Pinkham Notch, NH – Justin Freeman of New Hampton, NH and The Factory Team and Nina Badamshina of Gilford, NH took top honors in Ski to the Clouds, “North America’s Toughest 10k” presented by Maxiglide. Freeman was a member of the 2006 U.S. Olympic team, and Badamshina is a 9-time Olympic and World Championship gold medalist.
Freeman completed the 10k course in 45:45 and defended his 2008 title with a sprint to the finish. He defeated Jesse Downs of Jericho Center, VT and the Army World Class Athlete Program by just one second. U.S. Olympic Biathlete from the 1992 and 1994 Games, Duncan Douglas of Honeoye Falls, NY and the National Guard Biathlon Team was third in 47:22.
The women’s race was never in question as Badamshina won by nearly nine minutes with a time of 52:38. A native of Russia, Badamshina is a veteran of three Olympic Games and has won three Olympic gold medals in the 4 x 5km relay for the Soviet and Russia teams. She also won an individual bronze medal in the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway in the 15km race. She has earned 11 World Championship medals, including six golds. Rossignol’s Grethe-Lise Hagensen, head Nordic coach at Mountain State University, was second in 1:01:25, and Jennie Brentrup of Colby College finished third in 1:02:24.
Seventy racers took on the challenge of Ski to the Clouds in 2009, which marks the second year of the race’s new incarnation. This new version of this historical race now includes 4k of racing on the trail system at Great Glen Trails before the climb up the Mt. Washington Auto Road. In 2008, the race was shortened by nearly 2 kilometers, but the snow cover was more consistent this year allowing the race to finish just below the halfway point on the Mt. Washington Auto Road at 3,745 feet above sea level.
Thanks to the support of Maxiglide, Great Glen Trails was able to offer a prize purse of $1,400 for Ski to the Clouds. Prizes were awarded to the top three in each division as well as for the fastest male and female over the age of 40.
Beginning in 1975, Maxiglide was the first American company to address the issue of snow and ice on the bases of the first waxless cross country skis. Maxiglide created a Teflon-based coating that not only sealed the bases from accumulating snow and ice but also enhanced the glide. Maxiglide now offers user-friendly fluorocarbon rub-in waxes effective in a wide range of conditions for all types of skis and snowboards. Maxiglide was the first to develop liquid coatings for skis, then paste waxes, and eventually similar technology for canoes and kayaks.
Complete results and photos are available at www.SkiToTheClouds.com.
Great Glen Trails is open daily for cross country skiing and snowshoeing with 40km. SnowCoach tours up the Mt. Washington Auto Road are also running daily. Complete details and snow conditions available here.