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Bless Soldier Hollow and their snowmaking. The Wasatch Citizens’ race #4 went off on an other beautiful day of blue glide wax and hard snow. Nearly 300 skiers skated the 5 or 10kms with some surprising results. Take a look at highlights of the race.

 

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A cool blue sky for a blue wax race day greeted the skiers racing at Soldier Hollow. Watching Torin Koos double pole the entire 10km course at the hilly Soldier Hollow track was shocking as he blew on by. John Farra and the US Paralympic team including Andy Soule and Tatyana McFadden joined us as their final shake-down before Paralympic World Championships in Cable, Wisconsin this week. Local regulars showed their classic skills by shaking up the finishing order the way switching to classic always does over a freestyle race. Enjoy the video highlights from sunny Utah.

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At Soldier Hollow, on Saturday January 10th, the Utah Biathlon Club hosted a simultaneous men’s 10km sprint and a women’s 7.5km sprint followed by a novice biathlon race. The Novice racers did not carry rifles and shot both bouts prone. An hour of training was required and provided at noon on the day of the race. Then the novice skiers watched the open class race, only raising the excitement level at the stadium.

Answers for why are you trying this ran from, I wanted to see what a biathlon skier goes through, to, I attended a training session years ago and finally matched up with a race date. Robert Lazzaroni added the other Nordic skiing competition (biathlon) to his Nordic Combined and Cross Country racing.

First off the starting post was Patrick Johnson, coach Matt’s brother. Any competitors paying attention must have raised their sinking heart-rate while watching Patrick rise out of the stadium. You might recall that at US Senior Nationals last year, Patrick took-off, blowing the overly content field of skiers a big kiss as he left them behind. (Okay – not literally for the kiss). Patrick recently added biathlon to his repertoire is now coaching for Auburn Ski club out of Truckee with favorite and former TUNA skier Gus Johnson.

Patrick exhibited an economy of motioned unmatched by any other competitor. Like a magician, his sleight of hand opened and closed the cover on the tip of the barrel while taking off or slinging his rifle to his shoulders. No extra motion was needed. While shooting, he worked through several targets without pausing. Then, while leaving the shooting station and skiing back to the track, he tucked each pole under each arm and simultaneously slipped each hand into each pole strap at the same time. Then he was gone and rising out of the stadium again leaving everyone else gracelessly fumbling through the same motions.

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Watch day three of the US National Paralympic and NorAm Nordic Skiing Championships. The sit-skiers raced the 2002 Paralympic Games 15km course. Next are the World Paralympic Nordic Championships in Cable, Wisconsin.

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The Wasatch Citizens’ Race number two was as different as a race can be from race number one. Although only a week apart, the two races shared little. Race one was the first sprint race ever for the series, the fog lifted out of the Heber Valley to brilliant blue skies, the course climbed almost the whole race, the technique was classic, initially with individual starts, and the race was short (twice) and painful. Okay, painful was shared with both races.

A week later the freestyle race at the White Pine Nordic Center of Park City mixed clouds, sun, wind, and snowfall with wave starts and twice the number of skiers. A rare chance to try a sprint race was missed by too many Utah citizen skiers last week. For race two, the White Pine 5.4 km loop course, skied one to three times, wanders the golf course, among the condominiums, the ponds, and fairways with low climbs and gentle downhills.

The youngest juniors and sit-skiers skiers in the first six wave starts raced one to 5 kms sorted by age and difficulty class. These racers completed their races before the other eight waves began. The finish was spectacular. The older skiers of this set start first and ski farther. The youngest skiers start last and ski a shorter loop putting everyone at the finish at the same time. The junior finish is the most beautiful chaos of colorful outfits, screaming parents, and young skiers tangled and weaving among each other. Somehow the timing crew sorts them out as they come over the line. Sit-skier Brittany Fischer took her Wasatch first place to Soldier Hollow the following day to a repeat first American at the US Paralympics Nordic Skiing Championship sprint held at Soldier Hollow.

That left over 150 skiers itching to go. The Open Class and U18 skiers lined up first for wave eight followed by one mixed junior wave, four men’s waves, one women’s wave, and one mixed wave of novices and ages 60 and up. With one hundred and fifty skiers out on a 5.4 km course, skiing one, two, or three laps, many skiers formed traveling packs.

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The Wasatch Citizens’ Race Series held its first ever Sprint race. All U12 skiers raced in heats as the fog lifted. Everyone older started at 15 second intervals for a qualifying round. Following lunch and the raffle, the racers were placed into heats in a close combination of age groups and qualifying times.

Watch the racing in the three following videos:

 

 

 

 

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Starting with the women’s 10 km race, The West Yellowstone Ski Festival next sent out the men for 15km of wind and dust. The SuperTour races were followed by the ever growing Ernie’s Races of 5km each with U10 through Masters. Videos collecting here (may take a few days to build all – check back often).

Use your browser’s return arrow to return to the list:

Women’s 10km skate race video here

Part 1 of Men’s 15km Skate race video here

Men’s 15km pt. 2 video here

Ernie’s Race Masters to U18 video here

Ernie’s Race U16-U10 video here

 

…keep looking, more videos to follow!

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Watch highlights the West Yellowstone SuperTour Sprints from the elimination round, the quarter finals, semi-finals, and finals. The top thirty of any age move to the quarter-finals and the remaining top twelve Jrs. had their own B and A finals for both men and women.

Use your browser’s return arrow to return to this list

 

M/W/Jr Semi-finals and B then A Final Sprint videos here

M/W Quarter-Final heat videos here

Women’s Qualifying Sprint video here

Men’s Qualifying Sprint video here

 

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TUNA, The Utah Nordic Alliance, was formed to include clubs and ski teams from Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, and Logan, Utah. TUNA grooms the club track at Mountain Dell, supports youth and adult programs, and youth ski teams for the Intermountain Region of USSA (IMD). TUNA hosts the annual 600+ junior skier, IMD Super JNQ as the event is also the Wyoming State XC-ski Championship. TUNA also coordinates with the Wasatch Citizens’ Five Race Series and hosts both the TUNA Relay and the TUNA Mountain Challenge Duathlon. TUNA and the Utah Ski Archives created the following video for the Utah Ski Archive’s annual awards banquet:

TUNA 25 year celebration video seen here

 

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Morgan Smyth brought her Team Soldier Hollow to meet up with TUNA to run Agony Hill behind the University of Utah. No one expected the upper 50s for November. Most skiers were chasing thier personal best though for at least one, this was a first run as run by her mother many years back …and she popped the fasted women’s time of the morning! Chances are you have been on Utah’s Agony Hill suffering your own 14 – 20 minutes of pain.

TUNA – Soldier Hollow Agony Hill video here

 

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