I supported CXC athlete Natalia Naryshkina for the 51km classic marathon. I had tested and skied on the Noque trails the day before and found that once in the woods, conditions were perfect for hardwax. I arrived at the start in Ishpeming early to set up the tent using the Toko van as a wind block. Fellow Toko Tech Team member Mike Young and I prepared several test skis. The start area had received an inch of new snow while the second half had gotten a light mist overnight. In typical U.P. fashion we knew that the tracks in the second half of the race would glaze and therefore need more kick. The start area was open and the little snow from overnight was drying out from the stiff winds so we skied out a few km’s from the start to test. I first double checked with glide. I had put straight JS Red over HF Red on a pair and JS Red/Yellow Mix of HF Red on another. The straight JS Red was the call. We worked through the kick wax next. Straight Nordic Red just couldn’t hang on with the glazing tracks and straight Nordic Yellow and Nordic Red/Yellow mix as too grabby. We settled on two thin layers of Nordic Yellow short under foot with 3 covering layers of Nordic Red, being careful not to mix the layers but to cover the yellow. Natalia arrived at about 8 with her skis for the 9am start. Waxing someone’s skis you don’t know is tough, especially when they are the favorite to win. She had some kind of kick on the skis but didn’t know what in a vaguely marked kick zone. I quickly took the wax off and sanded the bases followed by a thin layer of Base Green Binder heated in with my torch and corked smooth. I put two thin short layers of Nordic Yellow on and covered it with only two layers of Nordic Red to start. I gave the skis to Natalia to test. I told her to ski out a few km’s to make sure she got in the woods where the tracks were glazing. She came back and the skis were grabby. Too long, I quickly scraped off the first inch of kick wax and corked smooth the transition. After another test run the skis were much better but not bomber kick. One more layer of Nordic Red did the trick, “perfect” she said. I then corked in a quick speed layer of JS Red to make sure she had maximum glide for the first few kms. Mike and I hung around at the start helping people with too much or not enough kick get their skis to a happy place. After everyone was off I went to the finish and wait to see how Natalia would go. She blazed the woman’s field, winning by 4min! She said the kick was great the whole way! Holding up through several icy lake crossings. Congratulations to Natalia and to all of the Noque participants.Ben Lund, Toko Tech Team
Noque: Report from the Winner
I did a pre-layer of Toko HF Blue. Then I put a layer of Toko HF red on top. For fluoro I used JetStream Red Powder ironed in. Then 2 layers of JetStream Red Block corked on top of that. For kick I had a green klister binder with a little Nordic Basewax Green and then covered it with a blue wax.
Santi Ocariz winner of the Noque 51km Classic race
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