Grand Nordic Corner: Plenty of races across the county
Grand Nordic President
Sunday saw some great race conditions on Grand Lake, and there’s plenty more competitive fun to come in the next few months.
Grand Lake Skate Races Jan. 29
The light fluff of new snow was piled everywhere at Grand Lake last Sunday since it was almost a white-out the day before. The flat light made the rolling trails somewhat hard to see, but you could see the benefits from all the work the staff had done after the fires and accompanying winds had destroyed much of the surrounding woods and several homes on the perimeter of the Grand Lake golf course. Everything just looked a bit different. But the course was well-marked and almost 90 people came to enjoy the beloved area again and the best homemade soup in the whole of Grand Lake.
A bit out of the way, this little hidden gem is a locals favorite area — it is rarely crowded, always peaceful and has excellent snow and great grooming again this year. Many of the racers had never been there before and didn’t really expect the turns and twists and rigorous ups and downs on a golf course! The fresh snow and cloudy conditions made for slower skate skiing.
The 3-kilometer skate race was dominated by Boulder Nordic Junior Race Team with top finisher Kajsa Wik recording a time of 13 minutes and 4 seconds and six of the next seven finishers coming from the team. The holdout was Colby West, the top male finisher, at 14:44.
The 15K short course winner among the 35 racers was Mike West at 1:00:57, followed closely by local Odd Bersvendsen from Colorado Nordic Masters at 1:02:59, and John Crawford at 1:07:30. Top women finishers were Christina Weber at 1:10:05, Lydia Tanner at 1:11:53, and Kiki Silver at 1:12:04. Other locals included Patrick Brower, Amanda Stone, Sally Brassill and Joanne Weaver, to name a few.
The 30K long course was indeed a long haul in these conditions for 40 racers, but Boulder Nordic Sport’s Dan Weinberger topped the field at 1:23:20 followed by Eric Meyer at 1:49:55. Two Middle Park High School racers, Gray Barker and Kyle Vogelbacher, finished sixth and ninth after Gray won the school Nordic race the day before. Top women were Maria Wik finishing at 2:17:03 and Hanna Hejduk at 2:27:29.
The next races in the Grand County Race series are during the Snow Mountain Stampede on March 11 and 12. Visit SkiGrandNordic.org for details and complete race results for the Grand Lake Skate race.
Ranch2Ranch Trek takes place on Feb 11 and 12
This year the Ranch2Ranch Trek starts each day at Snow Mountain Ranch, goes through Tim’s Tunnel under U.S. Highway 40, follows the Fraser-to-Granby Trail over to Val Moritz, and then to bottom of Sweet Nancy/Rabbit Run where Cupcake then takes you merrily thru the woods to the beginner Alpine trails of Granby Ranch and down to the base Lodge.
Sign up at GrandNordic.org, park at Granby Ranch, take the shuttle provided to Snow Mountain Ranch, ski the 12.5-kilometer distance, or stop anywhere along the way and turn back toward Snow Mountain, skiing your favorite parts until the course closes by 3 p.m. Or just park and start at Snow Mountain Ranch and return back there, turning around anywhere on the course. Turning in your bib at either end or an aid station says “I’m done” and you can check to see if you won a door prize provided by Fischer or Swix.
It’s a scenic route in Grand County that many people don’t usually ski, with aid stations and medical assistance provided. What more can you ask for? A fun ski at your leisure — bring some friends and enjoy the scenery together, all the while supporting the Grand Nordic Youth scholarship fund for the kids of Grand County! I guess we can all ask for beautiful weather and very little wind to top off a fabulous day … come join us for a wonderful trek either classic, skate or snowshoe from Snow Mountain Ranch to Granby Ranch. It’s only $35 for Grand Nordic members or $40 for non-members! Additional fees are added for day-of registrations. Volunteers are still needed — call Grand Nordic at 970-887-3095 and talk to me for more information.
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