By Tim Stone
It’s not too late to join the fun and excitement of participating in three National Championship races, including the Tour of Anchorage. Plans are in place for an informal, enjoyable and highly competitive race series.
The event begins March 5th with a 10K Classic race at Kincaid Park on the venerable Mize loop, including the new sections added this year. Lack of training is not an acceptable excuse. We all suffer from that affliction to some degree. Skiers will start in waves based on their five year age group so everyone can see how they do against their peers. Win or lose there is great satisfaction to be gained from participating in a race of this caliber.
A three-person team sprint (3x3x1) follows on March 6th utilizing Kincaid’s world class stadium. The sprint offers men’s, women’s and mixed categories broken down into age groups based on the sum of each team’s participants’ ages. Identify your teammates now and be sure they get their entries in before the deadline for registration. The deadline for submitting the names of your relay team participants is the evening of March 5th.
Organizers will try our best to match up individuals looking for teammates by providing lists of those individuals at the registration and race offices. The Classic and Sprint races are scheduled to begin no earlier than 5:00 pm so working folks can take a few hours off in the afternoon to touch up their wax and head out to Kincaid.
The Tour of Anchorage provides a third opportunity to win a national championship age group medal if you sign up for the distance designated as the National Masters Championship race for your age group. Awards will be given at the Tour banquet.
Go to www.anchoragenordicski.com and click on the 2009 Masters race logo to obtain detailed information regarding registration and the schedule of events. Entry fees have been kept as low as possible to encourage maximum participation. You do not have to register for both Masters races and can choose to race only the classic or the sprint race. Entry in either race makes you eligible to attend the pizza party and awards ceremony following the sprint.
The pizza party and awards ceremony following the sprint races is expected to be a fun event with prize drawings and amusing activities. For your out of town acquaintances, a couple of local hotels are offering discounts to participants. See the website for details. There will also be modest gifts and trinkets for all participants. If you are lucky enough to finish among the top three in your age group, you will also walk away with one of our unique awards.
Online registration concludes on February 28th. Expensive, in person registration will be available on March 4. Sign up now! And, don’t forget to prepare for your races by participating in the remaining Anchorage Cup Races, February 8,15 and 22, sponsored by Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking, also a prime sponsor of the National Masters races.