What a weekend in Minneapolis (and Dallas for that matter!). 2011 was the 8th running of the City of Lakes Loppet and the first year I was finally in Minneapolis to participate. The event didn’t disappoint! I spend the day Saturday checking out the course and spectating the many events: Skijor Loppet, Kid’s Race, Ice Bike race, Sprint races, and Luminary Loppet, among others. I’ve never seen so many skiers in the Twin Cities. Thanks to John Munger and the entire City of Lakes Loppet Foundation for organizing and running such a cool event. What a great way to introduce people to Nordic skiing!
The race itself was bad-ass. The course linked about four different trail networks on Wirth Golf Course, through the Flower Garden and Bog trails, and across the lakes to Uptown. Point-to-point citizen races are a new thing for me and I was a little overwhelmed simply by the masses of people getting ready for the race, the logistics of getting dry clothes from start to finish, and giving pre-race TV interviews. I’ve never seen so many familiar faces at a ski race and it was tough to stay focused amidst so many friends I hadn’t seen in a while.
By the time we finally lined up at the start, I was relieved to back in my element. The gun went off and before I knew it, the event with 9,000+ total participants felt more like a small CXC Team time trial. Teammates Matt Liebsch, Santi Ocariz, Eric Wolcott, and former teammates like Middlebury alum Marshall Greene and US Ski Team alum Chris Cook were part of the small group at the front.
Matt was on fire from the start and taught us all an impressive lesson.
Chris Cook and I spent the next 25km trading leads and chasing Matt.
In the end, Matt put over 2 min on us by the finish. Pretty impressive race.
I ended up getting a small gap on Chris cruising across Lake of the Isles and finished a distant second place.
Once again, thanks to everyone involved with the City of Lakes Loppet for an exciting event and eventful weekend!
Of course, it was great to see all the Packer fans out on the trail. Hands down, this guy wins.
Super Bowl Champions! Go Pack Go!