Saturday December 17 was the Free Technique Sprint – Besh Cup #1 race at Anchorage’s Kincaid Park. Temperatures right at the freezing mark and recent wet snow made for fast conditions.
The excitement built among the spectators in the Mens’ first semi-final heat as David Norris of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks (NSCF) tucked low and passed the field coming down the small hill over the tunnel at the south end of the stadium. As the top four skiers raced for the finish line, APUNSC’s Reese Hanneman got crowded out by his younger brother Logan Hanneman of Team Fast and Tyler Kornfield of Alaska Winter Stars (AWS) for fourth place. Eric Packer of AWS went on to win the final with David Norris second and Logan Hanneman third. In that exciting final, Lasse Moelgaard of the University Alaska Anchorage was bumped and did a cartwheel mid-course and Tyler Kornfield crashed in the crowded race for the finish line.
In the Women’s final Eliza Rorabaugh of APUNSC beat teammate Kate Fitzgerald and Caitlin Patterson of AWS finished third.
For Besh Cup #2, Sunday December 18 began with blustery winds, above freezing temperatures, and rain making for a challenging day for a classic distance race. Conditions on course at the Beach Lake Trails in Chugiak were icy with debris blown by the wind. Alaskan skiers don’t see such conditions at home as often as skiers farther south. Kate Fitzgerald of APUNSC won the womens’ 10krace besting Jaime Bronga of UAA, and Amy Glen of AWS. David Norris won the Mens’ 15k classic race with Reese Hanneman taking second, and Eric Packer finishing third.
Complete results from the ConocoPhillips Besh Cup race series can be found at: