Wilmington, NY – A very unique event took place today at Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, NY. A group of 80 Cross Country skiers from around the country competed in the 2nd annual “Climb to the Castle” Rollerski Race. The event started at Santa's Workshop where athletes warmed up for the 8% climb up the Whiteface Memorial Highway.
The race format, today, was a mass start with the women going out first and the men following 10 minutes later. The athletes double pole for a short distance then begin to skate. The 5-mile course made its way up beautiful Whiteface Mountain where the views were spectacular with snow falling in pockets and sunshine trying to illuminate bits and pieces of the mountains in the distance.
The event was originally scheduled to begin at the Whiteface Toll Booth of the Memorial Highway but adverse weather conditions forced the start to be moved down the mountain 1.5 miles to the Santa's workshop parking area. “When we initially drove up the highway to check out the road there was snow and ice covering the last 2 miles of the steep climb.” “We opted to delay the start from 9 AM until 10:30 AM and move the start down the mountain” stated Margaret Maher, Head Cross Country Coach for the New York Ski Educational Foundation based at Whiteface Mountain. While there are green trees just to the South of the Lake Placid/Wilmington area, snow was not only on the top of the mountain but flurries where falling with most of the leaves just past peak.
Winners of Men’s event were:
1 43 MM3 National Guard Robert Douglas 32:26.44
2 35 MSR USST Kris Freeman 34:22.90
3 48 MOJ USST Noah Hoffman 36:56.87
Winners on Women’s side were:
1 8 FSR CXC Caitlin Compton 45:19.91
2 4 FU23 USST Morgan Arritola 45:27.89
3 1 FU23 USST Elizabeth Stephen 45:52.83
A partnership between the New York Ski Educational Foundation and the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) made this event a huge success. â€œBringing US Ski Team athletes and athletes from clubs around the country highlights the commitment of ORDA to keeping youth athletics, fitness and competition as an integral part of our landscapeâ€ said Lisa Gouwens, NYSEF Executive Director.
If you would like more information on NYSEF or full results, view www.nysef.org and click the Nordic tab.
For more photos from the “Climb to the Castle” roller-ski race and other workouts from throughout the USST Lake Placid training camp check out TeamToday.org
Into the snow. Liz Stephen, Morgan Arritola, Caitlin Compton (photo courtesy of TeamToday.org)