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Mar 27, 2014

Nordic Nation

Compiled and Edited by Allison Slavick


If you plan for a more adventurous way to strap on your cross-country skis this winter, the Canmore Ski Fest 2014 should appeal to the sport’s more hard-core participants. To be hosted in Canmore, Alberta, on April 5 and 6, the competition, in its fourth year, offers to race for  6-, 12- or 24-hours. Solo skiers and teams of two or four will ski on a three-kilometer loop through the Canmore Nordic Centre to see how far they can ski in this 6-,12- or 24-hours period. There’s even a world record up for grab if 24 hours solo female competitors can ski more than 333 km within 24 hours, while solo male racers should overcome 433km. For more information, go to canmoreskifest.com or email canmoreskifest@gmail.com.

Jessica Jerome of Park City, Utah, jumped into the top five on March 22, taking advantage of the second large hill competition of the year and making a statement at the final World Cup of the 2014 season. Jerome soared to 117 and 124 meters, scoring 232 points behind the day’s winner and World Cup champion Sara Takanashi of Japan. Jerome finished the season 10th in the season-long World Cup standings, her third consecutive season ranked in the top 10 in the world.

David Carter, 65, of Bethel, Maine passed away peacefully on March 2, 2014 from cancer with his wife and family by his side. David and his wife, Anne have owned and operated Carter’s Cross Country Ski Center in Oxford and Bethel as well as Carter's Farm in Oxford for over 35 years. Among his greatest accolades was his recent induction into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame. Cross country skiing was Dave’s true passion. He was dedicated to getting as many people on skis as possible, and believed wholeheartedly it could change the world. He will be remembered for his charming smile and mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

One of the nation’s largest cross country ski racing events – the US National Championships and Supertour Finals – is running March 22-28 in Anchorage. More than 130 skiers, including Olympians fresh from Sochi, top collegiate athletes and the nation’s best juniors will take part in the races at Kincaid Park, Alaska's premier Nordic skiing venue, and possibly on Hillside trails. The field is studded with Olympic talent. Local standouts Kikkan Randall and Holly Brooks return to Alaska. Nearly the whole roster of U.S. Olympians from the Sochi games will compete, including siblings Eric and Sadie Bjornsen, Sophie Caldwell, Jessica Diggins, Brian Gregg, Simi Hamilton, Noah Hoffman, Andrew Newell, Ida Sargent and Liz Stephen. Top skiers from coast to coast have registered, some from as far away as Germany and Norway. Racing began on March 22 at Kincaid. All events are free and open to the public. On March 28, the women will compete in a 30K (20K for juniors) and the men tackle the 50K (30K for the juniors). The location will either be Kincaid Park of the Hillside trails near Hilltop Ski Area depending on snow conditions.

World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall skied into 13th Sunday, March 16,  in the 10k freestyle pursuit, closing the three-day Falun mini-tour and putting a stamp on another successful World Cup season. In addition to her third-straight World Cup sprint title, Randall finished sixth in the overall standings behind overall champion Therese Johaug of Norway, who also won Sunday’s pursuit. Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) topped for the USA in the men’s 15k pursuit, where Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby skied away with the victory as well as both the distance and overall World Cup titles.

Strong wind gusts on the jump hill created impossible conditions for the nordic combined and ski jumping athletes Sunday, March 16, forcing officials to cancel the final nordic combined World Cup of the season. A women’s normal hill jumping competition was also canceled earlier in the day. Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) now heads with the women to jump on the large hill in Planica, Slovenia for the final competition of the season.

After 42 years, Vasaloppet USA is moving the race from Sunday to Saturday. The date of the first Saturday race is February 7, 2015. The Vasaloppet Board of Directors at its annual meeting last May approved the race day change, but the announcement was delayed until after the the 2014 race to avoid any confusion. Race officials spent considerable time following the 2013 race survey skiers, community volunteers and local businesses on whether such a change would be positive for the race. The response was overwhelmingly in support of a Saturday race. “A Saturday race provides a number of benefits to skiers and volunteers alike,” said Vasaloppet USA president Mike Brown. “The biggest advantage is that it allows skiers and volunteers to have Sunday to rest up before returning to work or school on Monday. It also gives skiers the opportunity to spend more time socializing at the Vasaloppet celebration tent after the race, and enjoy other activities around Mora on Sunday.” The move to Saturday will mean the Miniloppet children’s race will be held on Sunday, the day after the race. Following the Miniloppet there will also be skijoring race events held by Skijor USA. Vasaloppet USA, established in 1973, is an international cross-country ski race located in Mora Minnesota. It is one of four Vasaloppet races in the world including: Sweden, United States, Japan, and China.

Camels Hump Nordic Skiers Association (CHNSA) announces a for now experimentally designated a dog-friendly ski loop, so you can exercise your four footed friends before returning them to your car while you explore the rest of the trails. The dog-friendly loop starts at the warming hut at the Bert White Road parking area, onto the Sugarbush trail, to Marijka’s Mainline, down Jackrabbit, across the Meadow, and back to parking lot via Skunk Brook. Dogs are asked for a $0.50 per paw ($2) donation each, and beseeched to stay on these designated trails only.