Gavin Kentch

HomeAuthor Gavin Kentch

Gavin Kentch is a lifelong Alaskan. He skis with the Alaska Pacific University Masters team in Anchorage, plays with his two adorable daughters, and occasionally works as a solo attorney. He has a cat named Marit. He was probably on snow this year before you were.
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It’s no secret that skiers spend a lot of time running as part of their ski training. And even if it’s not their “real” sport, some of them become quite good at it. Hence Scott Patterson wins Alaska’s Crow Pass Crossing backcountry marathon six times (and counting), Erika Flowers takes the victory in The Rut 50k in Montana, or Therese Johaug runs a 10km on the track in 32:20.86 to win the 10,000m at the...

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HATCHER PASS, above Palmer, Alaska — The phrase “early season skiing” tends to evoke several things for your average skier: Dark. Cold. Rock skis. November. And so on. Think a training opportunity to be endured as much as enjoyed. Happily enough, none of these things was in evidence Sunday morning at Hatcher Pass, elev. 3,500′, in Independence Mine State Historical Park in the Talkeetna Mountains above Palmer, Alaska. The sun was out. The views were...

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National team naming for American cross-country skiing tends to roughly correspond to the overall rhythm of the training year. Team nominations come out in May; World Cup Period I starts are (at least these days) announced in June; American professional skiers then know where they stand early in the summer, and can plan out their training and racing seasons accordingly. So far, so good. A total of twenty athletes were named to the U.S. Cross-Country Ski...

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It’s late May. Athletes are a month into official training for the 2019/2020 season. Here’s some recent news of note from the domestic and international nordic ski world. German cyclist confesses to doping following Seefeld sting The police action in Seefeld, Austria, at the time of the 2019 World Championships that led to the arrest of several athletes and this remarkable and candid interview with Estonian skier Karel Tammjärv has led to another athlete leaving...

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If you’re reading this website, you’re probably well aware that the nordic skiing training year begins on May 1. In a sport where most races happen between November and March, and demand of athletes that they repeatedly race to the point of nearly losing consciousness, the preparation for race season had better start a long time before that. As the well-worn, but accurate, saying has it, skiers are made in the summer. tretinoin Embracing the...

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ARCHANGEL ROAD, above Palmer, Alaska — The tenth annual Race to the Outhouse #2, held amidst the Talkeetna Mountains on April 6, marked a neat bookend to the 2018/2019 race season in southcentral Alaska, and possibly in North America. While this season’s Race to the Outhouse #1 was held in early December 2018, roughly one month later than normal, it still marked the season’s first race in southcentral Alaska, and, behind perhaps only Frozen Thunder and...

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BEITOSTØLEN, Norway — Team USA led the participation numbers while Russia topped the medal table in the 2019 Masters World Cup, the annual competition for skiers aged 30 and over that wrapped up in this mountainside hamlet on Thursday. Roughly 1,000 skiers from 26 different nations, from the predictable (Norway, Finland) to the unexpected (Thailand!), made their way to the Oppland region for seven days of competition and up to four races per athlete, three...

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Last Saturday, the American women placed fourth in the U20 relay at 2019 World Junior Ski Championships. In any other year before 2017 this result would probably be headline news; considering that the Americans had the youngest team in the race (you can compare athlete birthdates from the women’s race here if you really want to get into the minutiae), this may well be headline news next year, or the year after that, when the same...

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Gus Schumacher spent last winter traveling the world for ski racing, including laying down the season’s most dramatic anchor leg, non-Jessie Diggins edition, to bring the U.S. men’s relay team from fourth to a historic second at World Juniors. The then-high school senior also spent the season touring the country to plan his future in ski racing, talking with multiple NCAA coaches to discuss their programs and weigh everything from coaching philosophy...

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A quick look at ski-related news from around the web as we wait for the Tour de Ski to start: – As anyone reading this site is likely aware, retired American skier Kikkan Randall went public with a breast-cancer diagnosis in July of this year, mere months after teaming up with Jessie Diggins to win a gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics. But what happened after that? The Anchorage Daily News (ADN) recently published a...

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Note: FasterSkier is accepting submissions for regional race reports, including for juniors racing. If you would like to see a particular race circuit covered and have the writer with the will to do it, please have them email info@fasterskier.com. Be sure to include a link to results, and preferably a few original race photos with proper credits. GOVERNMENT PEAK RECREATION AREA, outside Palmer, Alaska — On a day that had a decidedly old school feel,...

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  As FasterSkier staff stroll into an upcoming weekend with no cross-country World Cups, it’s time to scramble and score some holiday gifts for friends and loved ones. Christmas is around the corner. It’s never too late for Hanukkah  (Hanukkah ended on December 10). In this first gift idea for the season, Anchorage, Alaska’s supple leopard Gavin Kentch brings limberness to our lives.   *** 2018 gift guide – Supple Leopard What’s one book that Crossfit...

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(This evening, the CBC reported that voters opposed to Calgary’s bid for the 2026 Winter Games won 56.4% of the vote. According to the CBC, these are unofficial results.) The Olympics are a global spectacle, but all politics is local. And when the two truisms go head-to-head in today’s plebiscite vote in Calgary, Alberta, local threatens to win. At stake is the future of one of three remaining host cities for the 2026 Winter Olympic...

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The 2018/2019 season will be the last for NCAA skiing at the University of New Mexico (UNM), following a unanimous vote by the Board of Regents to cut skiing, along with two other teams, on Friday evening. The Board’s decision is effective immediately. If nothing changes, then the men’s soccer team, women’s beach volleyball team, and men’s and women’s ski teams will play out this season, then be eliminated on July 1, 2019, at the...

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(Note: This article was updated Thursday afternoon with information about a pending lawsuit and quotes from a New Mexico state legislator and a representative of Southwest Nordic Ski Club.) *   *   * The men’s and women’s cross-country ski teams at the University of New Mexico (UNM), previously saved following a groundswell of support in spring 2017, may be on the chopping block again. A meeting has been scheduled for this Friday, Aug. 17, to consider...

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The 91st annual Mount Marathon Race, one of the oldest footraces in the country, once more descended on the small town of Seward, Alaska, on July 4. Crowds estimated at up to 30,000 perennially throng to the waterfront community, population less than 3,000, to watch racers push themselves up a steep mountain and hurl themselves back down. At the end of the day, a pair of Alaska Pacific University (APU) skiers, Jessica Yeaton and David...

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As discussed last week in Part I of this interview, Kikkan Randall’s first-ever FIS race (that is, a race sanctioned by the International Ski Federation) occurred at U.S. nationals at Soldier Hollow in January 2000. Randall was 17 years old, the single youngest finisher in the race. Other athletes had been born in the 1960s and are now at least 48 years old. Randall raced in a first-generation Gold 2002 training suit for the fledgling...

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Kikkan Randall competed in her first World Cup race in 2001, and her last in 2018. In between, she won 14 World Cup races, three Sprint Cup Crystal Globes, three World Championships medals, and one Olympic gold medal accompanied by one very enthusiastic broadcast call from Chad Salmela. She appeared in television ads, received the Skis to the City from the mayor of Anchorage, and had an ice-cream flavor named after her. And long before...

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This article has been updated with additional information on pro skiers who volunteered with Skiku, and additional pictures from Montana and New York. *   *   * It’s the last week of April. Skier New Year, May 1, looms next Tuesday. It’s roughly six months till the presumptive first race of the 2018/2019 season, seven till the first World Cup weekend. Whether you’re a pro or an amateur, whether you’re targeting your first World Championships or your first Birkie...

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Hannah Rudd had never raced a 50 k before. Jack Novak was doing his second one in as many weekends. They took different paths to get there, but both ended up in the same place on Sunday afternoon: first in the flagship 50-kilometer freestyle race of the Tour of Anchorage. The 30th annual Tour (pearl anniversary!) set off from Service High School, beneath the foothills of the Chugach Mountains at the eastern...