If you have 10 minutes, it won’t be wasted on this video. This is an ESPN segment from 1985, which covers a 30 k freestyle World Cup race in Biwabik, Minnesota.
It’s real cold on this day (-5 F) and these guys are just getting into skating. But the snow is so cold and slow that the racers revert to a good ol’ fashioned herringbone on all the steeper climbs. If you ask me, this race, and these racers, are the definition of “tough.”
This vid features Peter Graves as commentator, and has some great interviews – Mike Gallagher, Bruce Cranmer, Audun Endestad (also the definition of tough!), and Bill Koch. And some great fashion – notice Vladimir Smirnov’s white sweater!