What do you do with your hard earned fitness now that the big races are over? Have you ever wondered how far you could ski? March might be the time to find out. This spring there are a variety of events providing the opportunity to celebrate the completion of the major races and also push ourselves in ways that typically don’t mesh with mid season training.
March 15th is the 4th Annual North Routt Coureur des Bois in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Choose between a 45km or 90km course that is groomed only once per year. Ski it while you can and enjoy a feast afterwards.
On March 22nd and 23rd is the Equinox Ski Challenge at the Rendezvous Trails in West Yellowstone, MT. Competitors can challenge themselves to ski as far as they can in 6 hours, 12 hours or 24 hours as either a soloist or a relay team. The Equinox is an experience in both determination and camaraderie with the traditionally great spring skiing in West Yellowstone complemented this year by a surplus of snow and by mid race grooming. As well, Toko is supplying on-site waxing for free this year to help skiers adapt to the varying conditions throughout the 24 hours. This event benefits the West Yellowstone Food Bank and the West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation among others.
For the Great Lakes skiers, the 24 Hours of Lappe in Thunder Bay, Ontario is scheduled for March 21st this year. This is the pioneering 24 Hour nordic ski race in North America and has seen some impressive records over the years. This event differs from other 24 Hour races by requiring all competitors to stop mid lap at the sound of a shotgun fired exactly on the 24 hour mark rather than allowing skiers to complete their lap as long as they began the lap before the 24 hour mark.
Competitive and recreational level skiers from the Thunder Bay area and the northern United States are encouraged to register. Our sponsors have donated many excellent prizes and all participants will enjoy a potluck dinner and a pancake breakfast.
Past records have included solo skiers completing between 350 and 400 km in a 24-hour period and multiple skier team relays skiing over 500 km. Snow conditions are excellent and with favourable weather on the weekend the existing team record of 517 km could be challenged. The existing unofficial world record is 415 km established in 1998 in Finland while the Lappe record is 407 Km by Werner Schwar in 2005.
Proceeds for the event go towards the NTDC and the Lappe Nordic Centre.
All of these races join the likes of the 24 Hours of Telemark and the Arrowhead Ultra 135 among the growing contingent of endurance events that emphasize fun, teamwork and camaraderie alongside the adventure and challenges associated with skiing for such extended periods of time.
Make use of that hard earned fitness this year. Set a personal distance record and have a little fun while you are at it.
Complete details for these events are available at:
www.equinoxskichallenge.com(Equinox Ski Challenge)
http://www.ntdc-tbay.on.ca/(24 Hours of Lappe)
www.arrowheadultra.com(Arrowhead Ultra 135)