Cross-country skiers are gearing up for the first major local ski races of the 2012-13 season that are scheduled for the Lake Creek trail system just north of Ketchum on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 22-23.
The Intermountain Series (IMD) season opener at Lake Creek this weekend is sanctioned by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and International Ski Federation (FIS). Chief of race is Rick Kapala. Race secretary is Heidi Watanabe ( HYPERLINK mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) email@example.com).
Course inspection takes place Friday. Saturday’s races are prologue freestyle on a 3.5-kilometer course for men and 3k for women, plus shorter distances for youth. Bib pick-up is Saturday at 8 a.m., with awards given out after the races.
Sunday’s 10 a.m. mass start classic races for men (10k) and women (5k) are the final day highlights, and there will be 3k, 2k and 1k courses for youth.
There are a full slate of J3 (ages 12-13), J4 (10-11) and J5 (8-9) junior races both days. Masters may participate and will be run after the USSA/FIS events.
Cost is $25 per day for J2 (ages 14-15) and older, and $10 per day for J3 and younger.
This weekend’s races aren’t IMD qualifiers for March’s Junior Nationals at Fairbanks, Ak., according to SVSEF Nordic program director and race director Rick Kapala.
Instead, they are the first in the 2012-13 IMD Season Race Series. The new series includes this weekend’s Sun Valley openers, plus the three JN junior qualifiers (Jan. 17-20 at Bozeman, Mt., Jan. 30-Feb. 2 at Soldier Hollow, Utah and Feb. 15-17 at Bogus Basin) and the IMD Finals at Grand Targhee, Wyo. from April 12-14.
World Cup at Canmore
SVSEF Gold Team Nordic racers sampled the big time during FIS World Cup races at Canmore, Alberta, Canada Dec. 13-16. They included mass start classic Thursday, sprints Saturday and skiathlon Sunday at Canmore’s 4,600 feet elevation.
Former SVSEF Gold Teamer Noah Hoffman, 23, of Vail, Colo. enjoyed the best series of locals and former locals. He was the second American, in 22nd place in Thursday’s mass start classic. In Sunday’s 30k skiathlon (4 laps on 3.75k classic loop, 4 laps on 3.75k skate loop), Hoffman was the top Yank, 8th.
- Thursday, men’s 15k mass start classic: 1—Tim Tscharnke, 23 (Germ.) 41:14. 14—Kris Freeman, 32 (Maine) 41:48. 22—Noah Hoffman (Vail) 42:26. 51—Mike Sinnott, 27 (SVSEF) 45:23.4. 52—Matt Gelso, 24 (SVSEF) 45:23.5—(63 skiers).
- Thursday, women’s 10k mass start classic: 1—Justyna Kowalczyk, 29 (Poland) 28:58. 6—Kikkan Randall, 29 (Alaska Pacific) 29:29. 47—Chelsea Holmes, 25 (SVSEF) 32:47—(62 skiers).
- Saturday, men’s skate sprint final: 1—Emil Joensson (Swe.). 5—Andy Newell (U.S.). 49—Mike Sinnott. 60—Reid Pletcher (SVSEF)—(72 skiers).
- Saturday, women’s sprint final: 1—Maiken Caspersen Falla (Nor.). 2—Kikkan Randall—(68 skiers).
- Sunday, men’s 30k skiathlon: 1—Maurice Manificat (Fra.) 1.17:47. 8—Noah Hoffman 1.17:51. 36—Matt Gelso 1.22:25. 42—Mike Sinnott 1.23:14—(60 skiers).
- Sunday, women’s 15k skiathlon: 1—Justyna Kowalczyk (Poland) 42:51. 8—Kikkan Randall 44:09. 49—Chelsea Holmes 49:24—(60 skiers).