Nordic action in full stride county-wide |

Nordic action in full stride county-wide

Diana Lynn Rau/Nordic Corner
Grand County, Colo

Saturday’s 5km freestyle race at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat had a mass start quickly leading into a tight switchback turn and climb, creating some excitement as skiers fought for position going into the climb. In the boys race especially, this led to a number of tangled skiers and more than a few broken poles. However, those Middle Park High School racers who had mishaps recovered well and nobody let the early carnage spoil their race. The race was a two lap affair and a couple of turns on the fast, technical descent provided for a few thrills, but again, our skiers worked their way through the crashes and had good finishes. We spent some time last week talking about how to handle “surprises” in a race, and our kids really followed through and did a great job of dealing with the adversity.

In the girls race, senior Sam Berggren fought and won a battle for second place with an exciting sprint finish, just nosing out a Vail skier at the line. Elly Zietz really raised her game in this race, finishing just high enough to qualify for the state meet in February. In the boys race, our top finisher was Collin Papuga, finishing in 21st place. Joe Rupp had a tremendous race and missed qualifying for state by only .2 seconds. New skiers on the team, including Amelia Clancy, Simeon Anderson, Joe Rupp and Elly Zietz, have made huge strides in the first two races and we are looking forward to their continued progress.

Congratulations to all EGMS team members that raced this past weekend. There were 36 racers start and finish the race many of them first-time racers. Simon Zink was the school’s top finishing boy and Sarah McClain was the top finishing girl.

Next school race is Jan. 15, the Individual Start Freestyle at the YMCA. This is a Junior Nordic Qualifier and volunteers are needed. On Jan. 22, there is a Dual Classic and Freestyle at Summit’s Gold Run Nordic Center. For more information, contact Dave Zink at or

YMCA offers free skiing for Grand County locals on Wednesdays. Call the cross-country shop for sales on special equipment purchases. The informal Grand Nordic Thursday evening workouts are every Thursday through March, with warmups at 6 p.m. and relays-intervals-fun workouts at 6:30 p.m. These Thursday evening sprints are open to Grand Nordic members only. Join the blog or join the club at

=Enjoy moonlight skiing on Saturday, Jan. 15. The Nordic Center will stay open late and have hot drinks available. Colorado Biathlon Mass Start is Jan. 23. For more information go to Save the date March 5 for the Snow Mountain Stampede Marathon – 42K, 21K, 10K, and kids races. Call 970-887-3095 ext. 4173 for more information.

January 22 is the 24th Annual Governor’s Cup with $5,000 in purse money and product prizes – 5km, 15km, 30km, freestyle and classic events plus 1km and 3km kids races. Call 970-726-8231 for more information on the race and special equipment sales. Full moonlight ski is same night.

Save the date Feb. 18 for the 8th Annual Grand Huts Progressive Ski Dinner. Tickets available online at or call 970-726-4099. Benefits go to the new Broome Hut on Second Creek. Volunteers needed.

Grand Nordic free nordic lessons are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15 for beginner, intermediate and advanced classic and skate plus young kids, 7 and up classic, or 7 and up skate. Grand Nordic members also receive free trail pass and equipment rentals. Each class is limited to first ten to sign up. Preregistration is required for rentals – Call 970-627-8008 to pre-register or Diana Lynn Rau at 970-887-0547 for more information. Free ski demos will also be available. Join Grand Nordic at

Conditions are great from YMCA underpass to Tabernash. The sections from Tabernash to the Fraser Ballfields are now rolled as well as from CR8 to the Winter Park Resort. Grooming is done by volunteers when possible, but all sections are open for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or just plain walking with your dog. Please observe dog leach restriction in the Beavers area. Also, the top of CR 87 or Lions Lane to the trails at SolVista are good light touring. Above all, respect private property.

Steamboat Stampede is Jan. 15 at Steamboat Ski Touring Center. Call 970-879-8180 for information. Rocky Mountain Cross Country Ski-Orienteering is offering beginner, intermediate and advanced courses for skiing and snowshoeing on Jan. 22 at the Frisco Nordic Center. For details, go to

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