Granby couple finds success on international Nordic Masters circuit
Grand County, Colorado
A Nordic-ski racing couple from Granby achieved Top 10 standings in the World Masters Cross Country Ski Championships in Autrans, France, a small village near Grenoble in the Vercors Region.
During the six-day event earlier this month, Tim Carter and Tina Wilson were among six Coloradans out of 60 U.S. skiers as part of the sport’s topmost competition. Masters cross-country skiing includes amateur competitors age 30 and older.
The event drew as many as 1,200 skiers from around the world.
“It’s like being at the Olympics for old people,” said Wilson with a laugh.
In her division, age 50 to 55, Wilson placed 10th in the 15K freestyle (skate skiing) event.
In the 30K freestyle and 10K classic, she placed 11th and 15th respectively.
At the starting line among Eastern European skiers, Tina Wilson’s birth name “Tatiana” was a common one, she said. “I was in line with four other Tatianas.”
Carter, a former collegiate and professional alpine skier who has been competing on the Nordic circuit for 25 years, raced in France among fellow international skiers ages 70 to 75.
The 1986 World Masters champion said his best race during the 2009 World Masters was his 10K classic, even though he placed 14th. “Unfortunately, I got pinned back at the start and lost a lot of time,” he said.
Carter placed 9th in the 15K freestyle race and 7th in the 30K freestyle.
“It’s a blast to ski with such awfully good skiers,” he said, referring to dedicated contenders from Russia, Finland, Germany and France.
Among racers, the United States is considered no slouch, either, he said. “If you break the first 10 in a Nordic race in a World Cup, you’re only two seconds out (from the competition), it’s so close,” he said.
The Autrans championships ” which both Carter and Wilson deemed well-organized, professionally run and very hospitable ” was the fourth World Masters Championship in which Carter has competed.
Germany’s, Wisconsin’s and New York’s are others under his belt besides several national competitions.
Last year, Carter garnered one gold and two silvers at the 2008 National Masters Cross Country Ski Championship races in McCall, Idaho.
Nordic skiing, he said, offers a longer, more encompassing activity that requires deep concentration. “Alpine (skiing) is so quick, you’re just reacting,” he said in comparing the two popular winter sports in racing.
In cross-country skiing, “there’s a lot of tactical things going on because you’re skiing with groups. Drafting is a factor, wax is a big factor, skiing is a factor,” he said.
“Every year when we go out, there is something new to practice,” Wilson said about her own admiration of the sport. “It’s an ever-learning process to ski.”
In continually working on technique, Wilson said she has been improving on her times.
For training, she combines swimming and yoga practice with a regimen of skiing.
The couple also competes in various local races throughout the year.
Carter, who Wilson said is the more competitive of the couple, “just skis,” she said.
“He can be very intense and just ski away. For him, it is much more natural.”
” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail email@example.com.
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