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Birkebeinerrennet decided to cancel the race this morning after following the weather throughout the night.

The organisation considered the risk too high having a start at this year edition of Birkebeinerrennet. There is very strong wind over the mountains which forced them to cancel the race.

For more information see Birkebeinerrennet’s webiste:

SOURCE: Swix Ski Classics

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Eric Packer (Stratton Mountain School T2 Team) broke a pole about 7 k into Sunday's 42 k Engadin Ski Marathon. (Photo: Eric Packer/

Eric Packer (Stratton Mountain School T2 Team) broke a pole about 7 k into Sunday’s 42 k Engadin Ski Marathon and didn’t get a replacement until about 20 k. (Photo: Eric Packer/

According to Eric Packer of the Stratton Mountain School T2 team, “the Engadin was unlike any other race I’ve done.”

One of some 80 Americans in this year’s 42-kilometer freestyle race, the 23-year-old native of Anchorage, Alaska,  competed in the world-famous marathon in Switzerland this past Sunday.

“The traffic out of the start was ridiculous with the pack constantly churning as people fought for position,” he wrote in an email. “If you weren’t actively moving forward, you were moving back.”

Eric Packer competed in a sprint the eve of the 2014 Engadin Ski Marathon in Switzerland. (Photo: Holly Brooks)

Eric Packer competed in a sprint the eve of the 2014 Engadin Ski Marathon in Switzerland. (Photo: Holly Brooks)

Packer shared lodging with a few U.S. men the weekend of the race, including Matt Gelso (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation), Pete Kling (Alaska Pacific University) and Matt Briggs of Bend, Ore., and took part in a night sprint race the evening before.

“All the U.S. guys in the elite wave did a good job staying near the front of the pack early on across the lake,” Packer wrote. “Gelso was able to recover from a fall right at the start in order to make his way back to the front.”

At 7 k, Packer’s pole snapped — unexpectedly.

“Everyone I asked refused to give me a replacement —(I can’t blame them – how would they ever get it back?) — so I ended up waving the broken stub above my head for the next 13k or so.”

Somehow, he missed the pole-service station, but “finally got a replacement entering Pontresina at the 20k mark.”

One kilometer later, Packer found Clarke Sullivan, the U.S. group’s wax tech for the event, along the course and was able to switch out his pole yet again, this time retrieving his own.

Did this incident ruin in for Packer? Not so much. “Even with the broken pole it was an awesome race.  I can’t wait to go back next year!”

Packer ended up 126th out of nearly 13,400 racers, about eight minutes back from the winner.

– Rosalie Lipfert

The start of the 2014 Engadin (Photo:

The start of the 2014 Engadin (Photo:

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By Fast Big Dog

For the 2014 Engadin, a diverse array of 80 U.S. skiers made the trip to sunny Switzerland to compete in one of the premier Worldloppets, the Engadin Ski Marathon last Sunday. With a field of 13,395 skiers, the race featured a number of highlights, including Holly Brooks recovering from a nasty fall to place fourth, Matt Gelso also getting tangled up in the pack to ski his way back up into the lead group for a very solid 15th place and in the most colorful racer of the day, long-time U.S. Skiing supporter and Seattle Seahawks uber-fan Tony Weiderkehr ski the race in a full football uniform, including pads, as a celebration of the Seahawks Super Bowl victory.

WIthout a doubt though, some of the best work was done after the race in the official Engadin Beer Garden, where a nice mix of up and coming stars and aging master blasters, Matti Briggs, Eric Packer, Peter Kling, Matt Gelso, Holly Brooks, Clark Sullivan, Walter McCormack, Quique Nagle and of course the FBD, showed the world how to post-game USA style.

In short, this is a must-do event for anyone who likes skiing, sun, stunning alpine views, beer, bratwurst and just generally being awesome. Should any doubts still remain, here is a slideshow highlighting some of the beauty of this incredible event:

And the race results:

Trouble viewing video? Click here

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By Peter Minde

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Two-time Olympic biathlete (’92, ’94) Robert Duncan Douglas, the “Jacked Up Old Man,” won the Lake Placid Loppet 50-kilometer freestyle mass start on Saturday, March 8, in 2:24:36.7.

Douglas, 48, of Honeoye Falls, N.Y., beat Paul Allison, a 27-year-old Essex High School Nordic Coach from Jericho, Vt., by 0.7 seconds after gapping him in the last kilometer. Jack Cowan Steele of Middlebury, Vt., placed third in 2:33:34.

Alia Johnson of Bristol, Vt., won the women’s 50 k freestyle race in 2:51:47, followed by Abbey Alexiades of Etna, N.Y., in 3:18:56. Alicia Marie Cruz-Uribe was third in 4:12:22.

In the 50 k classic event, Nathan Underwood of Chelsea, Quebec, won in 2:58:40.  Montreal’s William Goodfellow was second, nearly 10 minutes later in 3:08:15.  Lake Placid’s Dave Steckler placed third in 3:09:23.

Annie Jean, of Chelsea, Quebec, was the first and only female in the the 50 k classic 3:26:41.

Throughout the day, the sky was overcast with a few flurries in the early afternoon. The temperature dropped a couple of degrees from freezing during the race. Conditions were fast, however, with glazing in the tracks, classic skiers had difficulty finding the best balance of adequate grip and good glide. Skiers used various combinations of hard wax and klister, with mixed success.

Full results: (scroll to the bottom of the page)

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HAYWARD, WI—Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg) and Tom Reichelt of Germany came out on top today in the American Birkebeiner. Gregg won the 50 k skate race in 2:40:57 after skiing away from the women’s field in the first half of the race. She made her break as the elite men’s wave, who started after the elite women’s wave, began catching the women. She hung on to the passing men and ended up skiing much of the race by herself before catching another ride with Matt Liebsch (Team StrongHeart) in the last few kilometers of the race. Antonella Confortola Wyatt of Italy placed second, 1:16 behind Gregg, while Rosie Brennan of Alaska Pacific University (APU) placed third, 2:05 back.

Gregg, Brennan, and Laura McCabe of Winthrop, WA were the top three Americans, in that order, with McCabe finishing in fifth overall. Gregg took home $10,000 for the day: $7,500 for the win and $2,500 for the top American finish in the race.

In the men’s race, Tom Reichelt narrowly edged out Italians Simone Paredi and Sergio Bonaldi to take home the win in 2:14:29. Paredi and Bonaldi finished in second and third place, respectively, and both were within one second of the win.

Matt Gelso of the Sun Valley Gold Team was the top male American finisher in seventh overall. Lex Treinen (APU) and Matt Liebsch were the next Americans, in 10th and 12th place.

Santi Ocariz, formerly of CXC, and Russian Natalja Naryshkina (CXC) were the male and female winners in the 54 k classic race.

Times were slow on the day—copious amounts of new snow and cold conditions made for a challenging race for much of the field.


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The polar sun swept in for this second day of competition of the 36th edition of the Gatineau Loppet. Despite the freezing weather, the mood was upbeat both indoors and out at the starting line just outside École secondaire Mont-Bleu. All of the participants, elite as well as recreational skiers, were eager to hit the trails of Gatineau Park for the freestyle races and the very first edition of snowshoe races.

Here is a summary of the day’s results, followed by a round-up of the event.

1st Place Marc-André Bédard (2:22:26.1) from Quebec City
2nd Place Steffan Lloyd (2:22:28:7)
3rd Place Vincent Blais (2:25:10.8)


1st Place Claude Godbout (2:51:01.7) from Quebec City
2nd Place Sheila Kealey (2:51:23.3)
3rd Place Sabra Davison (2:54:25.7)


1st Place Nicholas Pigeon (1:17:14.1) from Gatineau
2nd Place Maxime Leboeuf (1:20:30.2)
3rd Place Daniel Murray (1:22:07.5)

We would like to mention that Pierre Lavoie, the Honorary President of the Gatineau Loppet, finished the 27 km freestyle in 5th place.


1st Place Véronique Fortin (1:28:09.8) from Gatineau
2nd Place Karine Labonté (1:41:19.2)
3rd Place Louise Martineau (1:43:26.3)


1st Place Evan Carr (28:37.3) from Manlius, USA
2nd Place Graham Perry (28:49.3)
3rd Place Bryce Hartman (28:54.1)


1st Place Tove Halvorsen (33:08.0) from Chelsea
2nd Place Talia Hennessy (33:09.1)
3rd Place Alia Sanger (33:10.9)



1st Place Men: Julien Pensonneault (26:54.7)

1st Place Women: Véronique Fortin (26:03.5)



1st Place Men: David Le Porho (49:21.8)

1st Place Women: Claire Doule (1:01:55.5)


We would also like to mention the hundreds of children who, accompanied by their parents, braved the cold for the 2 km Mini Sport Échange Outaouais. Pierre Lavoie joined in the fun. This untimed race is part of the Carnaval Soleil Polaire, a big party presented by municipal councillors Mireille Apollon from the l’Orée-du-Parc district, and Louise Boudrias from the Parc-de-la-Montagne-Saint-Raymond district. Entertainment for the kids, music, inflatable structures and stiltwalkers helped warm up the families and skiers.



This 36th edition of the Gatineau Loppet served to confirm the fact that this is indeed the biggest cross-country ski event in Canada. More than 2,750 participants, including 170 for the Chelsea Super Sprint Jeunesse, took part in the activities between Friday the 14th and Sunday the 16th. The Sprint jeunesse, classic style races, freestyle races, long-distance Loppet championship, and race for the kids all added up to something for everyone.


Highlights of this 36th edition:

  • A sold-out race for the 51 km linear classic, with 548 skiers registered. 
  • Nicholas Pigeon from gatineau, winner of the 27 km classic and 27 km freestyle.
  • Long-distance Loppet championship wond by Marc-André Bédard for the men and Claude Godbout for the women, both of them biathletes on the national team.
  • First edition of the snowshoe races, with 70 participants.
  • First edition of the Chelsea super Sprint jeunesse, with more than 150 participants. 
  • Pierre Lavoie, honorary president, speaker and participant (51 km classic, 27 km freestyle  and the mini Sport Échange Outaouais)

Gatineau Loppet President Yan Michaud wants to thank “all of the skiers, attendants, spectators, volunteers and organizers who took part in this year’s event.” The next edition of the Gatineau Loppet will take place between February 13 and 15, 2015. We hope to see you there!


For additional information, consult the Gatineau Loppet Web site:

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A festive atmosphere reigned today as Gatineau Park’s cross-country ski trails came alive with Gatineau Loppet racers.  Close to 1,300 of them lined up at the starting line on this first day of competition, 300 more than on the first day last year. The 51 km classic had reached its quota of 547 skiers by Friday. The excellent trail conditions and ideal temperatures made for a beautiful combination.

The first two classic styles to simultaneously kick off today’s event were the 51 km from P17 in Wakefield, and the 27 km from École secondaire Mont-Bleu. The 51 km classic was back again this year as a linear race to the great delight of all the skiers.



1st Place Colin Abbott (2:35:13.6) Whitehorse, CAN
2nd Place Chris Ziegler (2:39:27.6) Winooski, USA
3rd Place James Coulton (2:42:31.2) Westmount, CAN

We would like to mention that Pierre Lavoie, the Honorary President of the Gatineau Loppet, finished the 51 km classic in 10th place.

1st Place Marlis Kromm (3:03:01.7) Calgary, CAN
2nd Place Robyn Anderson (3:10:21.9) Stowe, USA
3rd Place Annie Jean (3:17:48.3) Chelsea, CAN



1st Place Nicholas Pigeon (1:30:45.2) Gatineau, CAN
2nd Place Eloi Lemay (1:32:28.0) Lavaltrie, CAN
3rd Place Aaron Fahey (1:32:41.5) Chelsea, CAN

1st Place Sophie Carrier-Laforte (1:41:55.2) Gatineau, CAN
2nd Place Ellen Helker-Nygren (1:54:12.2) Toronto, CAN
3rd Place Chloe Selerier (1:57:35:.3) Gatineau, CAN



1st Place Sam Weichel (54:38.4) Southampton, CAN
2nd Place Bryce Hartman (54:52.5) Seranac Lake, USA
3rd Place Tony Biernacki (54:57.9) Pembroke, CAN

1st Place Florence Dostie-Menard (58:42.3) Gatineau, CAN
2nd Place Zoe Williams (58:57.0) Cantley, CAN

3rd Place Laura Leclair (59 :00.2) Chelsea, CAN




1st Place Andrew Hayman (16:23.4) Dunrobin, CAN
2nd Place Mykal Bakker-Westeinde(16:26.5 Chelsea, CAN
3rd Place Philippe Turcanu (17:00.3) Ottawa, CAN 

1st Place Molly Marland (17:37.2) Ottawa, CAN
2nd Place Karly Coyne (17:52.0) Canmore, CAN
3rd Place Mélanie Jones (17:58.4) Canmore, CAN


“We would like to congratulate the winners and thank all of the many skiers for having taken part in this first day of competition,” announced Gatineau Loppet President Yan Michaud. It is worth noting that tomorrow’s freestyle races will start at 9 a.m. from École secondaire Mont-Bleu, as will the snowshoe races, a new feature this year. There will be entertainment all day long with, among others, the Carnaval Soleil Polaire, the XC Ski Show, and a conference by Pierre Lavoie starting at 1:30 p.m.


For additional information, consult the Gatineau Loppet Web site at

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The 10th Annual White Mountain Classic 30 k in Jackson, N.H. (Photo: Peter Minde)

The 10th Annual White Mountain Classic 30 k in Jackson, N.H. (Photo: Peter Minde)

JACKSON, N.H. – In close-fought battles, Elissa Bradley and Eli Enman won the 10th Annual White Mountain Classic 30K on Sunday. The 30-kilometer marathon was also the one-day club championship for the New England Nordic Ski Association’ (NENSA).  Ford Sayre, the Cambridge Sports Union and Stowe Nordic were just a few of the clubs with big turnouts for this race.

An independent skier, Bradley won the women’s race in 1:14:40. Dartmouth’s Molly Siegel placed second, 14 seconds behind, and Cambridge Sports Union’s Kathy Maddock another 1.7 seconds back in third.

Enman, skiing for Stowe Nordic, crossed the line in 1:02:45.  Dartmouth took second and third with Torin Tucker, who was 1.8 seconds back in second, and Sam Merrens, 41.8 seconds behind Enman in third.

Due to the weather, organizers shortened the race to 22 km, cutting out some trail sections with a lot of wind exposure. Overnight, Saturday’s comfortable temperatures plummeted, and two inches of light, dry snow fell.  Race morning dawned sunny and cold. At the start, the temperature was three degrees, with wind gusting to 35 mph.

Blowing snow obscured tracks and slowed skiers down in the fields. In the woods, the tracks were fast, and some downhills were scraped down to ice.

– Peter Minde

Results: WomenMen

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As the days get longer, sunshine returns, and athletes have had a chance to build their hours on skis, ski marathon season returns. This weekend was a busy one, with the 50-kilometer Noquemanon Ski Marathon being hosted on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, finishing in Marquette, Michigan; the inaugural 30 k Stagecoach Classic, held in the mountains of Colorado; and the 41st Marcialonga, a 70 k classic race through the Italian Dolomites.

The Noquemanon ski marathon was held in northern Michigan yesterday in arctic conditions, with temperatures around zero Fahrenheit and winds gusting as high as 25 mph. The course is mostly flat, with a few small uphill, but drops nearly 850 feet as it descends from the start in Ishpeming to the finish in Marquette. The overall men’s winner was local Michael Brothers, taking his third consecutive title in 3:08:05; in the women’s division the surprise winner was Diana Finkel in 3:35:07. Brothers’ first title was in 2012 when he skied the 50 k course more than 45 minutes faster than on Saturday, in 2:22:13, on a year with excellent conditions. Both Finkel and Brothers were in the freestyle division and are both 42, where the 50 k classic division was won by Claire Luby, 25, in 3:45:33 and Karl Nygren, 26, in 3:08:57.

“It got snowier the further we went along, so you just had to slow down and be patient,” Nygren said in an interview with The Mining Journal.  “With the way the conditions were, I didn’t even notice it was downhill.”

See the Noquemanon Ski Marathon’s official website for complete results.

New this year was the Stagecoach Classic, a unique event linking Devil’s Thumb Ranch to Winter Park the Idlewild Ski Area in the mountains of Colorado. The race was hosted on trails groomed specially for the event, making it a one-time experience for the racers.

While many ski marathons are dominated by older skiers, this year’s Stagecoach was dominated by young skiers – the top five men were all under 25, and two of the top three women were age 21. The men’s 30 k division was won by 20-year old Moritz Madlener in 1:16:53, second was Rune Malo Oedegaard, age 22, two seconds later, and 22-year old Mads Stroem was third (+1:55). The top woman was 21-year old Elena Breed in 1:36:11, Lenka Palanova, 30, was second (+1:38), and Katie Gill, 21, took third (+1:43). See the Stagecoach Classic’s official website for complete results.

And don’t count out the 70 k Marcialonga, Italy’s premier loppet, a World Loppet event hosted Trentino, Italy. The men’s race was dominated by Norwegians, taking the top six spots. Simen Östensen won in 3:10:16, John Dahl was second (+0:12), and the 2012 and 2013 winner, Jorgen Aukland, was third (+0:13). Russian Julia Tikhonova won in 3:27:54, Switzerland’s Seraina Boner was second (+1:09) and Sweden’s Annika Löfström was third (+2:24). Complete men’s and women’s results.

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Telemark Resort (Photo: Tom Held)

Telemark Resort in Cable, Wis. (Photo: Tom Held/The Active Pursuit)

With questions swirling about whether Telemark Resort’s new owners would reopen the 40-year-0ld lodge in Cable, Wis. (the historic start of the American Birkebeiner), the community got an answer Tuesday when the power breakers were turned off.

Idle and without power since March, when the former owners stopped paying the bills and left town before the 975-acre property went to foreclosure, the 200-room resort had its power restored about a week ago. The new owners, Mount Telemark Properties, met with the Central Cross Country (CXC) Ski Association to discuss CXC’s interest in leasing and developing it into an Olympic training site, WDIO News reported.

James Bolen of the Cable Area Chamber told WDIO that CXC determined it did not have the expertise needed to run a hotel in conjunction with an Olympic center. Tom Held of The Active Pursuit reported that CXC did not want to take on the “enormous task of renovating and operating it, according to Oyvind Solvang, president of the CXC Board of Directors.” Solvang estimated the long-term renovations would cost between $2 million and $4 million, and it would require at least $500,000 to open the building this season.

“We were looking to keep it heated and perhaps do some events there, trying to accommodate the people who want to stay there for the Birkie, but to get from here to there was too insurmountable,” Solvang said. “It really isn’t feasible for CXC.”

A former Telemark employee who works for the current owners, Rick Carpenter told WDIO that the new owners bought the property (for $926,000 dollars at a sheriff’s sale) for the land, not the lodge. The deal with CXC would have included the lodge by donation and some surrounding land, he added, plus 135 acres of leased land and trails.

Bolen said the new owners are still seeking a hotel group to run the resort, and CXC will look elsewhere in Cable for a potential Olympic training site.

This summer, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) secured rights to their race’s starting area at Telemark for two more years. ABSF executive director Ben Popp told The Active Pursuit that he expected to work out an agreement with the new owners to make a permanent start in roughly six months.

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