HomeCategory Regional / Local

Coverage of smaller regional and local events.
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This article has been updated with additional information about the history of the Kincaid Hairpin FIS course, and with a link to an article compiling national club time trial results. ANCHORAGE — Sunday, the second day of FIS races in Anchorage, saw, at some level, more of the same: fresh snow (though much less than the day before), soft and slow conditions, and Sadie Maubet Bjornsen at the top of the results sheet. There were...

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ANCHORAGE — Sadie Maubet Bjornsen, Luke Jager, and Hunter Wonders won FIS races at Kincaid Park over the weekend against strong fields, in what would typically be statewide races used for Junior Nationals qualification but were this year held as a mostly Anchorage-based weekend after a state sponsoring body declined to host. This race writeup covers Saturday’s classic sprint qualifier, which along with Sunday’s freestyle distance races were the first FIS races held on this...

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This article has been updated with additional information about the Birkie, about all races in Vermont, and about the current state of emergency orders in Anchorage. FasterSkier has previously reported on the significance of FIS points, points earned in races sanctioned by the International Ski Federation that can be used to compare skiers to one another even when they did not engage in head-to-head competition. Under normal circumstances, an athlete’s FIS points are used for...

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Skiers are made in the summer, and one of the hallmarks of summer training is periodic training camps. But as with racing, the coronavirus pandemic has upended summer group training. In April, the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) opted to turn their June regional elite group (REG) training camp into a virtual event. Part of the US Ski and Snowboard development program, REGs have a standardized format that helps evaluate athlete development. “[The virtual...

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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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The NENSA rollerski series ramped up this past weekend outside Lake Placid, New York. As part of the drive to draw more skiers to the rollerski series, Saturday included a two race format known as a doubleday event: event 1 consisted of a 3-kilometer skate prologue followed by a 1.5-k cross-country cross (XCX) featuring several agility segments. Athletes earned a reward for performances in each event. Both events were individual start and their aggregate times...

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Back in June, the Worldloppet International Ski Federation announced the cessation of the FIS Worldloppet Cup. In short, that race series was a collaboration with the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the Worldloppet marrying elite level and popular marathon ski racing. The American Birkenbeiner was intermittently a stop on the FIS Worldloppet Cup. “It was just not getting traction attracting the elite athletes and tying those elite athletes to popular skiing,” said Ben Popp, 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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Day 1 (Sprint) Craftsbury photo gallery. Day 2 (Distance) Craftsbury photo gallery.  Over the weekend in Craftsbury, Vermont the first Eastern Cup series went down. On Saturday skiers raced a 1.6-kilometer freestyle sprint. On Sunday the women raced a 5 k skate, the men 10 k. In the women’s sprint qualifier, Julia Kern (SMS T2) skied the fastest time of 3:12.97 minutes. Ida Sargent (USST/CGRP) was the second fastest qualifier, with Jessica Yeaton (APU) in...

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The questions started rolling in this spring. How’s training going? Are you going for 2019 World Championships? What’s the plan for next winter? When you’re Caitlin and Brian Gregg, Olympians and local superstars in the Midwest, it’s hard to keep your athletic profile on the DL. Since buying a house on Theodore Wirth Park seven years ago, the couple has immersed themselves in the greater Minneapolis community — both in and out of skiing. They’ve...

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(Press release) The International Ski Federation (FIS) today officially confirmed that Minnesota will host a World Cup cross-country ski event in Minneapolis in March 2020.  U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the Loppet Foundation will serve as hosts of the World Cup event, taking place at the new ‘The Trailhead’ facility in Theodore Wirth Park. “A Minnesotan who brought home a gold medal has now helped us bring home the World Cup,” said host committee co-chair RT...

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In March of 2016, we published an article penned by Scott “Bjorn” Cummings, a Postbaccalaureate student working towards his Academic Behavorial Strategist K-12 (ABS) Special Education License at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), titled “Part III” update in February. Here’s the latest on his summer. *** There is an old saying in teaching that “the three reasons why I teach” are: June, July and August. As a teacher, I have the benefit of getting my summers...

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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...

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In March of 2016, we published an article penned by Scott “Bjorn” Cummings, a Postbaccalaureate student working towards his Academic Behavorial Strategist K-12 (ABS) Special Education License at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), titled “Part II” update in September. Here’s his latest Birkie leadup piece. *** The annual benchmark nordic ski race is here. The American Birkebeiner in Hayward, Wisconsin, for nordic skiers is like the Hajj in Mecca for Muslims. Everyone who is physically and...

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HATCHER PASS, above Palmer, Alaska — Thank you Ullr for the early-season weather and snow! The 2017/2018 ski season started for me on Sept. 30 with an overnight trip to the Snowbird Glacier in the Talkeetna Mountains above Palmer. The Mat-Su Ski Club (MSSC) believed to be the first cross-country ski race in the U.S. this winter, and the first ski race on natural snow anywhere on the continent. The race was held under partly cloudy skis and...

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Note: We’re seeking submissions for this year’s “U.S. or info@fasterskier.com with the subject line: “Fall Skiing”. Deadline for submissions is Nov. 3. *** HATCHER PASS, above Palmer, Alaska — Winter is in the eye of the beholder, but whatever you’re looking for to mark the skier’s favorite season, this spot at 3,500 feet in the Talkeetna Mountains probably has it. Seven kilometers of groomed trails? Check. Literally Extra Blue conditions? Check. A nearby lodge with a...

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This week’s featured articles are made possible thanks to the generous support of Masters World Cup 2018. noted following the 2014 Man Camp at Eagle Glacier, “Flora has nailed the grooming. (It helps that he never sleeps.)”) Within a year, Erik’s parents, Sam and Berit Flora, had followed him to Bend. A period of athletic wanderlust and nomadism followed, as Flora fils “kind of bounced around to different places around the West.” There was a...

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A critical issue looms in Craftsbury, Vt. — home to what nordic skiers know as the Craftsbury Outdoor Center (COC). The COC runs sculling camps on the adjacent Great Hosmer Pond. Currently, motorboats and scullers share access on the pond. The tippy-sleek sculls are best on glassy water — meaning no wind and restricted speeds for any motor boats. Some homeowners along the pond are frustrated with what they claim is the COC’s monopolization of...

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After six years, the end is in sight: construction is underway for The Loppet Foundation’s Masters World Cup Jan. 19-26 at Wirth Park. Winning the World Masters bid added urgency to the project, and it’s given The Loppet Foundation an eye for future major nordic competitions. “We would like to bring in events like Junior Nationals, senior nationals and maybe even a World Cup,” Munger said. Brian Gregg, a 2014 Olympian and one of the highest-profile athletes associated...