Grand Nordic: Students’ Nordic races will be Friday, Saturday
It’s time for the kids to show off.
Every year Middle Park High School hosts other schools from around Colorado for races at Snow Mountain Ranch. Because Grand County has remained at Orange level restrictions most of January, the kids are able to keep their scheduled race dates of Friday for the middle school and Saturday for the high school racers.
On Friday, East Grand Middle School will start the 3 kilometer skate race at 2:30 p.m. with Summit and Lake County. The schools will follow rules for a cohort wave start, meaning that the racers of each school race together in the same wave. Lake County boys will start at 2:30 p.m., followed by all East Grand boys at 2:40 p.m. and Summit boys at 2:50 p.m. Then there are three similar waves that the girls from each team start in.
The middle school has a team of about 30 skiers this year. The boys team has only a few returning eighth-graders, so they are rebuilding this year. The girls team has quite a few eighth-graders, so the team appears to be strong this year. Coach Jon Kuhns always wants to see more sixth-graders or more kids of any grade who want to learn to Nordic ski, for that matter.
The high school racers are doing seeded interval starts every 15 seconds for the 5 kilometer skate race on Saturday, starting about 11 a.m. Racers are seeded or placed in start times by past performances.
The faster seeded skiers will go first followed by the lower seeds. The racers are racing against the clock and usually timing chips are placed on the skier’s leg to register their time. The 22 or so Middle Park skiers should prove super strong teams for both girls and boys. They are racing against Poudre and Steamboat with the boys starting about 11 a.m. and the girls starting about noon.
Spectators are allowed but not in the start-finish arena. They are allowed on the course but must be at least six feet from other cohort groups and are required to wear a mask along the course, MPHS Nordic coach Dan Jamison said. The best way to see the races is usually to volunteer to help. Contact Maire Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck to our local skiers this weekend. They have been working hard and this is usually the best event of the entire season.
Another opportunity for kids ages 5-10 are the free lessons offered by Grand Nordic at Snow Mountain Ranch on Friday afternoons in January and February, except for holiday weekends. Sign up is required at SnowMountainranch.org or the Nordic center.
Kids participating in the Granby Elementary School physical education program and afterschool rec department programs are asking for more Nordic skiing. It is so wonderful to see them happy being outside and discovering the things they can do in our cold and snow and really enjoy themselves.
Parents are encouraged to help and we give them skiing tips as well. Or offer suggestions to help them help their own kids.
For parents wanting to try to get out in the beautiful terrain other than the normal groomed resort, try the contactless Ranch2Ranch Nordic Ski Trek from Granby Ranch to Snow Mountain Ranch on Feb. 6 and 7.
A trek means there is no racing, no timing, stop and take pictures, enjoy a snack at the aid station but push yourself to see how far you can go. The course is geared toward intermediate skiers or someone in decent shape.
Go to grandnordic.org to register. Only 75 people will be allowed each day with time slots of up to 25 people every half hour starting at Granby Ranch at 9 a.m.
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Things are starting to get back to normal finally.