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Archive for January, 2009

Besh Cup Weekend- Soldotna

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

With post-race travel arrangements varying from ten hour drives to one hour flights, all of the FAST athletes returned to Fairbanks after a successful weekend of racing in Soldotna, Alaska. It was the second set of Besh Cup races out of a six-race, three-weekend series. The Alaskan equivalent of JOQs, the Besh Cups are the largest, most competitive races in Alaska, and are always a blast. With action ranging from shuffling J6’s to the legendary Master7 Ed Strabel still beating up on the youngins, the races offer a good balance of intense competition and laid back fun.

The weather here in the Last Frontier has been pretty wacky, too cold for Senior Nationals one week and nearly melting all skiable snow the next. With most of the state unable to ski last week due to a lethal combination of little snow/excessive ice, most people, at least those from Fairbanks, were skeptical about the trail conditions in Soldotna, a typically warmer venue. However, upon arrival, fears were laid to rest as the organizers (with the help of a few flurries), had the trials in tip-top shape.

Due to some icy spots and slightly narrow climbs, Saturdays sprint was reduced to simply a 1.7k prologue. In typical fashion, the handful of FAST skiers could be found on top of the results, with Kuba Grezda, Logan Hanneman, and Reese Hanneman each winning their divisions, giving FAST victories in the boys J3, J2, and J1/OJ divisions. Highlights included David Norris’s high speed face-plant-skid, after which he still got second for J1/OJs, and Logan Hanneman winning the J2 boys by nearly ten seconds and finishing third in the overall men’s results.

Sundays race was a distance skate race on some of the fastest snow many had ever skied on. The FAST boys repeated the triple victory, except this time it was David Norris winning the J1/OJs, skiing to second overall behind Anchorage local Mark Iverson of Rossignol. Kuba and Logan each posted victories of 30+ seconds, absolutely smashing the field. Everyone seemed to agree that the lazer-fast snow and swoopy trails contributed to one of the most fun races in a long time.

Full results can be seen on the Cross Country Alaska site.

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Donkey vs Airplane

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Did you know that more people are killed annually by donkeys than die in air crashes. That makes me feel a bit better about flying around so much.  OK so after a short break from racing after Nationals in Anchorage I am now here in Grand Rapids Minnesota getting ready to race some Super Tours this weekend.  We pulled in late last night after driving up from Minneapolis, the roads were great till the last 20 miles when we hit some freezing rain.  It seems as though it should be a pretty nice weekend of racing as long as it is warm enough.  Weather this season has just been crazy, with all the races that had to be canceled early in the season, the fun at Nationals, and then having 50 degrees at Birch Hill in Fairbanks for a couple of days last week, I am going crazy.  We checked out the new classic course that we will use tomorrow and it looks pretty sweet, although there is not much in the way of climbs, so it should be a fast 10k.  The snow looks great, a little on the slow side with with wind blowing around the dry powder.  My teamates in Alaska have some JO qualifiers this weekend in Soldotna south of Anchorage, I hear the snow is thin after the meltdown so hopefully the races go well.

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