Far West’s first â€œofficialâ€ rollerski race in 27 years took place on Saturday, December 6 on â€œOld Highway 40â€ west of Donner Summit, California. Whether you call it Global Warming, Nature’s Wrath, or just a slow start to winter, rollerskiing has been the training choice of many Nordic skiers this autumn, and University of Nevada, Reno Head Coach August Teague decided to hold a time-trial format rollerski race on one of the more popular training roads in the Sierra Nevada. â€œWe originally were interested in putting together a National-caliber weekend event sometime this year,â€ said Teague. â€œA Sprint race, Time Trial and Open Race might have attracted skiers from around the country, but (Fischer/Swix Sales Representative) Dan Hill and I decided it was better to start small with this event.â€
With a few of the likely junior participants choosing to head to Mammoth for some very limited on-snow skiing time, the First Annual University of Nevada Rollerskiing Open race was attended by mostly the UNR Nordic team, a handful of hard-core Master racers, and a lone Far West Nordic junior. Held on a beautifully sunny late-Autumn day, the course was a mostly-uphill 10 kilometers, on a slightly undulating profile from Cisco Grove at 5,600 ft elevation to Kingvale at over 6,000 feet. Skiers were sent out at 1 minute intervals on seldom-traveled Old Highway 40 next to the Interstate.