There will be racing in Rumford on Sunday, but it won’t be pretty.
“It’s gonna be messy as hell,” said John Farra, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association nordic director.
The 2011 U.S. National Championships are set to get underway in one hour, after a long afternoon and evening of work by volunteers and organizers. The 1.4-kilometer classic course at Black Mountain is covered with snow, or a semblance of it – it’s clean in some places, while as of a few minutes ago, volunteers were still busy shoveling onto areas where dirt, rocks, and mud were showing.
The best parts of the course are the start and finish, in the stadium area. There’s a significant dirty spot on the first downhill corner, and some bigger muddy areas towards the top of the course’s main climb, and on its ensuing descent. Chief of Course Ray Broomhall said that he’d have crews with shovels working throughout the day.
Qualifying starts with the men at 10 a.m. We’ll have live updates on the Continental Cup blog, and on Twitter (@fasterskier). Video interviews with Broomhall and Fischer/Swix’s Chris Hall are below (we’re waiting for them to upload – they’ll be up soon), as well as a quick course overview.
Nathaniel Herz is a reporter for FasterSkier, who also covers city government for the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska. You can follow him on twitter @nat_herz.