The 2010 Master’s Nationals came to an end with the 50km classic Craftsbury Marathon. Juergen Uhl and Susan Dunklee skied to victory on the four-lap course.
A big rainstorm the Monday before took a toll on the snow. The original clover-leaf 25k loop had to be shortened. But the skiing was excellent thanks to the hard work of volunteers and grooming staff.
The day dawned sunny, but frigidly cold. With temperatures hovering around the -4F cutoff line, racers were hard to recognize in face masks and Buffs.
The course featured twisty rolling terrain, with many transitions and short climbs. There was one long gradual hill several kilometers in length about halfway through the loop.
The race started quickly with favorites Uhl, Justin Freeman and Tim Reynolds (Green Racing Project) among the leaders.
The pack slowly diminished in size over the first two loops, and by the final 10km only Uhl, Reynolds and Freeman were left. Freeman was unable to hold the pace, and Uhl and Reynolds battled to the finish, with the UVM alumn taking the win by a few seconds.
Freeman was the first Master skier across the line, claiming the National title.
In the women’s race, Dunklee dominated, winning by four and a half minutes over Anna McLoon. Dorcas Wonsavage finished 3rd, 1:20 in back of McLoon.
Most skiers waxed with a klister binder and a cold blue hardwax over the top. The tracks were rock solid and held up well despite the hundreds of skiers on the loop.
John Gerstenberger won the men’s 25k by over a minute. Junior Jordan Buetow (Burke Mountain Academy) was second.
Annelies Cook (USBA) won the women’s 25km race and finished 15th overall. Christa Case Bryant took 2nd.
Nearly 600 racers participated in the various events.
Dash for Cash
On Friday, the night before the race, an exciting sprint event provided entertainment for skiers picking up bibs and enjoying the pasta dinner. The Onion River Sports Dash for Cash featured $1,000 of prize money, including $200 for the winners.
The course was very short – no more than 200 meters, flat, and featured a good corner around the touring center. A qualifying round was held and the top 8 men and women faced off in semifinal heats of 4.
The top-4 in each age group also competed in heats.
Jordan Buetow, a junior skier at Burke Mountain Academy claimed victory, taking advantage of GMVS coach Justin Beckwith breaking two poles. Beckwith easily won his semifinal, and was out in the lead of the final. In all heats, the skier that led after 20 meters won the heat.
Someone stepped on Beckwith’s pole, and he was down to one. He still had a chance, but as the pack rounded the corner, a loud snap was heard. Beckwith reappeared madly free skating, but was last in the heat.
Buetow was fast all evening, posting the 3rd fastest qualifying time, behind Casey Simons and Beckwith.
Simons ended up 2nd with Reynolds in 3rd.
In the B-Final, Ollie Burruss (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) led the pack, followed by Patrick Joslin (GMVS), former Williams skier Joel Bradley, and Matt Briggs (Craftsbury Green Racing Project).
Biathletes took the top two spots in the women’s A-Final, with Cook skiing to first, followed by teammate Susan Dunklee. Hannah Dreissigacker (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) rounded out the podium. Tara Garaghty-Moats (Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club) finished 4th.
In the B-Final, the Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s Lauren Jacobs and Chelsea Little led Kaitlynn Miller (Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club) and Emily Stitt (GMVS).
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.