The 3rd Annual Cuddy Classic Roller Ski Race took place last weekend on Saturday August 23, in Anchorage and coincided with grand opening of the Cuddy Family Midtown Park. The park boasts a small amphitheater; approximately two kilometers of walking paths, as well as a 400-meter paved speed skating oval. It was on this oval that the start and finish of the day’s roller ski racing took place.
The event was a two-stage competition consisting of a 4.2/6km classic distance race in the morning followed by a 1.2 km mass start freestyle technique sprint race in the afternoon. The combination of each racer’s finishing times would decide the day’s winner.
On the women’s side two-time Olympian Kikkan Randall made it easy to pick a victor after handily winning both events followed by APU teammate Katie Ronsee. In the men’s 6km race Anders Haugen led in a close pack of three racers including his APU teammates Bart Dengel who out kicked Olympian James Southam for second place. In the afternoon sprint APU’s Jeff Ellis led from wire to wire hold off a hard charging Haugen by a boot length, followed closely by Erik Packer of the Alaska Winter Stars in third.
APU dominated both fields taking the top 4 places in both the men’s and women’s combined race results. The distance races took place on the walking paths that wound their way through the park and due to the lack of any substantial climb most of the men’s race — and Randall and Ronsee – double poled on Marwe skate skis.
Next up in the Anchorage Parks and Recreation roller ski series is the Kincaid Stampede. The event will take place at the site of the 2009 and 2010 US National Championships on September 21st. It will be the final event of the series.
Complete Results (combined times from Stage 1 & 2):
Maurina Pitner 25:46