The 2nd Mathias Jessup Bartels benefit cross-country race and tour was held this Sunday, February 15th, at Mt. Greylock Regional High School. The school’s trails and fields had held enough snow for what ended up being some quality classic skiing–some klister required. The 6 kilometer race course was fairly flat, and saw several competitors brave the terrain in skate equipment, double-poling the entire race, including some battles on the uphills. Topher Sabot edged Nick Fogel for the 6 kilometer victory, a short distance ahead of third-place finisher Matt Voisin. The women’s field was led by Jen Mygatt, followed by Andrea Fisher and Camille Robertson. The well-attended race attracted over 70 competitors for a fast, sunny ski. A touring option was also available for the 6k race course.
The 2 kilometer race sailed off a short time later, at 11 o’clock, and provided a chance for families, beginners, and youngsters to showcase their talents in a shorter course. In a close battle, Will Nolan and Alex Harrington tied for the victory.
Racers and spectators were greeted inside by a significant spread of waffles and other baked goods as prizes were awarded. A bevy of gifts were available as rewards across age category and distance, gifts donated by various businesses including The Mill on the Floss, Overland, Fasterskier.com, Pappa Charlie’s, and many more. All told, close to $2500 was raised to benefit the Mathias Jessup Bartels Memorial Scholarship Fund. Mathias was an outstanding young man – a scholar, athlete, and leader of his class. He was a high school junior and standout member of the Mt. Greylock Nordic Ski Team when he died in his sleep on January 31, 2004 of sudden cardiac arrest due to a heart arrhythmia of unknown cause. The Mathias Jessup Bartels Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior at Mt. Greylock who exhibits the integrity, kindness, and commitment to excellence shown by Mathias.
A sincere thank you goes out to those who donated prizes as well as to the skiers, spectators,cheering squads, timers, starters, finishers, flag setters, flag wavers, waffle makers, waffle eaters, food providers, cleaner uppers, signer uppers, good looking parents, better looking kids, and fabulous coaches, from the grateful Bartels family and from the entire Mt. Greylock Nordic Ski community. The event was one of good cheer, good weather, good competition, and good company–all in the name of an amazing cause.