5Km for women and 15Km+15Km for
men. There will also be 7.5Km mass-start classic races for junior
skiers
Saturday, March 29 – no competition
Sunday, March 30 – United States Ski Association National Distance
Championships Mass Start Classic 30Km for women and 50Km for men. There
will also be a 5Km mass-start classic races for junior women and a 12Km
mass-start classic for junior men.

The average daily high temperatures for the last week of March are right
around 0C. However, because of our extremely dry snow, you can normally
wax much colder than that, so you shouldn't have to worry about tricky
snow for classic skiing during this series.

Your hosts, the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, plan to cap off the week
with a large, end-of-season party on Sunday at the beautiful Birch Hill
Cross Country Ski Center on Sunday night after the final race. We
guarantee you'll enjoy your evening.

The website is under construction at this time, however there is quite a
bit of information already available at:

http://www.sportalaska.com/ussadistancenationals2008/

At this time you can find the event schedule, course maps and profiles,
information on Fairbanks, and some useful links. More information,
including entry information, will be added in the near future.

More Information about Fairbanks:

Birch Hill Recreation Area (BHRA) is one of the most outstanding cross
country ski venues, for competition and recreation, in North America.
Birch Hill has hosted an FIS Men's World Cup race in 1983, Junior
Nationals/Olympics in 1977, 1995 and 2003, Arctic Winter Games in 1982
and 1988, as well as several NorAm/SuperTour events, state championships
and other major competitions. The NSCF established a new standard of JO
organization with the 2003 Junior Olympics, and continues to organize
races at the very highest level.

The Jim Whisenhant Ski Trails at Birch Hill include more than 25Km of
skating/classic trails, and 5-6Km of classic only trails. Approximately
11Km of the trail system are lighted. The BHRA features the 11,000
square foot Birch Hill Cross Country Ski Center building located at the
south end of the ski stadium. This building features space for changing
and relaxing, waxing, spacious rest rooms, and “walk-out-the-door”
access to the trails.

The competition courses to be used during the Tour of the Golden Heart
are challenging, exciting, fair to competitors and highly visible for
spectators.

Fairbanks is served by several daily Alaska Airlines flights from
Anchorage. You can get from Boston, Newark, Minneapolis, Salt Lake,
Chicago, Denver, Portland (OR), Reno and San Francisco to Fairbanks with
a single stop and aircraft change in Seattle or Anchorage using Alaska
Airlines and/or its partner airlines Northwest or Delta. Non-stop
Alaska Airlines flights are available from Seattle.

Fairbanks has numerous hotel options within 10 minutes drive of Birch
Hill. We will be announcing our official headquarters hotel by
mid-January at the latest, with special rates, rooms set aside for
waxing, etc.

If you haven't gotten enough skiing when the races are over, stay in
Fairbanks for a few extra days to take advantage of Fairbanks' great
spring weather. You can head north to the White Mountains for some
great back country skiing, or south to the Alaska Range along the
Richardson Highway to get some time soaking up rays on one of several
easily accessible glaciers. There are also hot springs available either
by driving or skiing.

For more information, e-mail Chief of Competition John Estle at
sportalaska@gci.net.


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