MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — After a dearth of snow and two days of unseasonably warm weather, winter decidedly returned to South Central Minnesota for Day 3 of the Masters World Cup.
Snow started falling at Theodore Wirth Park at about 10 a.m., and continued throughout the day, with accumulations around six inches. With a close eye on the forecast, the competition jury decided Monday morning before races — which included morning classic races followed by afternoon skate races — to shorten some of them (from 10 kilometers to 7.5 k), according to Chief of Competition Nels Dyste.
None of the skiers seemed particularly put out by the day’s snow.
“Weather is weather,” said Toris Sundt of Oslo, Norway. She finished sixth in the 5-kilometer classic women’s age group 9.
Twin Cities native Nancy Bauer followed in seventh, and called their race, with a shortened course for ages 70 and up, the “Baby Masters”. But she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m really excited because I’m better at the beginning of a race,” Bauer said.
“I like it because I couldn’t go 30 kilometers now, because I’m in not so good of shape,” Sundt said. “So, for me … it’s very good.”
Skiers looked to be faring well in the snowy conditions, even as flakes fell faster. Trina Hosmer, 72, of Stowe, Vermont, clocked in an impressive time in the 5 k classic women’s age group 9 in 16:53.6, just 19.5 seconds behind first-place finisher Gabriele Anderson, also of the U.S.
Hosmer has raced in varying conditions all over the world. She was a member of the first international U.S. Women’s Ski Team in 1970 (racing in Czechoslovakia), and was on the first U.S. women’s Olympic ski team in 1972 (in Sapporo, Japan). But even for her, the course was a little tough.
“It was more difficult, because it had been chewed up a lot by all the other skiers, but that’s to be expected,” Hosmer said.
Hosmer raced this past Saturday and Sunday as well, finishing second in her age group in the 10 k classic, and first in the 10 k freestyle. Each racer can only do three individual races during the weeklong event. “That’s enough,” Hosmer said. “The good thing about it [skiing], is I’m still doing it.”
After 50 years of skiing, Hosmer said she had no particular strategy or training for these championships.
“I’ve been doing it so many years, I just ski,” she said.
Her husband David Hosmer, 73, also raced over the weekend and on Monday, placing 27th in the 7.5 k classic men’s age group 9 with a time of 35:37.1
“There’s a lot of fast guys,” he said when asked about his competition. “There are some very fit men out there.
“They have done a very good job with the course here given the terrain that they have and the weather and everything,” he added.
Race organizers will have their hands full on Tuesday’s rest day as they determine who will be eligible to compete in Wednesday’s relays. Dyste noted how relay teams are chosen.
“Everybody has the opportunity to choose three of the six different races. If they do well, they’ll typically get selected for their national team’s relays,” he said. “Relays are by age group as well. There are some formats for teams where older skiers are able to ski down onto a younger team relay, and there’s also opportunities to do a mixed relay between nations, as well.”
This applies to both the men’s and the women’s relay teams.
Each nation’s coach must submit their team lineups by 11 a.m. on Tuesday, and the start lists will be posted Tuesday night so racers can prep for their 4 x 5 k relays on Wednesday.
Though the new snow made for some tougher conditions today, it will be beneficial for the marathons coming up on Thursday and Friday.
“Hopefully, this snow will come in a good volume so we have the ability to run longer courses later this week,” Dyste said.
Day 3 Age Group (AG) Winners
Women’s 7.5 k Classic
- AG 1: Kathleen Dewahl (USA) 24:45.4
- AG 2: Josie Nelson (USA) 23:14.9
- AG 3: Linda Hasselqvist (Sweden) 23:23.8
- AG 4: Bonnie Weiskopf (USA) 22:47.7
- AG 5: Ragnhild Bolstad (Norway) 22:16.7
- AG 6: Kelly Milligan (USA) 24:03.9
- AG 7: Marianne Niemi (Finland) 23:59.7
- AG 8: Berit Hoeyvik (Norway) 30:31.4
Women’s 5 k Classic
- AG 9: Gabriele Andersen (USA) 16:34.1
- AG 10: Else Marie Scharff (Norway) 22:27.3
- AG 11: Patricia Kaald (USA) 34:49.0
Men’s 7.5 k Classic
- AG 1: Matthew Liebsch (USA) 17:25.3
- AG 2: Craig Cardinal (USA) 20:29.4
- AG 3: Andrey Lushnikov (Russia) 18:50.2
- AG 4: Magnus Karlsson (Sweden) 18:26.6
- AG 5: Truls Valmestad (Norway) 17:34.8
- AG 6: Jon Arne Enevoldsen (Norway) 19:07.0
- AG 7: Daniele Vuerich (Italy) 21:04.5
- AG 8: Walter Steiner (Switzerland) 21:52.1
- AG 9: Veikko Piirainen (Finland) 24:13.5
Men’s 5 k Classic
- AG 10: Alpo Virtanen (Finland) 15:09.0
- AG 11: Tuomo Venalainen (Finland) 19:46.6
- AG 12: Irvin Servold (Canada) 26:36.8
- AG 13: Charles French (USA) 25:25.7
(Results continue below)
Women’s 7.5 k Freestyle
- AG 1: Alexandra Jospe (USA) 24:28.6
- AG 2: Gina Chythlook (USA) 24:32.5
- AG 3: Erika Saveraid (USA) 27:44.4
- AG 4: June Rognmo (Norway) 23:51.6
- AG 5: Kelly Skillicorn (USA) 24:03.9
- AG 6: Elizabeth Youngman (USA) 25:31.2
- AG 7: Kate Ellis (USA) 27:46.4
- AG 8: Carolyn Tiernan (USA) 30:47.3
Women’s 5 k Freestyle
- AG 9: Nadezda Poljakova (Estonia) 21:12.5
- AG 10: Eivor Lindgren (Sweden) 21:32.0
Men’s 7.5 k Freestyle
- AG 1: Eugenio Bianchi (Italy) 18:41.2
- AG 2: Joachim Gustafsson (Finland) 18:47.6
- AG 3: Ivan Batyutenko (Russia) 20:32.4
- AG 4: Aleksandr Pushkarev (Russia) 18:53.9
- AG 5: Virgo Karu (Estonia) 20:45.8
- AG 6: Stefan Storvall (Finland) 20:22.3
- AG 7: Aito Pennanen (Finland) 24:25.1
- AG 8: Einar Bertrand Vikingstad (Norway) 24:12.2
- AG 9: Paul Graber (Switzerland) 26:48.9
Men’s 5 k Freestyle
- AG 10: Finn Magnar Hagen (Norway) 17:21.4
- AG 11: Jim Ballendilne (Canada) 24:00.5
About Andrea Potyondy-Smith: Andrea hails from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis (dontchya know) and has an MFA in creative writing. When she is not being an English geek, she can be found on her bike or skis, or playing in the Northwoods … typically on her bike or skis.